Another phrase I hate

In an article about the average BMI for Italian women dropping, counter to the trend seen in the US and UK, there was this gem of nasty little snark by Pietro Migliaccio, head of the Italian Society of Food Sciences, who says that now he can’t tell the difference between a 30-year-old and a 45-year-old or between a 40-year-old and a 65-year-old in the streets of Rome or Milan

“If you look at Scandinavian, German or Ukrainian women, they’re magnificent when they’re 18-20 years old but after that they let themselves go and by the time they’re 35 they’re already flabby,”

“Let themselves go” is one of those shitty little sayings about women that is used to imply that certain women (who no longer perform certain behaviours, or never did in the frist place) are not good enough and don’t meet the ridiculous standards laid down by society about how women should look. I hate the phrase “let themselves go”; it’s used purely to shame and guilt women, and I’m not having any of that, thanks.


  1. QoT says:

    And of course the most egregious fucking thing is that men can “let themselves go” in terms of giving up grooming/physical training/keeping up with fashion/ignoring body hair – and it’s not only ignored, it’s even perceived as the dignified, respected-older-guy thing to do. (Most recent example: Just For Men “Touch of Grey” hair dye, for men who don’t want to cover up all their Dignified Wisdom-Indicating grey hair.)

    • steph says:

      Yeah, exactly. Growing old gracefully, etc etc. Sexy older men, silver foxes, getting better with age, blah blah blah. Women have to fight it til their graves. Never ever let anyone know you’re getting older! 29 forever!

  2. stef says:

    It’s odd that I feel a lot more confident in my skin now than I did 10 years ago, but it has taken a lot of emotional work to get to the point where I don’t care if people think I’m hideous and it won’t stop me doing what I want to do.

    • steph says:

      I hate that rather than focusing on helping people to feel good about natural changes that happen with age, there’s this attitude that we have to fight them tooth and claw until our dying days. I love hearing about people who are fighting that stupid attitude!

  3. Boganette says:

    Yep. Rage.

    What a load of shit. If a woman thinks for even a second that she should be comfortable in her own skin then she’s letting herself go.

    • steph says:

      Also related to that is the idea that if you just exist in your body as it is naturally, you’re not doing it right. You know, you’re supposed to primp, preen, remove hair, use makeup to create a certain aesthetic, etc, and women who choose not to do those things are made to feel abnormal and like they’re squandering their potential. Fuck that.