Do you remember how, when you were young, anyone over 20 seemed ancient? I remember looking at my father's friends and thinking they must be nearing retirement age and hoping they had a home (facility for the aged) picked out. And they were only in their late 30s at the time. Oddly enough I never viewed my father as old - not until just before his death when he started looking a little fragile.
All my teachers seemed old too. I was shocked when two of my female teachers got pregnant one after the other. Surely they were too old to have children. Didn't all your bits rot after the teen years?
By the time I was 15 being 20 was cool. My first boyfriend was 20 - he had deltoids and a six-pack stomach and three hairs on his chest. Impressive stuff. I look at the photos now and, while he was particularly well-built compared to the other 20-year-olds at the time, he was still skinny and weedy. His mid-20s was when he looked like he belonged in his skin. When he was 30 he'd lost the six-pack and other muscle definition but was still slim. I saw him again a few years ago when he was in his late 40s and he looked soft and rounded, passed his prime. I look around me and a lot of men follow a similar pattern. They look best in their bodies in their mid to late 20s.
But even with the body, they don't appeal to me. My tastes have changed. The skinny six-pack just looks like a kid who needs to get dressed and go back to school. Now I think hairy chests, bald heads and defined but not muscle-bound bodies look best - especially if the chest hair is salt-and-pepper.
I'm not even sure my tastes have changed because I've aged and become a little more realistic, or if I just like men closer to my own age. Maybe it's just that I couldn't stand for the man next to me to look better than I do. Can you seriously imagine a 40-something who avoids exercise and eats too much chocolate could possibly compare favourably (physically) to a 20-something who works out regularly? I suppose it would depend on who's looking.