This is what 40 looks like #sinfulsunday

I don’t do pictures very often any more, crikey I don’t do words that much at the moment,  but Molly’s post about age got me thinking this week.  I saw a little of the conversation that sparked her post and I know both the participants.  They are both a good 12 years my junior.  I am 40.  This is what it looks like: A little bit tired, with stubbly legs and a painful knee.

My body is softer and less flexible than it was at 23 but then I’m not dancing full time any more.  My body is rounder than it was at 35 but since then I’ve had a baby.  My knee hurts because of the years of dancing but my arms are still strong because of the years carrying scuba cylinders.

I’m sure that anyone banging on about older mums that are an embarrassment to their kids would, if I challenged them with the truth that I’m an older mum, assure me that they didn’t mean me, but my age isn’t something I can deny.  If you’re talking about “older mums” that’s me.  You didn’t mean me because I don’t look like your stereotype.  Who does?

I’m incredibly lucky to have the genetic good fortune to have a body that suits what our culture deems acceptable and to look younger than my years.  I get that. I’m lucky that I chose an active life and that my body accommodated those choices, doing the many strenuous and stressful things I’ve asked of it without too much accident or injury.  I like my body, but what I like more is my age.

What I have as well as sun damage, wrinkles, aches and pains – all of which I expect to get much worse in the coming years; is experience.

The 22 years of my adult life have been well lived and are full of experiences, good and bad, that have enriched me.  So you can keep youth and smooth skin, along with your angst and struggle for self-awareness and identity and I’ll keep my 40 years and look forward to at least another 40 more.

This is what 40 looks like.

This is my contribution to Molly’s Sinful Sunday photo meme, click below to see who else is joining in.


Sinful Sunday

Thanks for reading,

Ruby x

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24 Responses to This is what 40 looks like #sinfulsunday

  1. Carina Benjamin June 30, 2013 at 8:56 pm #

    Such a stunning photo-incredibly striking.

  2. Travelnurse June 30, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    Awesome post, Wonderful Picture. You can be so proud!

  3. Rachel Kincaid (@RachelKincaid4) June 30, 2013 at 8:57 pm #

    Beautiful, it shines through. Thank you for sharing.

    Rachel x

  4. Harper Eliot June 30, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    Wonderful, true, honest words… and the photograph is truly breathtaking. I am speechless.

  5. shadowedseductress June 30, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    Your honesty is admirable and I can’t help but think that 40 doesn’t look bad.

  6. Stella June 30, 2013 at 9:51 pm #

    40 looks beautiful. My favorite photo this week. You should be very proud of your 40.

  7. msbunnywhite June 30, 2013 at 10:46 pm #

    Lovely picture. I’m 11 years your junior and I already look considerably rougher than that. We have quite similar body types but you don’t have all the huge scars I have.

    Simply stunning image. What I wouldn’t give to look that good in a decade!

  8. Molly June 30, 2013 at 11:11 pm #

    WOW! Seriously breath-taking. You look so beautiful Ruby. Thank you so much for joining in with Sinful Sunday and more importantly for posting this image and mentioning my piece about age. I have to say that despite my determination to enjoy my body and be proud of it I am envious of yours and admit that I wished my 40 looked like your 40.

    This is without doubt the most stunning portrait of a women I have seen in a very long time and is even more beautiful because this woman is my friend


  9. Bad Kitty Erotica June 30, 2013 at 11:59 pm #

    A delightful picture on so many levels to accompany an insightful and grounded post. A fantastic looking 40 if I may say so.

  10. John July 1, 2013 at 12:23 am #

    Wonderfully honest photograph. :)

  11. Beck (@beck42069) July 1, 2013 at 12:23 am #

    Well, 40 looks fantastic! Really great shot.

  12. Stranded July 1, 2013 at 2:29 am #

    I see the bandage on your knee and I feel that pain (in my ankles since I turned 40 a few years back)…I passed 40 a few years back (and btw, 42 is better) with little fanfare. It is what we make it, not what anyone else tells us it is.


  13. KaziG July 1, 2013 at 3:01 am #

    Beautiful! we older ladies have nothing to be ashamed of :)

    ~Kazi xxx

  14. Scarlett July 1, 2013 at 4:49 am #


  15. Evoë Thorne July 1, 2013 at 4:50 am #


  16. modestyablaze July 1, 2013 at 7:14 am #

    This is such a beautifully naked image. And by “naked” I don’t just mean, without clothing. The pose, the tone, the suitcase, the knee bandage . . . it’s all so beautiful and so compelling. And your words just compliment the image so well. Lovely . . . I keep scrolling back looking and looking.
    Xxx – K

  17. everay2013 July 1, 2013 at 8:11 am #

    As for me I’m 11 years older than you but love my body more than ever. You clearly love yours with its fragility, its imperfections, its beauty too – the body that is a canvas of your living and loving. This picture is so wonderful, so rich in meaning, that words are superfluous. So I’ll shut up.

  18. fridayam July 1, 2013 at 4:52 pm #

    This is simply a gorgeous photo :) A delight. x

  19. Andy July 2, 2013 at 11:31 am #

    That is a superb picture. Your poise shines through and you look much better at 40 than I do at 42!

  20. cammiesonthefloor July 3, 2013 at 3:21 am #

    I loved, truly and deeply, both the photos with its stark reality, and the words.

  21. Jade (@piecesofjade) July 3, 2013 at 6:31 am #

    You are beautiful, at any age…not just your skin, either. Such a lovely post.

  22. Chintz Curtain (@ChintzCurtain) July 5, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    What a wonderful post and picture, Ruby. Such eloquent words and a stunning, stunning picture. Jane xxx

  23. keithrlau July 16, 2013 at 10:41 pm #

    40 is looking pretty damn good.

  24. Hannah Wing October 19, 2013 at 2:04 am #

    This is so beautiful. I’ll be lucky if I look this good at 40. Thanks for posting!


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