I hereby announce the official launch of the ‘Campaign for the Freedom of Bingo Wings’. Of course we need a catchy slogan . . . something like ‘Flap your bingo wings and fly away’? Seriously though, with the advent of global warming I think the world should get ready for older women becoming increasingly ‘cool’. Why should we suffer in the summer just because other people don’t like what they see? If the fashion industry continues to produce the most colourful and attractive tops without sleeves, why shouldn’t we wear them? There is no reason why older women should be made to feel that their ample underarms are not acceptable other than that other people – other younger people – don’t like them. Tough! Perhaps bingo wings are too powerful a reminder of what awaits the young. But think about it. They’re not doing any harm. They’re not contagious. So why should we feel ashamed or embarrassed? The problem lies with the beholder, not us. And it’s so sexist!
As Katherine Whitehorn wrote in The Guardian (06.07.06) under the title Old Age Exposed: ‘ . . . in Italy, a few years ago, some eccentric man suggested that older women should be banned from going topless on the beach, on the grounds that they looked awful – what he got, as I recall, was the appropriate response from women that men with pot bellies should not appear, on the beach or anywhere else, ever, in swimming trunks.’
So flout your bingo wings – or whatever you fancy – with pride.
Drawing by Maggie Guillon