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Sydney, NSW, Australia
Photographer. Writer. 45yo Indo-Fijian Australian. Glam Feminist. Coconuts.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Mint Condition?

"Mint condition is an expression used in the description of pre-owned goods. Originally, the phrase comes from the way collectors describe the condition of coins. As the name given to a coin factory is a "mint", then mint condition is the condition a coin is in as it leaves the mint. Over time, the term "mint" began to be used to describe many different items having excellent, like-new quality." - from bloggers pal Wiki

My 20yo coin-encrusted belt is in mint condition.   My 40yo self?  Hmmm... hardly!
...yet I do often (pretty much always) get mistaken for being much younger.  And I don't really like that. 

Now I know you're thinking "Hmmm... I'm going to shoot her...and not with a camera" but hear me out.  After the jump...
[warning. loooooooooong post ahead.  more pics too though.  you don't have to read my rant]

I don't like that because... where the hell is that beacon of accummulated wisdom from my life triumphs & trials experiences aka MATURITY that is supposed to be shining in my eyes???? J

...sigh... I am a child.  

I currently work with and around a lot of young people (all designers).  Like I-could-be-their-mother-young people. I love young people, have many of my own (my children, not as collectors items), have many Gen Y friends...and I surround myself (not on purpose but it's magnetic) by many MANY youthful minded people.  Gen Why The Hell Not?

By that I mean people who are not afraid to age.  People (aged 40 - 85) who understand that worrying about getting older is redundant.  A total waste of time.  Time that could be spent enjoying getting older.
Anyywayy... back the young people I work amongst... through conversation and sharing information, etc... it's rather obvious that I am not in my twenties!!   I've been getting quite a few "ohmygodyou're40really?", which annoys me but not as much as "gosh-you're-so-lucky-you-don't-look-your-age".

Grrrrrrrrrr.  Even though I don't snap at nor snap off the head of the person who says that, I do get very... hmmm... pissed off.  My voice gets deeper, I draw myself up, my breathing gets slower and usually around about now... my (bigger than me) children run and hide    What is so wrong with looking ones age????

Okay, OKAY... I know it's all very good to whinge about ageism when one doesn't look ones age.  (Whatever the hell that means.  Is there an archaic how-to book with a chapter dedicated to each age and how to look it?) 

It's a bit like non-muslim, particularly white Australian, women saying that the burqa is a freedom of choice for the woman wearing it.*  Or dressing up like a fifties housewife when one has the naughties privileges of life.

[* Yes this is an inflammatory statement to make but I ask you to leave it be for now.  I will be writing a post about it.  I am not anti anyone.  I am pro freedom.]

I am lucky I guess.  According to today's society.  Whatever.  Don't give much pay to today's society's credence. 

Skinwise... it's genetic.   My mother is 70+ and she doesn't have any wrinkles.   My maternal side are like vampires!!  My aunts, uncles and cousins... they're ageless!!!  I do have wrinkles and smile lines but generally my skin is 'tight' and 'plump' but then I'm Indian and Indian skin is very resilient.
...I say that because when I was younger... oh my GOD... I was of that generation that applied baby oil or coconut oil to our skin, lay down in the sun and just fried!!  As I child, after moving from England to a Pacific climate... I was a water/beach baby, permantly sunburned and tanned... in my teens, in my twenties, living in Australia and the Pacific and [expat community] Asia... we didn't fake tan... we bake tanned!!

Being Indian that may seem a 'taboo' thing to do or be allowed to do (when I was a kid).  I wasn't brought up in India, I'm not from India.  Although the propensity to have fair skin to denote higher social status is not restricted to Asiatic thinking.   In the western world, prior to Coco Chanel's era, a tan was just so declasse dahlink. mother's Indian friends and acquaintances were always gasping and shaking their heads at me!!  They couldn't understand how my parents would let their daughter darken her 'fair' skin like that!!  My poor mum, although she never tried to force these archaic colour notions upon me, she tried her best to keep my skin safe from the sun!  Of course those days we didn't know of the health dangers but she zinc creamed me pre-sun and post-moisturised me with turmeric paste and coconut oil as best as she could!  And I am very thankful for that.  Her loving actions allow me to stand on my soapbox today.  J

I am still a water baby... summer weekend's are spent out on our boat and water-skiing and general sun worship!  However... I religiously aply SPF15 (strongest for Aus) cream, even in winter, to my face and limbs.  I will allow for some 'naked' time to soak in Vitamin D, a common dangerous deficiency now and one that affects Asians mostly but also this generation of western children. 

