During a blank eyed bit of channel surfing, I happened upon a HBO special about strippers. I was immediately drawn in despite self-assurances that I was above watching such tripe. As I continued to gawk, a strange mixture of disquiet and sadness over took me. Now, I have never had a problem with female nudity or blatant sexuality in general, but something struck me as odd in a I can’t-put-my-finger-on-it type way.
As exposes go, it was what you’d expect, controversial and titillating although I don’t recall very much of it. The scene that does stick in my mind, was one where a fifty-ish stripper was auditioning for a club. The owners, looking amused throughout the woman’s performance, allowed her to dance, but told her afterwards that she wouldn’t work out on the basis that she was “too old’.
This part of the show made me a bit angry, for a myriad of reasons.
1) The guys who owned the club probably knew that they wouldn’t hire a woman her age, but sought to exploit her audition for entertainment purposes.
2) That the main jist of the “joke” wasn’t the fact that she didn’t have nice body, which she did, but the fact that she was an older woman.
3) That two sleazebags, who looked like aging walrus’, had the temerity to sit and laugh at a woman whom they would have no problem dating if she approached them in the “real world”.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think a fifty-something should be gyrating on a pole either, but I was somewhat offended by the idea that the “joke”, was the idea that a woman can’t be considered sexy at any age.
Take a look at Sophia Lauren – this lady is gorgeous! I can’t imagine one straight man who would say she didn’t have what it takes to turn heads, yet, the number found on her driver’s license will impede her from being considered an American sex symbol today.
Funny, since sixty-something rocker Sting and an aging Sean Connery still get nods as fantasy fodder.
I have seen some amazingly beautiful older women who are just as lovely as younger gals, maybe even more so, as they have grown comfortable in their own skin, with an internal happiness that comes from letting go of old demons, and finally enjoying life.
While I do think the aging stripper did herself a great disservice by trying to compete in a youth obsessed arena, I will say she was in great shape for a “woman her age.” Her mistake wasn’t in trying to be sexy, but in trying to be sexy in a way that wasn’t appropriate for a sophisticated, older woman.
As we age, we come to realize that we alone own our sexuality and our bodies! Should older women care if the world at large sees our refined beauty? No. We should instead, flower under the loving gaze of those who appreciate where we stand, wrinkles, crinkles, and all.