According to a recent online survey conducted in the UK, I have at least ten years before I will feel my most attractive. The majority of women surveyed chose 32 as their most beautiful age. A similar 2008 survey, published in The Times of India, suggested 34 was the sexiest age for women. These results were shocking to me.
I would have guessed women would feel most beautiful in their 20-somethings. Like 21 for example, before early-onset wrinkles warn of your fleeting youth. Or 25, before crows-feet begin to claw at the corners of your eyes. Or 29, before you need the slimming assistance of ‘spanx’ to suck your cellulite into your favourite pair of jeans.But, if these survey findings are accurate, I am thrilled. If women are indeed feeling most attractive in their 30s, this must indicate that physical appearance is only one factor in solving one’s ‘most desirable age’ equation. Hallelujah.
In search of more insight to help uncover the ultimate age of attractiveness, I sent out a group e-mail to a graduate student mailing list, of which I am a part. I asked the question “what was/will be your sexiest age, and why?”
The reflections on age and beauty came from a group of academic intellectuals–not a crowd typically associated with image-obsession. The responses were wonderful, and I’d like to share some of their thoughts.
One hot mama responded;
“I honestly feel I get sexier every year. The more comfortable and relaxed I am with me, the hotter I feel and the more attractive I am to great people. I make a big distinction between being/feeling sexy and “looking a certain way that gets men to make a trophy of me.” I’m 35. By the time I’m 50 I’ll be so hot I’ll have to keep my windows open just to stand myself.”
A similar response came from a slightly younger, but equally-confident male Master’s student;
“My sexual prowess has yet to climb its largest peaks. There should be no doubts about whether I will climax in my 40s. In fact, I expect equally invigorating and fantastic peaks throughout my 30s and 40s, analogous to a twenty-year expedition through the lofty Himalayas.”
By the sounds of these two exemplary replies, I will venture to say that ‘sexy’ is as much a state of mind as it is a physical quality. Attractiveness is about feeling secure with yourself, confident in your own skin, accepting of your so-called ‘flaws’, and feeling you know enough about the world and about other people to discern between beguiling bods and true beauty.
When will I feel most attractive? I imagine it will be somewhere between the age of cellu-sucking ‘spanks’ and pre-pregnancy granny-panties.