Age Appropriate

by Connie Michaelis, Lifestyle Consultant for The Piper


What does it mean to be age appropriate? Remember the phrase “Act your age, not your shoe
size?” Your mom said it to shame you into acting more grown-up! I read recently in a fashion
magazine that older women should only wear neutral lipstick. Really! No bright red rouge on the
lips. I think “age appropriate” is always someone’s interpretation of how another person should act.
So how should we express ourselves as we grow older? Does aging bring to mind rocking chairs,
white hair, polite conversations and thick bifocals? Rachel McAdams, Canadian actress says, “I feel
like I’m going backward, actually, as I get older. I’m regressing. I feel more and more like a kid,
which is kind of a fun feeling.” If aging is truly about becoming more of who you really are, with
more freedom and confidence then there should be more diversity in the expression of each Elder.
I say to heck with being age appropriate.

One of my favorite poems entitled “Warning” by Jenny Joseph starts, “When I am an old woman I
shall wear purple with a red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me. And I shall spend my pension
on brandy and summer gloves and satin sandals and say we’ve no money for butter.” Jenny was
speaking about this exact topic. Do you have your own set of “rules” about what dress, behaviors
and conversation will be like for you as you age? When will you quit wearing red lipstick or
colorful clothes? Maybe it is time to start! Should Elders be neutral in every way? I think just the
opposite. The older, the freer! As the Jenny Joseph says, “And make up for the sobriety of my
youth.” To each their own; more freedom, more expression, more uniqueness. Grey may be the
color of hair, but it is not the color of life!

Come for a visit at The Piper where freedom of expression is encouraged.


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About the Author — Connie Michaelis is an enthusiastic and passionate advocate for the entire arena of successful aging.  With years of work in the senior lifestyle space, Connie has become a knowledgeable problem solver for the many issues of Senior transitions. As a weekly newspaper columnist, Connie has become known as an expert in the field and speaks and writes to encourage and support her audience. Through storytelling and humor, Connie can move her audience towards embracing the necessary changes to live their best life. Changing paradigms, planning for the future and preparing for all circumstances lead to a life of peace, happiness and satisfaction.  She is a lifestyle consultant for The Piper.