I also felt I should've been better at orgasms. Other people's perception is not my reality. In my 50s I trust my own 'yes' and my own 'no. In younger women, the skin is taut. But I'm sort of over all that now.
In my 20s I worried I wasn't smart enough, curvy enough, sexy enough to say 'yes' to all the things I wanted to try. I wore whatever was trendy, did what other girls my age did and really tried to be well liked. It's just how life works. Happiness rubs off on others! For awhile there, in my early 50s, it was hard for me to feel sexy. And most women don't at my age. I was scared to be seen. Sexiness exudes from my confidence, smile and acceptance of myself.
Realizing this allowed me to let go of so much anxiety about my sexuality because I no longer needed to worry about all the unknown variables that other people brought into the equation. We asked each woman to wear whatever makes them feel sexy, and to talk about what being sexy means to them now compared to when they were, say, 21. . In my 20s, I compared myself to others and the standards fashion and beauty magazines dictated. Today at 50, sexy is about my nurturing my inner beauty in addition to cultivating the outer beauty. It's a different version of beautiful.
I'm not frightened of being seen as sexy anymore, because sexy has gone from fear to empowerment and delight! Being sexy now in my 50s is a feeling. These things create an attraction which makes your inner beauty show as outer beauty. To me, sexy at 50 is peeling those shades back and blasting the light we all have. I'm so much stronger now. For me now, sexy is alluring and creative. I had a clear idea of what a sexy woman would do, say, look, and feel, and I spent so much of my energy trying to project that image to others. I was pretty sure I was getting a 'C-' in orgasms.
Romantic and sexual partners come and go. The journey in getting here shaped how I feel. It's looking in the mirror and liking what I see. At 50, I just don't have the time or energy for that nonsense. What a great way to spread happiness in the world! I was always taught that you could be a lady and 'sexy' with your clothes on.
You must have a feeling that says 'I like what I see and I'm doing great. I had no concept of my own power or sexuality. But I like long and flowing hair and, to me, it's sexy. In older women, the skin is the opposite of taut … and it has its own strength. Me feeling sexy is to please me and make me happy. I was sort of a 'neuter' and whatever feelings burned deep within had to stay there. Instead, I can now focus on what makes me feel happy, whole, and loving, and when I find other people who are attracted to these positive qualities, it leads to really fun and life-affirming experiences.
My standard attire was a flannel shirt, overalls and boots. All those silly things you worried about when you were young -- things related to looks -- are indeed just silly. I don't want to blend and fit in. Someone once told me that older women can't have long hair. It seemed as though sexuality was for others.
In my 20s, being sexy was dressing a certain way to attract the opposite sex and was about what I thought they thought was sexy. After turning 50 I felt much sexier than I did in my 20s. Now I've lost my husband and had cancer. I am approaching my 50s as a new journey in my life in which the four most important things to me now are to 'live, love, dance and have faith' into the next decade! That's a lot of pressure! What stays constant, though, is me, which means that my sexuality, my identity, and my sense of self-worth and belonging need to come from inside me first. With maturity comes confidence and the knowledge that our brain is our sexiest organ, not our body! I take it all as it comes, so to speak. She initially focused solely on old women, preferably in their 80s, even 90s, volunteers who don't come easy. A few are cancer survivors.
But now, in my 50s, I have a whole different perspective; namely, I don't feel like I need to act likable and sexy and desirable and free because I know that I already am all of those things. A few are single and a few are married. Ask a middle-aged woman, and she might say these slights have whittled away at her self-confidence, tricking her into believing the best years are behind her. Wheeeeee -- I'm free to be me!!! When a woman is empowered both spiritually and physically, is confident, and truly knows her self-worth and loves others around her, being and feeling sexy is easy! But now I know that sex is actually fun and that you shouldn't worry about all the minutiae of what you look like. At her light-filled South Philadelphia studio, she has larger-than-life blow-ups of her photos — never the face, but close-ups of different areas — shaped into 3D forms that accentuate a torso with a fold of skin, a pelvis with strands of short gray hair, the sag of a knee, a wrinkled belly that looks like the swirls of an ancient tree trunk. I am a wife, mother, grandmother and breast cancer survivor including a mastectomy.
The changes in your body hit you all of a sudden. No one but me dictates my sexiness. Not being fearful of exploring, I know I am perfectly imperfect, flaws and all. I was focused on academics and the rest of my time was filled with riding my horse and doing barn work. At first, Hellebrand envisioned frame-filling black-and-white studies of old women's bodies — building upon an earlier project that zoomed in on old women's eyes and mouths. Her current project exposes that most primal condition of the human existence: nakedness.