chapter  9
12 Pages

Alternative Women Adjusting to Ageing, or How to Stay Freaky at 50

WithSamantha Holland

This chapter focuses on how the participants compared their current appearance with their appearance when younger—and how this made them feel, if they still felt like alternative women. The Internet is a useful and welcome tool for them in that they can get in touch with old friends, share photos, memories of the past, and feel some kind of connection with their younger selves—the selves who had abundant subcultural capital, before they began to tone down. The responses of mothers had been mentioned in most of the previous interviews, despite the participants all being over 40, mothers were still cited as an area of tension around both appearance and lifestyle. The participants mostly exhibited anxieties about reaching a certain milestone age—predictably ages with a zero on the end were the most feared. Gender still plays a key part in prescribing behaviour, even though the women had rebelled against what was expected of them for most of the adult lives.