3.23.2012

Fashion Friday - Growing Old - the Ajumma

There's a subtle change in my header.  I've added "over-50" to it.  But it's not a subtle change in my life.  It looms over me every day, aware of my mortality.

It's not anything deep, really.  It started out with the number of white hairs I'm getting. I still have mostly black hair, but the sprouting of white hairs in my hairline is becoming more prominent.  Then, as I sat at my vanity with the magnifying mirror, I noticed now different my skin is.  Suddenly.  Sags.  Bags.  And the full-length mirror?  Flat where it used to be pert.

I heard a comedian late one night on TV riffing on being east Asian.  He said that Asian women look exactly the same for decades - then BANG! they get old.  It's true.  I know a lot of Asian women accept this "mature" status - of becoming the "Ajumma."  That's what a young person calls an older woman.  Ajumma is permed hair and ankle socks.  Ajumma is a floral dress and shuffling steps.  Ajumma is the lady selling noodle dishes at the stand.  It's the "Ma'am" of Korean.  That word makes me shudder.  All my life, I looked young for my age.  Now, I actually look my age.  And I don't like it.  One bit.

Some of you may think it's alright, even laudable to see those Hollywood types get filled, plugged, sliced and spliced to look young.  To me, it's slightly ridiculous to hold onto your youth when that train left the station a loooong time ago.  When I do my Fashion Fridays or What I Wore Wednesdays, I'm always wondering how not to look ridiculous, if I'm trying too hard.

Now, as the weather turns warm and we have these unusual high-70s weather, I wonder -- can I wear shorts?  Cuz the latest thing?

My KNEES are wrinkled.

Maybe what I should do is stop looking at my knees and get ON my knees.






*grandma in Korean

5 comments:

Lora said...

Ajumma. I know plenty of Ajummas, and you are NOT one of them!

You may look older than you used to, but you don't look fifty. Not like, White People Fifty, at least!

I can say that because someday I'll be White People Fifty.

Sigh.

And I love when you do the WIWWs and FFs. Especially that orange bag and the denim jacket. I think they make everything youthful and age-appropriate all at the same time.

d said...

I LOVE your fashion friday & what I wore Wednesday posts. You do look great and you give great common sense advice. I wish some of the other WIWW posters would heed your advice;-)
I too LOVE the orange bag and am trying not to covet it...too much;-)

Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} said...

okay, hello YOU do not look fifty. really, you don't. and even if you did, you would do it in style. but just the same, I know it must seem surreal. because it SOUNDS old, ya know? And yet we never feel older, not really. you are so not what I think of when I think of fifty.

you know what, as I'm writing this, I started thinking I had the number wrong b/c THERE IS NO WAY. FIFTY? I looked back at the post to make sure I wasn't making a fool of myself, lol.

honestly I didn't even realize. I would have said you were 45, and that is only b/c I knew you were older than me, not b/c you even look 45.

and Ajumma? I have seen them. and you are NOT Ajumma. just stay away from the curly perms and you'll be alright! hehee

blackbelt said...

"White People Fifty" - Lora, I love your brain!

Donna B said...

Uh, I was thinking the same thing as Jo-Lynne- you definitely do NOT look like you are in your 50s- where are those wrinkles, my dear? And a few white hairs? how 'bout a whole head of 'em? Like Lora said, I'm white people fifty. You look great. Oh, and I know what you mean about the knees. I noticed that a few years back, so you're behind me on that too!