Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Women of a Certain Age: Let's Age Gracefully.

Have you noticed how gracefully-aging women, the type of women that are interesting and inspiring, are hard to find on TV, social media and, surprisingly enough, in life as well?

I, personally, feel very disappointed when women my age want to look like teenagers. 

Lynsay Sands said on aging,

"Your face is marked with lines of life, put there by love and laughter, suffering and tears. It's beautiful."

Audrey Hepburn said, 

"The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It's the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows and the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years."

I think that trying to look good, wearing make up and stylish clothes are things that, us women, like and enjoy, no matter our age. In fact, I love it, just take a look at the beauty & fashion section of this blog!

My "red flag alert" starts to beep when I hear words such as Botox, face lift surgery, and fillings in women my age. Is this desire of eternal youth taking us anywhere favorable? Are we contributing, in any way, to the younger generations? Are we empowering women? I don't think so. We are so much more than "ironed" faces or tucked abdomens.

Don't get me wrong. I completely respect your right to choose what to do with your own face and body. What I wouldn't want to happen is for women to do it as a response to other people's expectations, to feel like they should go through these procedures in order to be accepted by who knows who. 

I feel like my fine lines (turning into wrinkles as we speak) remind me of what I've gone through in my life. They show that I have lived and (hopefully) learned. I would never want to get rid of them, this would be like erasing part of my memory. I am proud of being 43. This means that I have gained wisdom and life experiences that make me who I am today. 

There's too much value assigned to the "shell", the looks. In many cases, what we look like has become more important than how we feel. A woman's look, through history, has become so overvalued that women, younger than me, are willing to go through physical pain, modify their faces, and risk damaging their bodies, permanently, in order to be perceived as younger, which in their minds is a synonym for looking good.

Looking like a young girl should not be our goal. We should be teaching by example and serve as a role model. 

This is why I feel sad and disappointed when women my age, and older, want to mimic younger girls.  We should appreciate our inner wisdom and focus on guiding them by being a good role model for them, not imitate them!

We should be empowering our young girls and each other and teaching by example. Let's not look like clones. Don't erase what makes you the person that you are today. Embrace your fine lines and wrinkles.

Younger girls are watching us. They desperately need good role models, a guide to let them know that it's OK to be 43 and look like 43. It's nice to be 60 and look like a 60 year old woman. It really is, because we have clarity in our hearts and know that our self worth doesn't reside in having the skin unwrinkled.

What we should strive for is to nurture a healthy mind and body, a balanced and kind soul, and learn from our life experiences so that when we are even older, we can wear our aged looks like badges of honor, letting our grand kids know what really matters in life.

The whole point of aging is to gain wisdom from every stage of life. Let's enjoy this gift, this luxury of having the chance to live a longer life. Let's not erase this by trying to look like our daughters. They look up to us. They need to be contained by us, trusting that many good things come with aging. We should be preoccupied with showing them what really matters, the life experiences and wisdom that can only be gained with age.

Enough ranting for now! What do you think? How do you feel about aging?

P.S. How to build resilience and Don't Sweat the small stuff 

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