Things Women of an Arbitrary Age Should and Should Not Do

I keep seeing clickbait posts from various sources (that I won’t give the satisfaction of linking to) outlining all the things women (it’s always women) should and shouldn’t do, wear, and have after certain milestone ages like 25 or 30. It would seem one of the things we shouldn’t have is joy.

Apparently, women of a certain and arbitrary age shouldn’t wear cheap makeup, buy the clothes we like, decorate our homes to our own aesthetic, enjoy our own hobbies, or have any happiness left in our lives. All for the sake of being a proper adult.

Here’s the thing: shut up.

I’m 31 years old, and I wear cheap makeup because that’s what I can afford. I have concert posters hanging in my bedroom because it makes me happy to think about those events and the fun I had. They’re not even framed! I reserved framing for my own photography, which I also have hanging because it makes me think of the fun events I shot and a hobby that I love. I buy shotglasses as souvenirs because they’re cheap and small, which makes them easy to transport and display. I also have a handful of vinyl bobbleheads because they make me think of stories I like that bring me happiness, plus they’re cute. In short, I commit many of the clickbait taboos for someone my age, and I love it.

A picture of shelves displaying bobbleheads of Pennywise, Star Lord, Michaelangelo, Loki, and Groot.
Here’s a display of bobbleheads to demonstrate how little I care about being age appropriate.

Here’s my list of what people of any gender should and should not do at any age:

  • You SHOULD decorate your home in whatever way makes you happy.
  • You SHOULD NOT pass judgment on others for hanging the art they like, framing it or not framing it as they see fit, or anything else superficial about decor.
  • You SHOULD do whatever hobbies make you happy as long as you aren’t actively harming another living creature.
  • You SHOULD NOT judge anyone else’s hobbies.
  • You SHOULD wear clothes that you like and that make you happy within the boundaries of occasion appropriateness and work rules (it sucks, but those do exist).
  • You SHOULD NOT make rude comments or judgments about others’ wardrobe choices.
  • You SHOULD take care of yourself in the best way that you can, keeping in mind that this means different things for different people based on abilities, life situations, and priorities.
  • You SHOULD NOT assume that others’ priorities about their own health and happiness are the same as yours.
  • You SHOULD NOT apologize for your fashion choices, lifestyle, weight, gender identity, sexual preference, hobbies, health priorities, living situation, career choices, or anything else that is not harming others.
  • You SHOULD NOT expect others to apologize for or explain any of those things.

That’s it. I honestly don’t give a squirt if you want to play video games, wear $1 lipstick, decorate your place like the inside of Austin Powers’ jet, or rock the word “juicy” on your ass. Whatever makes you happy.

By [E] Liza

PhD student. Knitter. Brooklynite. Long-distance dog mom. Reluctant cat lady. Majestic unicorn whose hair changes color with the wind.

8 replies on “Things Women of an Arbitrary Age Should and Should Not Do”

I made an account just so I could comment on your article. You are a wonderful person and I love you for it. Be who you are, not what others want you to be. I love my collections of little figures on my desk, flags of countries that have people in them that I love, and a big display of video games and systems next to my huge bookcase of books.

I am who I want to be. Are you?

As you get older, the crap they push is practically evil: You should have traveled to the following places. You should own a pair of diamond earrings. You should no longer have any trauma from your past (they don’t exactly write it this way, but that’s what they are saying).

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