I have heard from some of my readers in the past few months, who are retired, or almost there. They've told me that they feel left out in matters of style and all things chic. They used to aspire to a life of elegance but they now feel let down and deflated.
Everywhere they turn, all they see is a celebration of youth. Fashion models all look like 12 year-olds, with a body to match. Most celebrities in the public eye are below 40. Music videos seem to show sexual moves made by juveniles, with singing secondary. Any celebs older than 40 seem intent only on acting like the younger ones, or even worse, try to out-do them on the shock front. The High Street only seems to cater for young girls and women, all in small sizes. Older women feel invisible, almost discarded. It is no wonder that their chic-o-meter is edging towards zero.
I really feel for you, mes chères amies. You feel left out and left behind. You want to feel like you matter again. In France, I've always felt that older people are respected and honoured. They are not hidden out of sight and out of mind. Youth is not revered to the detriment of age. Older women are still seen on the TV screen, and not always in a typical granny role.
Many chic French ‘femmes d’un certain age’ enjoy this new period in their life, a time of freedom and recreation. They view their wrinkles as a sign of wisdom and freedom, not decrepitude and senility. They have found a balance between being active and growing old gracefully.
You may have noticed such older French women too. They look active and full of energy. They are well groomed and stylish. They are friendly and full of smiles. They shun old age to live a vibrant and full life. They welcome this new period in their life where they are free to travel, go where they please, take a new hobby wholeheartedly. Did I mention travel?They know there is no point looking backwards at their youth to look good. They’ve had their time, so instead they turn to elegance.
Well, if only you could live out your retirement in such a way...
I'm here to tell you that YOU CAN!
Are you retired and not quite sure about what to do with your time?
Maybe you feel a bit scared, a little apprehensive?
You may be worried about what's in store for you.
Is your life over? Of course not! There is so much to do and to experience!
Try to emulate chic French women and embrace this new time in your life.
So here I am to help you do this, to make it work for you, from the perspective of a French woman.
Let's start this list of things you can do in various areas of your life to live a vibrant, happy life.
- If you haven’t had the time earlier in your life due to family and work commitments, your time is now, so start thinking and looking after yourself.
- First of all: embrace your age. There is nothing you can do about it. Smile and be grateful that you have come this far. There are many who have not reached the later stages of life. Look at it as a privilege.
- Go all grey (from a good hair salon). And call this colour 'silver', not grey! This is elegant.
- or no grey (have your colour done at a good hair salon). Yes, we can see the difference between a DIY job or the professional look.
- While you're at the salon, have your hair cut. Short. Believe me, this will rejuvenate and refresh your face.
- Book time in a spa. Have a facial, mani-pedi, massage and whatever else takes your fancy.
- Wear nice clothes, not frumpy ones. Dress like you are going on a date.
- Stay active.
- Look after your health. See doctors, dentists and specialists when the need arises. In all things don't let yourself go. You have to make an effort. It may be a little more demanding now but it will make you look and feel a million dollars.
- Engage in altruistic endeavours, such as charity work in your city or region
- Return to God if you feel like it. Prayer can be soothing for the soul.
- Study the great poets
- Appreciate the Arts, classical music, opera, paintings of the Great Masters, Greek sculptures, great philosophers and thinkers, literature
- Visit museums in your city and other countries
-Learn what's happening in your area in respect of events
- Stay away from mindless TV unless watching interesting documentaries (not Reality TV)
- Travel in your own region or discover places further afield.
- Go for long walks in your city, forest, beach, coastline, countryside, mountain, lakes etc
- Do what you want for a change.
Learning something new will keep you young at heart.
- Try new pleasures and hobbies: cooking/gardening/pottery/writing/painting/dancing
- Be creative
- Take up a new sport.
- Visit family and friends
- Make new friends
- Organise outings and events for yourself and others
Last but not least, practice gratitude. Love. Smile.
This is a great period in your life. Elder French women know that as the selfishness of youth is behind them, it is time to give a little back to others whilst still looking after themselves.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Please share more tips with us in the comments below.
Other posts you may enjoy:
How to Lift Your Spirits the French Chic Way
5 Steps to Upgrading Your Style for Women over 40
I'm Marie-Anne. I help women look fabulous via authentic French Chic. Join me in The French Chic Academy
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