It's true, you do relax about things as you get older. Concerns that once consumed you tend to fall away or maybe they just finally wear you down and so you surrender or maybe it's acceptance. One area where I've relaxed is in my observations of bodies, especially women's and including my own.
I've always noticed other women's bodies because I've always noticed my own. I used to compare and wish and still sometimes do, but mostly now I just look and admire. I let myself naturally prefer and when I do I prefer so many. I appreciate or maybe it's still appraise, but positively, all body varieties. I see shapes, sizes, statures, surfaces. I make note and think thoughts about what I see. Most of the time these thoughts are benign even kind. For instance, I often say to myself, 'she looks great in her jeans'. All, and I mean all, bodies seem to always look good to my eyes in jeans. Jeans have always eluded me. I've spent many hours trying many jeans over many years. From the front is a no-brainer. Turing around has always been the deal-breaker. They are the Holy Grail of garments. So I always notice them. Always. Even today, even when I see myself differently in my own jeans.
Sometimes though, I (still) think thoughts of judgement, inward-outward, because this is how it works. I'm programmed to. We all are. Overriding old with new can take some time especially when swimming up-stream. But like I said, as I get older these thoughts that register, enter and exit like a cross-breeze through a room. Actually, they're more like a brisk slide show of images so familiar that the slightest line or texture or tone is all that's needed to know, to remember, to be enticed. I say images because my thoughts have, over the years, acquired a materiality all their own. This is part of the enticement. They manifest as my corporeality: in my embodiment, in my display, in my practices. My bodily reality becomes other people's bodily reality, even though it really isn't. This is how it works.
The distance between me and the thoughts, images that eventuate as such is growing greater. But I still can't look away all of the time. Staying with the theme of the visual, I liken my current state to my changing feelings about horror films. When I was younger I loved them. The more guts and gore the better. I could watch, even alone, without covering my eyes or losing sleep or insisting that the light be left on. Not anymore. I can no longer stomach it but this doesn't always stop me from watching through squinted eyes, wincing, wondering why I keep doing this to myself. There is definitely something horrific about what we women tell ourselves, do to ourselves, tell and do to other women...all for the sake of appearances.
But like I said, this, for me is changing, has changed, more towards others and a little towards myself, as I override old with new.