In the next three months, three very important people in my life will turn 30. I’m only too happy to tease them about crossing this milestone birthday, but I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t love being in my 30s. So much good stuff has happened to me personally and professionally. And a lot of it happened because I have grown into a person confident and self-aware enough to not only go after what I want but to believe that I am qualified for and deserving of these things.
And that’s why silly lists highlighting all of the things that you shouldn’t do or wear or own or even drink after 30 make me pretty irrationally angry. What’s even more infuriating is that they’re almost exclusively directed at women. So even though Kallie Provencer put together this gem on the vapid ‘Rant Chic’ a few months ago, it’s bothered me ever since.
The truth is I wouldn’t wear a lot of the things on this list. Not because I’m over 30, but because I don’t like them. And that’s the thing about personal style – it’s less about what people think you should or shouldn’t wear, and more about what YOU want to wear and how those things make you feel.
Over the past few years, I’ve cultivated a personal style that is as much about the things I want to wear as it is about celebrating my body. Living with a chronic illness, it’s easy to hate your body when it feels like it’s failing you at every turn. I spent a lot of time hating my body for all of the things that it couldn’t do while ignoring the things that I could. Sometime after hip surgery six, that changed. Not in a single moment, not all at once, but little by little I became enamored with its resilience. And, since I started celebrating that resilience, I have come to love and appreciate my body in ways I never thought possible. I no longer stand in front of the mirror picking apart every ounce of fat or cellulite or even my hip scars. Instead, I admire its strength and suppleness and everything that it allows me to do between now and hip surgery seven. Which isn’t to say that I don’t have the occasional bad day, I just don’t beat myself up over that the way I used to.
This new found appreciation for my body inspires a confidence that I’ve never had before. Confidence to wear all the things that I used to think I was too short or too curvy or too fat or even too old for. Things like cropped tops, harem pants, ponchos, rompers, jumpsuits, turbans, strapless dresses and a teeny tiny bikini that is not only a bandeau but doesn’t hide my scars! And so while I’m sure the Anna Wintours of the world would probably think I’m a little ridiculous, maybe even a little desperate for wearing some of these things at my age, I feel like the happy, confident, hippie bad ass that I have always wanted to be!