Home » Stories we tell » “I’M TRYING TO GET MY SEXY BACK!”


No, not me.

That was the response from my brother-in-law last month.  We are in a Fitbit family group, and this guy is seriously kicking our butts every day and every week!  I cheered him, and when I asked what he was doing, that was his response: “I’m trying to get my sexy back!”

My son happened onto the conversation, and remarked, “Well THAT is gross!”

I continue to be amazed at how teenagers discount and disregard the idea that anyone older than them might have experienced life, might have been anything other than “old”, “out of touch”, or “not letting me do what I want to do”.  You are reduced to a flat, two-dimensional obstacle to fun.  And aging is seen as a loss of beauty.

I got a phone call in the fall from our daughter, after her first big heartbreak.  At one point she asked, “Mom, did you ever really care about anyone before Dad?”  You mean when I wore the habit and took a vow of silence and chastity for the first 30 years of my life?  Really?  Stephen and I got married when we were both 31.  We lived our 20s fully, not as a couple, but traveling, experiencing, packing in amazing memories.  Did I ever care about anyone before I was 31?  How can you even ask that question?

It seems this generation has also succumbed to the falseness of Photoshopped beauty.  I witnessed last summer a scene where a woman in her 70s was sporting a bit of cleavage.  Two twenty-something girls were commenting on how gross that was, and that she really needed to cover up.  At the same time, they were bursting out of their own camisoles, ribbed and tight, layered but hiding nothing.  Theirs was fine, but the older woman’s was not.

I do understand that teenagers and young 20-somethings are very busy finding their own identities.  That search tends to make them myopic.  That frontal lobe thing, too.  That frontal lobe

Maybe I’m just grumpy.  Maybe I’m just getting old.  I heard a radio promo recently for the Howard Stern birthday party.  At one point, he accepts clearly and consciously that “he is on the back nine”.  Maybe I am thinking that I have made the turn, and I am on the back nine, too.

Reality check:  I AM on the back nine.  The front nine was great – well played with, some beautiful holes, and a fair amount of shots into the rough!  I am happy to report that I mistrust Photoshop, and prefer honest laugh lines.  And getting your sexy back at 50?  Go get ’em!  Maybe when that frontal lobe thing is up to speed there will be a recognition that we are much more than flat and two-dimensional, inherently not beautiful.

About Claire Ziamandanis

Claire Ziamandanis is Professor of Spanish at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY. Over her 20 years at the college, she has been a champion for study abroad, establishing the first affiliation for Spanish students, and then working with the Study Abroad office to open the doors to students from other majors. Claire loves travel, food, wine and Spanish but not necessarily in that order!

One comment

  1. Matthew McConaughey’s mother got trashed for daring to wear sequins and show her cleavage when she accompanied her son to the Oscars – okay for the younger crowd, but not for a grandmother I guess. And really, it seems such an American thing. Look at Sophia Loren. Rocking cleavage, form-fitting gowns, glasses and wrinkles and still looking unbelievably gorgeous and sexy.

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