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Published:June 21st, 2011 12:49 EST
Age Appropriate Products are Code for Calling Women Old

Age Appropriate Products are Code for Calling Women Old

By Donna Cavanagh

There was a time when I never cared about checking the correct age bracket on surveys, forms etc.  I didn`t care if I was a woman between 35 and 50, but now I am starting to care. Why? Because now, the age brackets are determining what I wear, what I eat and what kind of skin care products I buy. My favorite skin care line has now changed their product line "to meet the needs of every age".  I think this is their way of saying, "You`re old and our regular stuff won`t work on you anymore."

I have to admit that I am a little insulted and confused by this age-appropriate product-line change.  I don`t know what age group cream I should buy because,to be honest,I have several ages, but I mostly go by the age that is on the expired driver`s license that I keep in my wallet, and I am not sure if my wrinkle cream can adjust to this slight mis-truth. 

Skin care companies are not the only companies to sort products by the age of their customers. I read an article online that said women should pick their wardrobe according to their birth date as well. While I don`t want to dress like a 20-year-old, I draw the line when some wardrobe analyst assumes I need a stretch waistband. Okay, on some occasions such as Thanksgiving and mental breakdown days when I scarf down a bag of Doritos and two cans of cake frosting, I might welcome the stretch waistband, but to assume that these clothes are the typical fare for a woman in her 40s is ridiculous and downright stupid. So, I wrote this wardrobe consultant and told him just that. He emailed me back and told me why it`s not good to live in denial.

Bathing suits also come in age appropriate designs. I am not sure where the transition from bikinis to one-piece suits happen but I am thinking somewhere between the end of college and the beginning of the realization that gravity is inevitable unless you are someone with a big bank account and a good plastic surgeon. I can live with the one-piece suit. In fact, I love the one-piece suit. I love the "Miracle" suits that suck in your stomach, hips and thighs. Granted, I need my asthma inhaler for a day at the beach, but not being able to breathe is a small price to pay for a svelte, jiggle-free body. However, I have noticed when they start putting swim suits in age-appropriate displays, the big Grandma suits are starting to creep over to my racks.

You all know these suits: the tops on these babies have more support attached to them than the Golden Gate Bridge. The fabrics contain these blinding floral prints, and every one of these suits has an attached skirt that falls almost to the knee. To top off this ensemble, there is always a rack of bathing caps near the grandma suits that sport those big rubber flowers. I know; one day I may be one of those women who won`t go in the water until I shove my curls under one of those attractive swim caps, but for right now, I don`t want to see them or the Grandma suits in my age-appropriate shopping zone in the store.

I am a jeans and tee shirt type of gal, but I have noticed that my jeans have gone through the age appropriate transformation too. There are slim fit, low-rise, mom jeans, Jeggings (the cross between jeans and leggings), boot cut, relaxed and loose fitting jeans. The newest fad in jean wear is Pajama Jeans. Let me be blunt here. If you wear these Pajama Jeans in public, you have lost all dignity and you should now just give up completely and resign yourself to wearing nothing but old lady moo moos. I am sorry, but there is no reason for the product. If you can`t zip up your pants, just wear sweatpants out and admit you are wearing sweatpants. No one is looking at you and saying, "Wow, those are smart jeans!" No, they are looking at you and saying, " Look, denim sweatpants--who is she trying to fool?"  Hey, I know that Pajama Jeans look good on the chick on the commercial, but she is a size 0. Trust me; these jeans do not flatter every figure. Bulges and rolls will show.

As the years go by, I will no doubt embrace the age-appropriate wardrobes, and I will probably buy the age-appropriate wrinkle cream for my face too. However, all I ask of the apparel and cosmetic industry is to let me face the challenges of aging on my own and at my own speed.