Damned if we do, damned if we don’t?

Should Mature Women Hide Their Bodies?

Dr. Jenn Brandt, director of Women’s and Gender Studies at High Point University, recently responded to a tweet that raises some major assumptions about women’s sexual identity as we age. The tweet, made by Piers Morgan, accused actress Susan Sarandon of being “very tacky” for showing off her “ample cleavage.”

In her response, Dr. Brandt hit the nail on the head when she said: “We have two roles for women: when they’re young, a femme fatale sex object and then after that a mother or caregiver role.”

Let’s face it… breasts produce the milk that feed our offspring. Women nurse their young in public, though usually draped. As a woman in her ’70’s I would do exactly as Susan Sarandon has done… she ’shared’ her lovely breasts because she is still connected to her sensuality, her female confidence, and her passion for herself. She gets my vote!

The article goes on to say, What’s underneath all of this back and forth is society’s collective fear of a woman old enough to be a grandmother flaunting her sexuality. Women “of a certain age” are traditionally offered a limited range of activities; wearing muumuus, baking cookies and/or knitting. When a woman challenges that stereotype, it can and often does ruffle feathers.

knitting-150970_1280For those men who uncomfortable with sexy women over 50… I bet my bottom dollar they see every older woman as their mother, and mothers are definitely relegated to the hidden, invisible “granny corner” by their sons!


Young men usually do not acknowledge their mothers and their mother’s contemporaries as alive, sensual, fully vibrant women who love their passion and love to play with it.


These moms have had to hide their feminine sensual side all of their lives so not to arouse their sons! What kind of toll does that take on a woman? And what good does it actually do for anyone to “protect” the sexual security of men?


What’s YOUR opinion on society’s expectations of women over 50?


What do you believe is REALLY possible for a woman over 50 in terms of her sexual energy and identity as a feminine being?


Please share this with the women you know and love who are over 50.

15 thoughts on “Damned if we do, damned if we don’t?

  1. For myself I am comfortable with my body, imperfections and all, I do not wear revealing clothes however I dress in ways that compliment my femininity. To those that feel self conscious get over it! It’s a body made of flesh if we are here on earth at this time …then we all in the flesh. However I have felt others insecurities and for them I feel somewhat sad, they obviously have issues, I don’t. Much love to you Dear Caroline XO

  2. At 71, I’ve still got “it,” and flaunt it! Also, deliciously exploring new sexual frontiers with my fiance certainly doesn’t hurt. I say, one is as old as one feels (and as one’s feels).

  3. Thanks for sharing this article – love it – just another example that exposes our collective fear and misunderstanding of the vast and beautiful range of a women’s changing body, from puberty to post menopause and beyond. Our sexuality and sensuality is present throughout our lives and even though it naturally ebbs and flows it is always a beautiful fundamental aspect of who we are as women. May we learn to cherish and nurture it and thank our sisters who stand out and shine their female beauty to the world, May we be inspired by them and not hold ourselves up against them or compete with them. As I come to terms with my aging body I am more and more aware of the insidious nature of the my unconscious negative female programming. So yeah for all who can confidently say – “This is who I am today” – at every stage of our beautiful changing lives!

  4. Susan Sarandon dresses as old as she feels. Her birth certificate doesn’t determine how she feels about herself. She is emblematic of the modern woman in the 21st century. She doesn’t buy into the idea that your age determines your behavior. Nor does she allow others to influence how she thinks about herself. She is the modern women, an independent thinker.

  5. I love cleavage and I LOVE that Susan Sarandon is still living her sexuality. I have been studying this stuff for over 8 years, after having my sexuality killed by being married for 25 years to a porn addict who rejected me at every level. No more. More women need to stand up for their sexuality at any age. I am one of them. Thanks for this, Caroline:).

  6. A number of women over 70 are sometimes more sexual and sensual than women half their age (or less)! Go for it, mama! Let the sexy times roll!

  7. Great article, Caroline. Information is Power. I like to show my mind first, and the body will follow. Methinks, I am a divine feminine nerd and I’m glad there’s room for the whole lot of us!!!

  8. Caroline, this reveals a lot of why so many women I meet do feel like they have taken on the mother role in their long relationship, while their spouse may be feeling more and more like a boy. It is the automatic, unconscious, de sexing of older women! Do some of these men have affairs with younger women so they can feel like a man again even though they would never NOT want to be married to this wonderful, caring, motherly woman they still love… Ah, that’s a can of worms. I say, women of every age, let your sexy flag fly. If you are comfy with cleavage, cleave it. If you want to show off EVERY curve with skin tight, work it! If you want to cover up and keep it mysterious while exuding your sex appeal till every human in the room is riveted, use it!

    1. Interesting. This is exactly one of the major reasons why I divorced my ex. He didn’t see it and wanted me to take care of him. This wasn’t to be, thankfully.

      1. In retrospect it played a role in my divorce too. I didn’t see the dynamic, though I knew I was off the charts in libido perimenopause, and he was ready to retire… everything!

  9. There are a LOT of us now. We are used to thinking for ourselves. We work. We have college degrees. We have minds of our own. We have worked hard to be healthy and fit. We ARE sensual and sexy whether or not we’re involved with a man, and we dress to enjoy ourselves. The same rules that apply to a woman when you’re young applies when you’re older, in my opinion. Show off your assets. If that means that you still have lovely breasts at 70, then by all means, wear a flattering top. If you have Tina Turner’s legs, wear a shorter skirt… and so on. To hell with people that lack the life experience to understand that this is not a sexy or beauty contest; it’s about being free to be who we are. We’re sensual beings until the day we die. Why do they know that in France, but not here?????

  10. So many great comments here. Sometimes I find that we women are the worst enemy of an attractive woman, whether young or old; our judgment jumps out and “cuts that woman down to size”. I’ve done it and have learned to release that quietly back to Source. I get many flattering comments about how young I look for my age and am glad for the attention, although this was not my motivation. I like looking good, feeling well, energized, youthful, alive and if others are inspired by me, so much the better. I want to be a lighthouse for all, of all ages and sexuality. All that aliveness swirling around us is so rejuvenating and uplifting. Let’s celebrate life in all its forms.

  11. Her breasts are beautiful and I admire that Susan feels her sensuality and is willing to share it. I’m glad there are more of us who are willing to just be. I agree with other comments and at 63 I feel more sensual now than I ever remember being.

  12. great article! sometimes I am harder on myself when I look in the mirror; I am almost 75 and people tell me “I don’t look it” but my mind goes to; “but I’m overweight!”

  13. The other point that is being overlooked, I think, is that the breasts in and of themselves are more than “sexual” objects. We as a society have highly over-sexualized the female breasts.

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