Please Stop Telling 30-Somethings What To Do (An Open Letter to Kallie Provencher at RantChic)

Today I read an article posted by a friend on Facebook. The article (and I use the term loosely, it was really more of a slideshow with a couple of fragmented mandates beneath each photo) was actually from late last year. I knew I had seen it before.

It was titled 24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30. It reminded me of another article I had seen posted on Facebook recently: 10 TV Shows Women Over 30 Need To Stop Watching.

Both made me equally nauseated, only worsened when I started looking into these  glad-handed slide shows to see they were both thrown together by the same person.

Kallie Provencher at RantChic.

24 Things Women Should Stop Wearing After Age 30 was the one that really got to me. In it, she says we should all stop wearing graphic t-shirts, and trade old sneakers for upscale tennis clogs. In fact, she even goes on to say that if we can’t afford nicer things, we should all be evaluating our lives as 30 year olds.

Tell us more about this magical world where money grows on trees and everyone stops having a personality of their own, Kallie.

It doesn’t stop there. This leading authority on what women over 30 should be doing and, in most cases, not doing, has also recently written:

20 Pictures Women Over 30 Need To Stop Posting

15 Status Updates Women Over 30 Need To Stop Posting On Social Media

10 Games Women Over 30 Need To Stop Playing

There may be more, but I couldn’t stand to go past there.

Because I decided to write her a letter.

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Dear Kallie Provencher at RantChic,

You’ve garnered quite a bit of viral-ability lately. In recent months, perhaps because my peers and I are for the most part in our 30s, I’ve seen your posts on RantChic shared again and again. And again. Except when it’s shared, it’s typically with a comment like “this article makes me so mad!”

It’s a shame that your popularity is growing because people despise what you say so much.

I’m writing today to open a dialogue with you. That dialogue is about how you seem to think you are the authority on how people over 30 should behave.

I don’t know much about you. I don’t even know if you’re over 30 (wouldn’t that be ironic). And while I could make several assumptions based on the articles you’ve written, I’ll stick to just one: you seem to hate women in their 30s.

Let me see if I can break down that assumption for you vis-à-vis the Kallie Provencher School of Blog Writing…

3 Signs That Kallie Provencher At RantChic Hates Women In Their 30s

Living life to its fullest, relishing in the things you enjoy, and sharing with those you love are things Kallie Provencher at RantChic hates. Therefore, women in their 30s should stop doing all of that and just die already.

#3 Kallie Provencher Wants You To Be More Mature

So much so that every article Kallie writes about things women in their 30s should stop doing already start with a few sentences about maturity. Bask in her sage wisdom. Women should be eating at more mature places, shopping at more mature stores, and acting more mature in their relationships.

Move over Forever 21, graphic t-shirts, and old tennis shoes, Kallie Provencher insists we all shop at Dress Barn and Lane Bryant, and wear nothing but nice, floral, below-the-knee pinafores until the day we die.

#2 Kallie Provencher Wants You To Stop Enjoying Life

Stop watching television shows you enjoy, like Dancing With the Stars and Days Of Our Lives. Days Of Our Lives may be a soap opera, and soap operas are usually reserved for older women; but it’s immature to take pleasure in gossipy kind of stuff like that.

And we all know how Kallie Provencher feels about immaturity.

If you must go on living after you turn 30, for the love of God – don’t enjoy it and share it with others. DO NOT share vacation photos, and NEVER talk about how proud you are of your clean house or your pregnant belly.

Kallie Provencher doesn’t care. About any of it.

#1 Kallie Provencher Wants You To Come To Terms With The Fact That 30 Is The End

A lot of people have a more positive outlook on life. Like people that enjoy their lives well into their 80s and 90s; people that hold onto their youth as long as possible; and pretty much the general population regardless of their age or gender.

Except, of course, for Kallie Provencher.

Kallie understands that you used to play games, but you’d better cut that shit out now. You’re getting older. Holding out for the right man, or setting your standards high and playing a little hard to get is something 20 year olds do. Better to settle and start being easy in hopes it will land you a man before you become a crazy cat lady. It’s time to act desperate here, ladies.

At this stage in the game, Kallie doesn’t want to hear about your new milestones. She doesn’t want to see photographs of your new tattoos. She has no interest in your glitter make up tutorials. She does not want to know the size of your unborn fetus. And the only vacation she actually wants to hear about is your final one, to the funeral home. Which will surely be soon, because life is over. You’re 30 now.

If you’ve done any of this stuff – shared a photo of a delicious meal you are proud to have made, talked about heading out for a much-needed pedicure, or God-forbid, have worn overalls, it’s time to reevaluate your entire life. The only thing you should be focusing on is doing nothing, sharing nothing, and destroying all evidence of your existence prior to this point.

Especially those comfy pajamas you bought at the Victoria’s Secret Pink store on your 29th birthday.

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Sounds terrible when you throw all of it into one place like that, doesn’t it?

I suppose we all shouldn’t be too surprised by the content of your articles and slideshows. Each one is titled negatively. What women in their 30s should stop doing, stop wearing, stop posting. Stop, stop, stop. That seems to be all you want to do, Kallie Provencher: to tell people to stop living.

