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Looking Good
updated: Sep 18, 2010, 10:00 AM

Dear Edda,

I am a 54-year-old woman who goes to the gym all the time, shops at Whole Foods, and looks much younger than I am. I have also had very little work done for someone my age.

My problem is that my 20-year-old daughter has refused to go on vacation with her stepfather and me. She says that I dress ridiculously, and that I should act my age. She says she dresses older than I do, and that I am an embarrassment.

I think she is a little jealous because I have more free time to tan than she does (she's in college) and so I can wear more skin-revealing clothing than she can, and also look good in shorts for most of the year.

I know it is probably hard having a mom who looks more like one of her friends. I have bought her many outfits so that she won't feel bad, but she always returns them.

I am sure she doesn't realize how unreasonable she is. I say - if you have it, you should show it off. What do you say?

Looks Fabulous

Dear Fabulous,

Well, usually I try not to say too much, but I sure hope you're wearing sunscreen.


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Edda Hatte is a loving and sympathetic advice columnist who helps Edhat subscribers navigate through their complicated and stressful lives. Send your questions to askedda@edhat.com.

Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 106029 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 10:12 AM

What's your problem? At 20 our collegiate son would not have been seen dead with us on vacation. At 40 he and his wife are thrilled to have us visit. It's called the cycle of life, Fabulous.


 COMMENT 106033P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 10:31 AM

The daughter should be spending time with her peers ---- not still attached to mother's apron strings. As a mother, you should understand that.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 10:33 AM

I think women in their 50's are much sexier than women in their 20's. When I was in my 20's I thought women in their 20's were much sexier tham women in their 50's..:)


 COMMENT 106035 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 10:46 AM

Check out Marshall Rosenberg's book 'Nonviolent Communication', usually available in paperback at all the local book stores. It may help you figure out her underlying concerns. As a male, 52, seeing even svelte women my age walking the streets in abdomen-baring fashions turns my stomach. At our age having a fit body and covering it up is graceful, and grace will outlast good looks. That said, it is a free society, and if you like dressing as you do more than you want a good relationship with your daughter then proceed. Perhaps following Rosenberg's lead you may find a solution that meets everyone's needs. I hope you opt for grace.


 COMMENT 106036 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 10:47 AM

I need pictures.


 SHOREBIRD agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 11:24 AM

I don't blame her. How much fun could it be to vacation with a narcissist?

You think you're all that and a bag of chips.


 COMMENT 106048 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 11:29 AM

I can't help but think of the movie What Ever Happened to Baby Jane - sometime dressing young is not a good look.


 COMMENT 106055 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 12:13 PM

Sounds just about right,Roger.


 COMMENT 106065 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 12:39 PM

I'm a woman, fifty and fabulous. I'm toned and svelte and could wear super low cut jeans without muffin top....but I don't.

I wear well cut jeans that flatter my shape. I don't bear my midriff even though I could get a way with the look and you won't see me in a thong on the beach.

Just because you *can* wear it doesn't mean you should.


 COMMENT 106070 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 01:08 PM

Oh my.

This mom sounds so insecure! She "goes to the gym all the time", has had "work" (plastic surgery or botox?) done, tans a lot, wears revealing clothes, flaunts her looks and thinks her daughter is jealous? How sad.

Imagine how much better this would read if this mom does all of the above but "wears beautiful classy clothes", is known for involvement in all kinds of wonderful activities and interests, would never dream of competing with her own daughter but is obviously so proud of her and so encouraging... that would be a mom to be proud of.

It's not easy getting old - if it is done with grace it puts one way above the crowd...


 COMMENT 106072 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 01:19 PM

I'm 52, pleasantly plump, shaped like a Pear and my husband likes me this way, he pays the rent, not you lot on here and I wear what I damn well like...ok? Good. Now pass me the See's please.... and ya'all have a nice day.


 COMMENT 106075 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 01:29 PM

You go girl #106072!! "Fabulous" is an...well, you know...I didn't want to break Edhat comments policies. She is clearly trying to outdo her daughter in the sexy department, and then gets upset when her daughter calls her out on it. What a joke! I wouldn't want to hang out with her either. Just because you have the means to buy nice things, doesn't mean you have a sense of decorum. This is the dumbest post I think I've seen on Edhat...next to the Heidi Montag post the other day. Maybe the two of them should hang out together - they're cut from the same cloth!


