How I Embrace The Evolution Of My Attractiveness

A simple exercise to gain perspective on the changes that come with aging.

Ija Mei
Atta Girl
Published in
7 min readFeb 11, 2021


Photo by Tamara Bellis on Unsplash

The years between 29 and 39 are a strange time for a woman.

At an early age, we’re handed an awesome social power. I was tempted to say this happens at age 15 to make the idea more palatable to readers, but let’s face it, it happened at 12 for me and probably for many other women.

Suddenly, without asking for it, we gain power over men — not over all men, of course, but over all kinds of men. Their eyes follow us, they pick us out for special favors, they treat us nice when they don’t need to. Sometimes it comes in handy, but mostly, for me, its consequences were uncomfortable and unwelcome. Attention from older men is disconcerting for an adolescent girl who mostly just wants to disappear.

The attention never felt much like a compliment — how could it when I didn’t need to do anything special to impress these men? They simply saw a body, and wanted it. It really had nothing to do with me.

Still, even from that very early age, I feared losing my new power. Even if it made me uncomfortable, wasn’t it better to have it than not have it?

By my late 20s, I learned how to wield the power a little less awkwardly. I learned how to shed unwanted attention and to amplify the sliver of attention I desired.

Then, somewhere in my 30s, I hit a sweet spot. I’m happier with the overall quality of the men I attract. I see my wrinkles as a fine mesh that keeps the real assholes out (here, “real assholes” = men who think they’re entitled to only the hottest, youngest bodies).

When you’re a young attractive woman, bad men are just as nice to you as good men — it’s hard to tell them apart.

When you’re in your 30s and beyond, the really bad men are less attracted to you, and therefore, less nice. It makes it easier to avoid them. That’s a gift.

I also enjoy having to work a little bit for the attention I want — don’t we all value things we have to work for?

Still, aging can feel like a loss. Society tells us that to be young and desireable is the height of accomplishment for women. When…



Ija Mei
Atta Girl

Watch this space for stories about nomadic living and single motherhood by choice.