From Buxom Blonde to Menopausal Matron

For years I was a natural buxom blonde. Natural in that my boobs are big without any intervention and my hair is blonde at source. In the past I suppose I had a reasonably nice curvy figure (although having three kids by 21 left their mark) and as I got older I used to dye my dulling dark blonde hair lighter to try to re-capture that youthful brightness. For the longest time I looked young for my age, too, so people would see me and judge accordingly. In many people’s eyes big boobs plus blonde hair equals bimbo – vacuous, dumb, shallow, whatever the particular stereotype du jour.

It used to be quite fun to see the look on people’s faces when I surprised them with the reality that I’m actually quite smart – I gained a first class honours degree at 40. Or parents would say to me in a patronising, parental tone ‘Wait til you have kids, then you’ll see!’ and I’d point out I already had kids, I’d been a mum since I was 18. My voluptuous soft curves often belied my underlying physical strength – beneath my layer of fatty tissue I also have well-built muscle. On initial acquaintance for various reasons I often simply wasn’t the person people assumed I was, and for many years that social dissonance almost became part of my identity – I was often able to use the stereotype to my advantage.

But as time passed it bothered me more and more to so easily be dismissed by others as irrelevant in a snap judgement just because of how I looked. It stopped being fun and instead I found it increasingly frustrating. In my late forties I stopped dying my hair and deliberately lost that ‘blonde bombshell’ look I’d kept for so long. And now I’m in my late fifties my once-shapely figure is more menopausal matronly than sexy hourglass, my dark blonde hair is greying and it seems the old stereotype no longer applies. So am I taken more seriously now? Nope, not a bit of it – it seems I’m still routinely dismissed as an irrelevance in society at large, but now it’s because of my advancing age rather than being a buxom blonde! 🙂

Weekly Prompt: Advantages

PS After publishing this post, it was brought to my attention that it would be a suitable answer for this week’s Fandango’s Provocative Question, which asks:

What impression do you think you give when you first meet someone?

So I’m cheating and using my post to answer this challenge, too! 🙂

15 thoughts on “From Buxom Blonde to Menopausal Matron

  1. Oh, I love this post Ruth. Like it or not we really are judged on our looks, but I think I’m my worst critic, I just don’t want to look my age.

    When we were still in our first lockdown around this time last year, I took a selfie for my new profile picture. The light must have been just perfect that day, plus the help of a good foundation because there wasn’t an eye bag nor a wrinkle in sight, I was thrilled to bits with it, but because it made me look much younger but I felt a bit of a cheat so I didn’t upload it until Gerry encouraged me to use it in autumn last year.

    Later I mentioned to a new blogger friend that I wasn’t ready to mix with others because I didn’t want to catch Covid. He replied “ What have you got to worry about you’re not old, you’re well out of the vulnerable age range!” I replied and simply said, “I’m probably a little bit older than I look!”

    I felt such a cheat and if only he knew that he was flirting with a woman who was almost old enough to be his mother! 🤣

    Liked by 4 people

  2. At least you had your glory days of “bimbo” (your words! not mine!). As an average-height, small-chested brunette I’ve been invisible for years, and yes, that starts around 50.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. It would be so nice if we didn’t judge ourselves so much , ageing I find is quite painful because one day you see it yourself in the mirror and it hits you. 😩 Personally I think you have a natural beauty that shines out from within.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s certainly quite a shock to catch sight of yourself suddenly in a mirror, or see a candid photograph of yourself, and suddenly think – shit, I’m looking old! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I stopped dying my hair when l turned 50. So on Monday l went to get a hair trim and the hair dresser says “l like how you’ve done your hair” lm confused and l said “Oh?” She said “Yes l like the shade of coloured streaks” l laughed out loud and said “I’ve not dyed my hair for almost 4 years- this is what god gave me” she sighed and said “I wish l was so lucky” l think sometimes women try to keep looking young but they make themselves look older. I’m a menopausal matron, Wife, Mother of five, Grandma of 7 and have never felt happier in my skin. Thank you for sharing Ruth!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. People are so driven by appearances! I’ve never been blonde but am noticing that slippage of attention due to age. I’ve been wanting to blog about it but haven’t thought of the right words yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. What Dan said. Snap judgments are lazy. People don’t want to make an effort to get to know someone, so they mentally label them via stereotypes instead. This post could go with Fandango’s question today too!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh my, even though my response was a lot shorter you summed me up too! I always think that people think I am not smart. I used to have bigger boobs but that never seemed to occur to me. I am blond. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

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