I do look after my skin but not obsessively.  I do not have a thousand products that I simply must use every day.  My skincare regimen is very simple.  I don't abuse my skin by pulling and prodding it into being youthful.
...and I am very active.  I do a lot of things which keep my bones and flesh 'juicy'.  And I swear by coconut oil.  I will start writing posts about all this. If anyone's interested that is!  Oh what the hell.  I'll just write it for myself.

So yes, fine, I have 'good skin' through a combination of luck, genetics and maintenance so I look younger.  Plus my features haven't developed.  I still have a child's face.  With added smile lines and age spots.  That's my story.  But that doesn't really explain why I appear younger.

Why all the people I know and care for who are my age or older, are full of vim and vitality and an energy that is a powerful combination of sexy maturity and cheeky youthfulness!  

Why some of my favourite bloggers my age or older are just such hot, fabulous, inspirational women! 

Age is not our obstacle.  Age gives us license to live however the hell we want!  We understand the value of time.
We know that the older we get, the more wealth of knowledge and experience we gain.  The older we get, the more valuable we get.  Because after all... you can't be described as being in mint condition without being a vintage treasure.

I know my worth. 

I'm wearing COCO LIBERACE jewellery.  The 'Samantha' Cuff and 'Tina' necklace.  COCO LIBERACE is the accessories label I work for.   Proper post comng up soon!

If you manged to read the whole freakin' rant... I salute you.  If you managed to make any sense of it... I am in awe of you.  If you think you care enough to share your thoughts... I thank you.

ps. if you are one of my favourite bloggers my age or older (you know who you are)... may I link to your blogs?
white cotton tab-sleeve shirt * black crinkle satin & tulle skirt * metro-cowgirl boots adorned with 'Duallery' pieces * vintage 'gaucho' belt.


L1L2 said...

you've coined the classic bnw with a very glamorous feel... but you look softer than usual (but still fabulous:)

Vintage Vixen said...

I read all of it, my fabulous friend. Fantastic writing and so true. I get quite shirty when people tell me I don't look my age, how should I look?
I'm quite proud of being 43 and 50 weeks old.
It's embarrasing when I take advantage of the Over-Forties swimming sessions at the local swimming baths and people complain that I'm too young to be there.
More cocnut oiil tips, please! can stock up in India, it's so much cheaper there. xxx

Fashion Butter said...

I like getting mistaken for a college student, BUT, I have to say that I do agree with a lot of your points. Sometimes I'm like, do I really look like a 24 year old girl to all these people? I like to think I have a little more polish and grace than I did ten years ago. : )

garakami said...

I'm fairly dark, I should say, so the sun doesn't bother me. And I grew up in Grenada, the islands, so it's hella natural to look black as tar. Since I've been in America though, and I think EVERYONE has this, my lower body is EXTREMELY lighter than my upper body. It's really weird. So I look like an Oreo during the winter time.

All I can say is that, as time passes and I embrace becoming older, I hope I don't get too shabby. Western children, as the time progresses, it becomes obvious that we get less and less exercise and that's a major problem in today's society. And I look up to you for inspiration; maybe I might even take up dance. But my bones crack, those loud obnoxious "listen to me roar" kind of cracks, so I might have to take up something else. I did enjoy gravity acrobatics, that was a blast :)

Yes, I read this entire post, and as one of my friends said during a debate in my political science class, "Each year when we lessen our reins on certain laws and restrictions, the generation who lessens these laws and restrictions can't help but think that the older generation was absolutely crazy to make those stupid laws and restrictions!" Or something like that. I agree with him one hundred percent. TAN FOR ALL YOUR WORTH, but just do it safely ;)

sandhyaa said...

hahaa...i read whole post..yeyeye !!! :P
yeah i agree age gives you license to do what u want but still i want to b younger always...
and i really really admire you and other ladies who r not afraid of aging...and be more fabulous and awesome indeed.

Kiran Bajaj Sawhney said...

