A stylish grandmother has fiercely defended her fashion choice after online critics said her outfit was “inappropriate.”
On 18 October, Candice Cima, the 76-year-old New York state woman behind the “Life in my 70s” blog, shared a clip from her Amazon try-on haul, highlighting one maxi dress. The exercise enthusiast and former model, known for proudly showing off her trendy looks, danced around in a brown knit dress which came down to her mid-calves.
“It’s very comfortable. It’s nice-fitting. Now, it is body-hugging, so if you’re not interested in a body-hugging dress, this wouldn’t be the one for you,” Cima told her followers. “So although it is body hugging it has the weight to hang nicely.”
The video, posted to Cima’s other social media platforms as well, was met with a myriad of commentary, with an overwhelming majority hating on her choice of clothing.
“Not suitable for the arms after a certain age,” a harsh reviewer wrote, while another said: “Great color and style; however, you must wear the sweater over it. The dress is not attractive on you without the sweater over it.”
“No, it’s too young for you. No disrespect,” a blunt viewer proclaimed.
Meanwhile, an even more direct follower said: “No, older women should not wear form-fitting dresses like that. It shows off a sagging butt. Looser fitting would be much better. You’re very attractive but that dress is not for a sagging body or skin.”
Others told Cima she was better off covering up with the matching, baggy long-sleeve knit she had in her hand.
Amid the overwhelming amount of hate pouring into her comments section, supporters came to her defence. “All the jealous women on this thread are makin‘ me laugh! You have got this girl! without the top. Looks lovely,” a woman said.
Speaking with Today, Cima explained how this particular flood of judgements were unlike anything she’s gotten before. The confident woman with 11 grandchildren said she thought there would be internet sleuths with outlandish perspectives but didn’t think so many would flock to this specific post.
“It’s not the first time this has happened, but this one surprised me,” she told the outlet. “People have such outdated notions about age-appropriate fashion, and that needs to change.”
“I was not aware that many women believe that an older woman should not show her arms as she ages,” she told The Independent. “I actually had never heard that and since I have always worn sleeveless styles I thought nothing about posting these fashions on my sites. It was a shock to me when I learned that it was a “thing” with some women and started to get criticism for it. The criticism does not bother me at all as every woman should be proud of who she is and be comfortable with her style.”
With over 168,000 followers on Instagram, Cima has been working to grow her lifestyle and fashion blog since 2019. Her initial motivation was to promote older people’s fashion on social media after realising the lack of influencers advocating for women her age.
“I created my brand ‘Life in My 70’s,’ on IG, Facebook, TikTok, YouTube and Pinterest to try in some small way to change the dialogue related to aging,” Cima remarked. “I truly believe that aging is changing and it is nothing like it was for our Mothers and our Grandmothers. But some women still hold onto outdated ideas and beliefs about aging. If we can get a dialogue going about how aging has changed then we can give women a whole new way to look at themselves in their later years.