PAGE 3 legend Linda Lusardi looked sensational in an itsy-bitsy silver bikini three decades after she first wore it in 1988. Linda, 60, donned the two-piece on the cover of Best magazine after digging it out of her attic.
She said: “It looked like a handkerchief – it was so small, but I got in it!” She added: “We can be our own worst enemies. We look in the mirror and only see bad things.”
Here, Lynsey Clarke meets three readers who took our challenge to try on their favourite swimsuit look from 30 years ago . . .
'Women our age want to feel sexy'
VANESSA POWELL, from Coulsdon in South London, slipped into a cozzie like hers from 1989. The office worker – married to businessman Stacy and mum to Jessica, 16, and Violet, 13 – says:
'I had a favourite pink costume when I was 20. Just like today, fluorescent colours were in fashion. It was hot-pink and always got noticed.
I was a size eight and loved how it showed off my shoulders and bottom. It symbolised the fun and freedom of my early twenties. I went up to a size 14 over my pregnancies. But it never put me off wearing bikinis or costumes.
I do some modelling now – in catalogues, at bridal fairs and at fashion shows. Casting agents seem to like that I am a size 12 to 14 and that I can help sell to women in their forties, fifties or sixties. Women our age want to look and feel sexy.
I still wear bikinis on holiday. Yes, I have wobbly bits, my breasts are slightly bigger and my hips are wider. But posing in this brought back memories of holidaying in Spain in 1989, dancing to Madonna’s Like A Prayer and flirting with boys.
It’s a chance to celebrate what your body has let you do. It doesn’t matter if you need a size up or a top with extra support but that you have the confidence to do it and remember the history that made you the person you are today.'
'I look goof for myself, not for men'
SUSIE SILVEY, is wearing the exact same sequined bikini she wore more than 30 years ago. The single mother of one, from Dollis Hill in North West London, is a reiki and transformational therapist. She says:
'Last year I went to a fancy beach club in Marbella with my 28-year-old daughter and I wore a similar sequined one from my twenties.
At first, I thought: “My daughter should be wearing this.” But people were looking at me – and I realised it’s because I looked good. When I first wore this, I was about the same size as I am now – an eight or ten.
But I worried so much about what others thought. It gave me anxiety. I used to worry: “Have I got the right lipstick on? The right clothes? Do my legs, my boobs, my face look OK?”
I was an actress so people thought I was confident. But it was a facade. I wanted to look good for men. When you get to 60, you don’t think about that any more. I want to look good for me. I’m not trying to impress anyone. If a man wants to talk to me, that’s a bonus.
People say that when you are older, you don’t get as much attention from men. But I’ve never found that. I have wonderful friends, enjoy running, swimming and yoga, have a great social life and date occasionally. I’m very happy with life in my sixties.
You have a life of experiences so you are an interesting person. It’s good to see women in their sixties looking great and feeling confident. The actress Jane Seymour looked incredible in a swimsuit recently and she’s 68. Age is just a number.'
'I am more confident than ever'
CIM ASHTON, a single mother of three from Cardiff, says she feels better now in a bikini than ever. The property developer is wearing a little black number similar to one she wore in her twenties. Cim says:
'You’re never too old to look good. I feel more body- confident now than ever. I feel very sexy at my age.
I know my body looks good for 59. My waist and legs are my best assets.
I wear a bikini as often as I can. I would never wear an all-in-one. How would I tan my belly?
In the old photo, I was a size six and very skinny. I was modelling at the time but I didn’t feel as comfortable about my body as I do now.
No matter what I ate, I never put on weight. I’d been teased at school for being skinny. They called me Twiggy.
I wished for curves and to look more womanly. After I had children in my thirties, I started to put on weight, ended up a size 14 and wasn’t happy.
So I made an effort to exercise. Once I started moving about more, I lost a bit of weight.
Now I’m a size ten and weigh around 8.5st. I have lots of friends to go hill walking, cycling and power walking with. I’m also active with things like painting and decorating and gardening.
I haven’t got a partner but I’m very happy. I don’t need a man to feel good about myself. I do already.
It’s fantastic to have people like Linda as role models for women my age. She’s proof that once you’re a bit older, you can still have it all – a career, look good and feel good. She is an inspiration for a lot of women.'
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