I Love My Wife Because She’s Aging

older-woman-dry-skinBy James Stafford @ The Good Men Project

I’ve grown immune to the use of sex to sell products. I can’t tell you who the starlet of the week is. I’m immune to beer commercials and other “buy this product and have sex with hot hard bodies” advertisements.  What I find attractive has aged along with me.

I have no more interest in twenty-year-olds than they have in me. Flirty young waitresses just embarrass me, but you wouldn’t know that from commercials, movies, and television. According to pop culture, all I want is a girl gone wild.

And because pop culture insists on making every woman believe that she isn’t beautiful if she isn’t a twenty year-old size zero, and on making every man doubt his virility if he’s not chasing (and catching) supermodels, I decided to break the man code and tell you the truth about what I find attractive.

I love the gray in your hair, not only because it’s a beautiful color but because you are comfortable enough to be yourself. Okay, it makes me a bit more comfortable with the gray in my beard. Yeah, I admit it.

I love the wrinkles at the corners of your eyes and mouth. You’ve spent a lifetime smiling, which means you might give my nerdy jokes a mercy laugh.

I love that your jaw line has softened. You were always beautiful, but that young, angular face lacked gravitas.

I love your glasses, and not in a Van Halen “Hot for Teacher” sort of way.  Well, a little bit in a “Hot For Teacher” sort of way, but mostly because they say, “I’m getting older, too,” better than Stevie Nicks ever could.

I love your belly. It’s soft and womanly and without pretense. It’s a belly that loves life, not vanity. “It’s unfortunate what we find pleasing to the touch and pleasing to the eye is seldom the same,” Pulp Fiction’s Fabienne tells the Seagram’s Wine Coolers guy. Seldom doesn’t mean never. I’ll take curves any day.

I love that you don’t care what people think about what you read, watch, or listen to. Those facades we hauled around as younger people were exhausting.

I love that you let me adore you. I shouldn’t complain, but it’s hard sometimes to be a man. I’m not your boss, your competition, or your coworker. I’m not The Man trying to keep you down or put you in your place. I just want to open the door for you because it’s polite. I want to pick up the check, open the jars, hold your hand. There’s no gender politics at work. That you realize that says everything about your character.

We age — embrace it. Kindness, humor, confidence, and intelligence mean so much more than anti-gravity breasts, six-pack abs, and a heart-shaped behind.

Female beauty as portrayed in pop culture is timeless because there’s always another 20-year-old waiting for her big break, starving herself, living at the gym, surgically adding, removing, or shifting parts around. They are a visual lie, these pop culture goddesses — women but then again not.

Inevitably they aren’t real, but you are, and you are absolutely beautiful.

You may also be interested in reading How to Find the Girl of Your Dreams at The Good Men Project.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on July 22, 2013, in body image, feminism, men, relationships, sex and sexuality, women. Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Thank you for this wonderful post. When I read this I thought “Wow what an amazing thing to actually be telling his wife that her aging is actually beautiful and everything that comes with aging is beautifully natural” Now in today’s society everyone is obsessed with staying young and trying not to age one bit. So many women are made to think that wrinkle and lines are supposed to not be there and if they are that such and such beauty product will help take it away or make it less noticeable. What ever happened to being yourself and loving who you are? Well I say natural beauty is just that naturally aging developing wrinkles and lines and with that it makes a woman more beautiful because they are comfortable with who they are and what god intended them to look like .Sir you did an amazing job of that right here. Your wife must be an amazing woman and you seem to just love her for her natural self.

  2. Lovely. We need to hear and read a lot more of this….might relieve many women of their misery.

  3. Rohan 7 Things

    Wow, what a brilliant guest post! Fantastic, and really poignant 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!


  4. One’s life tale is told in the face – the smile lines, the crow’s feet, the wrinkled brows – all the laughter and tears throughout the years leave traces on our faces for everyone to share.

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