As a woman approaches 40, popular culture begins to get nasty (in all sorts of ways). One particularly galling change is that a 40-ish woman enjoying a night out with the girls suddenly gets labelled a “cougar” and is automatically reduced to a thing of ridicule — regardless of her marital status. I hate that! So my question is, can a woman of a certain age still have fun? If so, how?
Claire: Dear Miaow,
I’m going to assume that you and your friends aren’t wearing any of the following: Lipliner, spandex (unless it’s in the Spanx that nobody can see), Lucite heels, spike heels, anything shorter than two-inches above the knee, animal-print clothing so tight that the seams go white when you sit down.
I’m also assuming you’re not showing: The kind of cleavage you can lose your appetizer in, underwear that is visible, or dance moves that involve you spanking yourself.
If these assumptions are correct, my advice is to ignore pop culture.
There is nothing more attractive than a woman who is happy, so if a night out with the girls makes you happy, tell pop culture to stick it where the leopard print don’t shine.
Andrea: Dear Miaow,
Wait, in your 40s, shouldn’t you be sitting at home mending clothes and preparing your hard-working man a steak?
No, you’re not, because women broke through that stereotype. That, or you hate sewing. If you’re out with the girls having a blast, what does it matter if you’re dubbed a cougar? Would you prefer Mama Bear? Redwood? MILF?
As long as you see yourself as someone genuinely having fun vs. trying to beat away the aging process by corrupting young bucks, don’t worry about the name calling.
Call people out on it when they’re being obnoxious. You’re an adult; you can handle it.