Women should not bow to society’s pressure to ‘grow old gracefully’, according to columnist and author Terry Prone.
On Lunchtime Live this afternoon, the Communications Clinic chairperson said societal pressures often dictate what women should and should not wear after they reach a certain age.
She was speaking after Dolly Parton made headlines over an outfit she wore during a performance at a Dallas Cowboys game in Arlington, US, last week.
The 77-year-old donned a cheerleader outfit, wearing white hotpants and a blue crop top, as she sang the hit song Jolene.
Ms Prone said some people on social media were "outraged" by the country-western singer's attire.
She said many people would have preferred the superstar to wear more age-appropriate clothing.
“Social media was outraged that this woman was 77 years of age and what was she thinking to be dressing up as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader,” said Ms Prone.
“[They asked] what was wrong with her that she didn’t go the proper old lady route?
“Beige is the colour for little old ladies. You wear beige trim sets and you get your hair-coloured beige because you don’t want to go fully blond.”
“You end up head to toe as a rich-tea biscuit colour,” she added.
Ms Prone said there is huge societal pressure to change your dress sense with age.
“I do not accept the various pressures that are applied to older people,” she said.
“The first big pressure is to become invisible. That is something that research indicates that women experience once they pass 60.
“Once you pass that age, they say people don’t look at you anymore, for some women that’s a gift but for others, it’s a grim experience.”
The communications guru said people are free to wear what they want as they age.
This includes makeup and clothing items that are perceived to be exclusively for the use of young people, according to Ms Prone.
“There is an assumption that if you, at 60 or 70, dress raucously in a way to be noticed – then you have a serious problem,” she said.
“Everybody says, and particularly young journalists say to me, would you not grow old gracefully?
“That means don’t disturb our stereotype, don’t get Botox or fillers, we would prefer you to be a traditional granny.”
Ms Prone added that women “shouldn’t lose heart” after turning a certain age and keep dressing how they wish.
Listen back now:
Main image: Dolly Parton performs during the halftime of a Dallas Cowboys game in Arlington wearing a cheerleader uniform, 22-11-2023. Credit: (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)