In 2015, the anti-aging skin care market generated over 2 Billion dollars in sales in the U.S alone. Does anyone know when it became so offensive to society to age? Why is it that men are considered to be more distinguished looking while women just turn into trolls? More importantly, why do WE as WOMEN seem to be the ones who do all the condemning? We are the judge and jury of our own gender, we are hard on others - we are harder on ourselves.
(photo: LifeCell South Beach Skin care)
A short while ago, a picture for my blog was posted on social media. I released it as a type of promotion I guess, a heads up to the blog I was working on. I didn't release it for feedback on my appearance, but feedback I sure did get - most of it was positive but a lot was not (and that was after some SERIOUS retouching for heavens sake!)
So many comments about my age, my face, my wrinkles, my plastic surgery, my botox, my fillers, my fat-ness, my thin-ness, the recent “re-designing” of my face (whaaaat??? I promise there has been no such re-designing). Guess who ALL the comments were from? WOMEN.... Mothers, Grandmothers, Sisters, Daughters…. so much criticism. What did they want me to do? Apologize for aging? Well here’s the funny thing about life, as hard as I try (and believe me I do) not to age - I do. It just keeps happening. I can compare myself to others, I can try every product and technique out there, I can make myself crazy with trying to look like the girl in the magazine - there will always be a company or person or MYSELF telling me I could look better.
What a weight we bear as women, never good enough - try harder. Try this product, maybe it can help you.
Every other commercial is full of the latest and greatest way to lose those wrinkles. Translation - you really look terrible with all those wrinkles. We are made to look at those wrinkles like looking at the glass half empty. What if we could change our thinking and look at the wrinkle glass as half full? What if the more wrinkles you had meant the more life you had lived? REALLY lived? Like badges on your face for every laugh, tear and emotion you had ever experienced. Congratulations, you win - you lived a life full of feelings.
I write this for myself as much as I write this for you, I am forever trying to turn back the clock on my face. As I was writing this something occurred to me… what if I’m not just trying to turn back the clock on my face? What if I’m trying to turn back the clock on life? What if every time I see a new wrinkle it really is just reminding me of that hour glass of youth? I don't want this for my daughter. I don’t want her to feel the pressure of it all.
I want us to be nicer to one another, build each other up rather than tear each other down. Are the same women who made comments about me aging being that hard on their own daughters? Teenagers are getting cosmetic surgery, fillers in their lips - I can't help but think what they will look like when they hit 40? What will all that have done to the shell of their face? Yes - I am a firm believer that when you look good you feel good but when is it too much? It's a slippery slope we jump on when we begin the process of trying to turn back the clock. As much as we fight it, we will all age eventually. That is if we are given the gift of time, to age - and that it is, a gift.
(My Mom holding my daughter at 5 months old... holding the hand of her Great-Nana on her hospital bed. My Nana had waited 5 great-grandsons to have a great-grandaughter. This was the first and only day they met, she passed away the following week. Her hands were aged, my daughters brand new - I like to think she was transferring all the wisdom of those hands into Ava's)
How do we age gracefully? We do the best we can, we put as much importance on it as is important to us - not the rest of society. Aging gracefully DOES NOT mean trying to look younger. It means holding our heads high, our confidence radiating (because you know you have more now than you did when you were 20), being comfortable in our own skin, our makeup (or not) applied how it makes us feel good, our hair done the way it gives US a kick in our step. You want to get botox? then get it. Your lips done? then do it. Your boobs done? You go girl. Whatever you do just make sure you're doing it for you, no one else. Aging gracefully will mean something different to each person, please don’t let it consume you - what others think of you that is. Stop looking at the girl in the magazine, she probably doesn't look like that in real life either.