Susan Sarandon has caused a bit of a social media stir recently. The 69-year-old actor chose to attend the Screen Actors Guild Awards in an outfit which accentuated and revealed her beautiful bosom. The outcry from critics revolves mainly around the fact that people have taken objection to a woman of her age wearing such a revealing ensemble, and particularly from men. It seems that the most central objection includes being offended that a woman of her age is so clearly still connected to her sexuality, or at least, still considers herself a vital and sexual woman.
Taboo surrounding older people and expressions of sexuality is still rife in our society. Unless it is one’s specific fetish, older people are seen as asexual and mostly, impotent. We tend to dismiss our elders as incompetent at best and senile at worst. We have names for women particularly who choose to wear revealing clothing after a particular age such as “mutton dressed as lamb” and so on.
Our collective social disgust at the even the thought of our more mature generation’s sexuality says a lot about the society in which we live.
Obviously we are a youth-centric society, as proven by the multibillion dollar anti ageing industry. Youth is seen as the ideal and many people are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to tighten, firm up and remove any traces of ageing. Even though the last decade has seen more campaigns embracing older women or “realistic” beauty, there is still a burgeoning trend towards staying young for as long as possible. Which clearly leads one to believe that growing older is a handicap which must be avoided at all costs.
The combination of ageing and sexuality, it appears, makes a lot of people feel very uncomfortable.
But I keep wondering why? Firstly, what does it have to do with anyone else how we express or engage in our sexuality if it is doing no harm to anyone else? Secondly, how does it actually impact anyone’s life if women like Susan Sarandon choose to dress provocatively or in a revealing manner? I tend to wonder if the discomfort stems internally and is then projected onto those who feel more free to express their own sexuality.
Sexy has no expiration date, and nor should it.
There are too many rules in our society that dictate what we wear, what we consume, and even, what we should desire. If you feel sexy and you want to dress in a manner that shows this, then don’t let the judgment of others deter you. Personally, I think Susan Sarandon looked beautiful with her bosom slightly exposed. Maybe it’s time to stop conforming the society’s rigorous guidelines and time to start forging a new way into middle and older ages. Allowing yourself permission to be sexy not only makes you feel better and more connected to yourself, but it’s a wonderful example to those around us of self-acceptance.