 COMMENT 106084 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 02:24 PM

These letters are fake, right? I agree with Shorebird regardless.


 COMMENT 106120 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 06:16 PM

I also agree with Shorebird. And that the letters are fake.


 SHOREBIRD agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 06:19 PM

Shhhhh. Don't diss Edda.


 COMMENT 106122 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 06:22 PM

Well, maybe she doesn't know they are fake. ;)


 COMMENT 106123 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 06:26 PM

Shorebird is right. Edda knows ...


 COMMENT 106124 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 06:28 PM

So then....are they real answers to fake letters? Or fake answers. My head hurts.


 SHOREBIRD agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 06:34 PM

Native1, The answer is yes.


 COMMENT 106128 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 06:53 PM

Thaaat's what I thought.


 COMMENT 106151 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 08:17 PM

Sounds like an episode of Maury Povich - "Mothers Who Dress Sexy: Don't hate because you're jealous of my body!!"

Ladies, please be yourselves and be proud of who you are and the things you've accomplished. Posessing that attitude more than makes up for some pretty substantial physical flaws.


 COMMENT 106155P agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-18 09:52 PM

Shorebird, I love the bag of chips comment!

I had a friend growing up whose mom was "sexy" I know she was always embarassed by this. The mom always seemed like she was competing with her daughters. The mom couldn't face the fact she was getting old. Even at my friend's wedding her mother tried to upstage the bride by wearing a clinging white dress, with no bra and her nips showing. YUCK. I know everyone thought the mom made it through life on her back. She also had a great tan well as time went on she looked like an old hag. This was before the time of botox etc. She also died prematurely who knows why but her lifestyle did have something to do with it, smoking etc.

This mom has a lot of growing up to do and needs to get off the cruise ship on the river of denial.


 COMMENT 106158 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-19 06:01 AM

Middle-aged mothers who go out of their way to hang-on to their youth by how they dress and "have a little work done", and are more interested in their right to flaunt themselves than being sensitive to the feelings of their kids about it, can't have it both ways. Real attractiveness comes from within and how a person moves through their world, but unfortunately our culture focuses more on appearances than depth of character, and sadly many women still buy into this even when they're old enough to know better. It's very hard to age gracefully when someone is more interested in hanging-on to their youthful appearance, and unfortunately the resulting image that is often projected by this only really appeals to other like-minded people, and it never achieves the rewards that depth of character brings.


 COMMENT 106178 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-19 08:11 AM

Dress any damn way you please. You own your life. Your daughter owns her life. Changing who you are should not be something you do. If you feel comfortable wearing a thong going to a european style beach, more power to you. If your daughter feels comfortable wearing a one piece at the same beach more power to her. Because she is insecure doesn't mean you should be.

Age is a number.

Attitude is everything.


 COMMENT 106190 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-19 08:54 AM

THis whole conversation is silly. I need a beer.


 COMMENT 106221 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-19 09:57 AM

106178: Clearly you have a point, and it's very easy to judge such an easy-target issue when we don't have all the info. It sounds like you and mother may have similar issues by how you're so quick to label the daughter "insecure" when the same thing could just as easily be said about the mother. But regardless of the labels and arm-chair theories and opinions, certain image choices are going to attract a variety of responses, and if the mother doesn't like that she really can't complain. My guess is that she likes all of the attention, and it's probably why she brought edhat into this too. I wouldn't say that any mother who prioritizes her own rights in quite the way you put it would earn her a mother of the year award, but that's her choice and here we all are
just doing our best and coping...that's life, and life goes-on.


 COMMENT 106237 agree helpful negative off topic

2010-09-19 10:34 AM


You ought to reread that book -- talk of your stomach turning does not fit the category. Same of most of the other comments here.


22% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.


*** 3 comments were deleted from this thread by the Edhat Board Nanny for violating Edhat Comments Board policy. Click Here to see them.


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