Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Cult of the Sexy Mother

I'm not sure if the source of the new sex symbol is all together promising, but one thing is true - younger women are out, and experienced gals are in. With shows like Desperate Housewives and Demi and Cameron parading with their younger boys, there's no denying the new status of the 30-40-50-something woman.

There are numerous reasons why this trend has emerged. Older professionals, along with their teen counterparts, are driving the market. If it isn't targeted for the wealthy tween, then it's targeted for their condo dwelling, childless aunt. Women have money to burn now, and they are demanding the attention (and competition) for their hard earned cash. You better believe advertisers are going to make these gals feel sexy (with a little help from their products, of course).

That said, most women don't need a provider or a father figure for their kids, so older males have less appeal than before.

We live longer and have kids later in life. I believe this contributes to how we feel "in our skin" at different stages in our life. If we aren't having kids until we're in our thirties, then it's only natural our sense of desire and desirability will follow suit. If we are living well into our seventies and eighties, why should we stop having sex at age fifty?

Equality. Okay, a form of equality. There's a tendency to compensate for the failings of equal status (lower pay) by taking liberties ala our male counterparts. "Hey, if they can date the young blonde at the office, what's stopping me?"

The prevelance of alternative religions. Often rooted in the life/death cycle, of which women play a more dominant role, new age religions promote women's power and sexuality. They often celebrate the cult of womanhood. Goddess spirituality is gaining ground and influencing our cultural acceptance of female contribution.

Thinking through all of this, part of me wants to celebrate the fact that older women are gaining notice. It's great that my older sisters are having fun and living playfully. But I can't help but feel we are lassoed with the burden of being defined solely by our projected sexual self. When, rather, we should be celebrating the contributions and fully lived aspects of "the older woman."

What women want - could it be as simple as all this?


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