Well I have a request of something I would like you to stop doing. If you are in your 30s, it’ll fit well – since you seem to believe that at 30 life ceases and some un-effusive robot with no personality or joy for anything takes your place.

Please stop telling 30-somethings what to do. Please stop judging 30-somethings for the way they are.

That’s what kids do.

Your ageist judgments, and grandiose assumptions of what life is supposed to be like as you grow older mean absolutely nothing to anyone but you. If you don’t want to wear glitter make up, short skirts, or old Converse; and you have no interest in catching The Bachelor every night it’s on – then don’t. That’s your choice, just as it’s your choice to post on your social media anything you’d like to post, or to (in your case) not post.

But telling others what to do, and suggesting they are making poor value judgments because they chose to live a certain way at a particular age doesn’t do anything but make you an asshole. In fact, since I’ve turned 30, that’s the most important thing I’ve learned.

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So I haven’t technically worn a bra since October…

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Ah, where to begin…

We went to Disneyland in October. I really hate Disneyland, and what I hate the most is that I have to wear regular clothing for a really long time. Like 9 in the morning until late at night.

That is just intolerable.

During the week (and on weekends and holidays), I typically stay in regular clothes no longer than a few hours. Eight, tops. And by “regular” I mean – like – jeans, sweaters, bras, shoes.

So back to Disneyland, we went in October. I was dressed all day and wearing a bra. It was really hot out that day – like 85 I think – and I was sweating for a while in the sun standing in line, and somehow that gave me a rash of some sort from the combination of the silky material of my bra and the sweat. All over my left side and back I had a gross heat rash for about a week. It was miserable and I absolutely could not wear a bra because it just made it worse.

As that week drew to a close, I realized something very striking: there is really, and truly, very little reason for me to even wear bras most of the time. I mean I do have sort-of big boobs (though when I say that to my bustier friends, they all laugh heartily at my 36Cs, which they often refer to as a drop in the booby bucket). In any event, they are big to me.

But I also wear those bra-ish tank tops most days, and I certainly don’t give a fuck about saggage and people seeing my nipples poking out through my shirt when I’m cold, and shit. Oh no – someone might sort-of witness a naturally occurring phenomenon that somehow became totally taboo and referred to as ‘cutting glass’ (because you can totally cut a piece of glass with a soft bit of pink flesh).

So I haven’t worn a regular bra since then.

That isn’t entirely true, though, on two counts: one is that thing I just said about the bra-ish tank tops (the ones with the bra-like insert in them); the other is that sometimes I’ll wear those nylon casual bras that have no padding or hooks or wires or anything – you just pull them over your head. Kind of like a sports bra only much looser.

I save those for fancy times, like when we go out.

The other day I came to realize this and as a result went immediately to my nearest Gap Outlet and bought more of those little nylon pull over the head things made of wonderful, which was the moment I realized that I may never wear a regular bra again. It’s just that I’m so much more comfortable now, and also just don’t care. I’m sure I eventually will, but damn do I feel free right now.

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And on the note of being freer, I’ve also noticed lately that I’ve shied away from wearing regular clothes, and wear yoga pants and stretch pants out to even do errands and (most recently) hang out at the in-law’s house. This is a big step for me, personally. I live in California – the land of judging and anorexia – so to be so lax in my physical appearance means that I’ve finally crossed over that bridge of insecurity into the land of truly not caring about what people think of me. In spite of how Judgy McJudgerson seemingly everyone in my immediate surroundings can be.

This is huge for me. Huge in a good way.

So I’m wearing my yogas and my lounge pants so much now that they are wearing out quicker, which gave me a reason to buy more than just those non-bra nylon bras this weekend. As I walked up to the checkout to pay for my nylon things, and my new stockpile of lounge clothes, the sales clerk started gushing about how comfortable the lounge clothes there are, and how she wanted so badly to wear them all the time. I smiled and nodded and muttered a …”you are so right… I wish I could wear them all the time too!! Because I totally don’t now. Not in the least bit…………..”

Right then.

As I walked out of there, and headed home, I wondered to myself if this is just another sign that I’m depressed; or that I’m unhealthy and not taking care of myself. I wondered if this is just a phase – where I’m just too busy to look cute.

But then I realized that none of this could be any further from the truth.

I take care of myself, quite well actually. I am active, I shower and put on makeup every, single day.

I eat healthy foods too. It’s been this way as long as I can remember, except for one thing: I didn’t have a healthy feeling about myself. I always felt uncomfortable in my clothes, and worried about what people would think of what I was wearing. How I looked.

Now I just don’t give a fuck. Don’t. Don’t give a fuck. I think this is healthier than anything else I could ever do for myself, which is why I love that I’m not wearing real bras or real clothes; plus who is to say what is ‘real’ anyway?

So I haven’t technically worn a bra since October. And I wear lounge clothes or pajamas all day, most days. My husband still loves me and I feel about a million times better about myself now than I have in years.

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