#StillSexy - Women over 50 defy stereotypes
Getting older is no fun at all, especially if you’re a woman – or is it? A recent study has revealed that older women are hitting back against the clichés of being ‘finished at forty’.Common perception would have us believe that reaching 50 as a woman spells the end: the end to sex appeal, the end to a sex life and the end to feeling sexy, with the menopause framed as the deadly hormonal meteorite that hails their extinction. However, new research conducted by The YES YES Company amongst women aged between 50 and 65 has proven that this is far from true. Yes, a massive 70% of those asked said they still felt SEXY and a further 65% said that they did not think that age had affected their sex drive.
Women are often judged by how they look and what they wear, yet three-quarters of the study group said that they believed sex appeal had far more to do with personality that anything physical. Almost 60% not only cited humour and confidence as the number one factors that not only make a person sexy, but that both men and women need to retain if they want to stay sexy later in life. Only 24% said that they thought physique was important and a minuscule 6% said it was lovely hair, compared to two-thirds who thought that it was actually a great smile and engaging eyes that gave someone sex appeal. Over half said they felt more confident about their own style currently than they did in their 20’s and 30’s. And who can blame them, with role models like Michelle Obama, Helen Mirren and Davina McCall blazing a trail? Given the chance, 68% said they’d tell their younger selves not to worry so much. It would seem that most women believe that as far as sexiness goes, it’s more about attitude. An overwhelming majority said they were still perfectly happy to strap on the high heels (94%) and crack out the red lipstick (96%) when going out. Similarly, they were quite comfortable wearing skinny jeans and short skirts too, thank you very much. Only tattoos and leather trousers caused a bit of discomfort and were highlighted as being problematic, yet with Dame Helen, wearer of both leather skirts and tattoos, selected as a role model, it’s clear they’re not a deal-breaker.
70% of women asked reported that losing confidence in their bodies had the biggest impact on their sex lives, almost half of women said that it was a lack of novelty with their partner that had affected their sexual relationships and 40% said feeling tired played a role. The good news is, less than a third cited menopausal symptoms like hot flushes and vaginal dryness as having any effect on their libido. The modern woman has a broader array of treatments for menopausal symptoms in her artillery than ever before. Whether hormonal and non-hormonal, alongside a more open dialogue around the menopause, these products continue to play a crucial role in keeping older women feeling confident, positive and sexy. ‘Each woman’s experience of growing older is different, that’s why it’s so important to find the best and most suitable treatment plan for every individual case. Some women find HRT to be a miracle cure, other prefer a more natural approach. When it comes to intimacy products, I recommend YES products,’ says London-based menopause doctor, Dr Shahzadi Harper.
Fighting back against ageist and, frankly, sexist stereotypes of matronhood and mutton, the #stillsexy campaign is about older women taking back control of their lives, their bodies and their mental health. The menopause transition can be challenging, and it’s not helped by a lack of education and a paucity of information for women and men alike. Launching this May and running throughout the year, The YES YES Company will shout NO to being overlooked, NO to being forgotten and NO to being judged for how they dress or what they wear past 50. And they will not be alone! Helped by healthcare professionals and menopause experts who will provide information on and around the menopause transition, it’s time to say YES YES YES to smashing taboos around growing older as a woman. Shirley Thomson (61), #stillsexy ambassador who’s attempting to row the Atlantic solo this year says, ‘Feeling ‘sexy’ has always been more about confidence than size 10 dresses and Brazilian waxes. Empowering women with information and support will give them the freedom to live their best lives right into their 90’s!’