Let me write comments point wise:

1. You are certainly in "mint condition" and also have a "vintage treasure" (deadly combination)

2. Yes, yeh baal aapne dhoop mein safed nahin kiye- That is for the maturity you have gathered over the period of years.

3.Our similarities- same age, "bigger than us" children, interaction with younger people/youthful minded in work scenario. I too belong to the generation that "applied baby oil or coconut oil to our skin, lay down in the sun and just fried!! "

4. Yes please write posts about skin care. I am interested.

5. Love your complete ensemble and also your blue eyeliner. You Rock as always.

Trishna said...

I really think there is something about asian/ indian women and their ageless features. My mom is almost 50 but she still looks the same as she did in her mid twenties. I do not know what it is....but just hope I am blessed with it.

Personally I think aging gracefully is one of the greatest gifts that nature can give us. When it is my time I would like to look my age, but gracefully and would not try to prevent something that is supposed to happen by artificial methods. :)

Trishna from Toronto, Canada said...

This is one of the reasons why I admire you. You know your worth and you do not make any excuses for your age, lifestyle, or opinions! I have never understood what the big deal is about age. Why can't women tell their real age? Why is it considered rude to ask a woman her real age? To me these are just matter of fact kind of questions.

Whenever I see anyone making a big deal about wrinkles or money or fame or anything superficial like that - I think ... Why are they so bothered about it? In the end we all die! Anyhooo!!! I absolutely love all the jewelry you are wearing here and your boots with that long skirt - SEXY!! :)

Fourth Daughter said...

it's white shirt season, obviously!!
I sooooo wish I had started keeping out of the sun earlier, I'm still sort of ahead of my peers though as I had 9 years in Japan out of the harsh Australian sun and where people walk around with sun umbrellas (which I do here, much to the embarrassment of my friends, but I will be laughing last when they are all wrinkly and I'm.. not!)
Re SPF 15, I think Invisible Zinc is SPF 30?? I use it whenever I will be outside, who knows if it works but it's zinc rather than chemicals and nanoparticles, so probably less harmful than other sunscreens at least.

jemina said...

Super Stunning and Major Oooomphhh babey, you look 20 yo babe, no way you're 40, you're HAWT and BEAUTIFUL. How I wish I had your bod!!!

Love, Hugs and Kisses


Aria said...

These pics are stunning! Sexy and perfectly tousled I love how you styled this look and the light is so beautiful.

Tamanna A. Shaikh said...

Wahaaaooww. I waited to read this and just did and must say, I love the way you express yourself.

However, although I understand and respect the fact that you appreciate and enjoy being known for whatever your age is, I think sometimes, many a people don't know how better to compliment you other than saying how young you look! It's just their way of genuinely complimenting.

I have myself felt inclined to write that but for some reason, never actually did, thinking "I am not complimenting her just because she looks not very 40" fearing putting you in a different, separate genre altogether. Fashion is one language, age no bar. So is lifestyle. How we live, what we wear shoudl not be affected by our age as much as by our own personal choices. So that's why I just stick to commenting on the obvious.

So while I know, people mean no wrong in saying "You look so young for your age", I also think it's not very right. Just say, "You look great". Enough. My grandmother was the most beautiful person anyway. I never spoke age when talking about her beauty.

I'm myself going on 26 now. Gahhh that is young just as is any age, as long as you think you are young but still, I am surrounded by people who are a couple yours younger and sometimes when we talk and I say I am 2-4 years elder to them all, they're like, "Whaaattt???". For a moment, I feel old but then I feel young because I know I am young and that those even younger ones are just dazed! :P

Oh and of course, age is just a beautifying factor. I looked silly a few years back! :P

Okay and what you're wearing here is my favourite. Again. Black and white and gold touches! Fantastic! You look hot!!

(I hope I conveyed in the right way.:P :))

Vintage Obsession said...

This is soo pretty , i love how the sunlight shines on your face, you look gorgeous :-)

Vintage Obsession said...

*Sunlight reflects on you:-)

Veshoevius said...

I read this post and then went away to mull on it a while, hoping to come back with some sage piece of wisdom to tell you. Well I don't have one.
Only to say that the same thing happens to me (get mistaken for being younger) and it perplexes me in the same way it does you. On the one hand you feel flattered, on the other hand annoyed at the obsession with youth you are inadvertedly buying into by feeling flattered. You suddenly feel like perhaps they now think you should be acting differently to what you were before because they have realised that you are older than they thought you were, and all those stupid stereotypes of what you should be like at a certain age start stacking up against what you actually are like.
Anyway... no wisdom, just I understand where you're coming from.

Anonymous said...

All can be