We’ve all seen her. The woman with grey hair, laugh lines, and a sense of self-possession that could rival the Queen. The woman who is so comfortable in her own skin that she takes up all the light in the room. She doesn’t fall into the beauty standards of our Western culture, she’s not young, she probably has cellulite, and she definitely doesn’t care what you think about her appearance.
And yet, every message on the market should diminish her beauty.
When did our society become so obsessed with being young?
And why is that the standard?
Because if someone offered me a time machine to my 18-year-old self, there isn’t enough money in the world that could get me in it.
Don’t get me wrong, I love that girl and all her fire. But she lacked more than just a sense of style, like a sense of self-worth, self-preservation, and common sense.
We have lost our appreciation for societies older generations. I’ve listened to women in my treatment room tell me that they feel as though they are disappearing in the eyes of society, that they are ignored and overlooked. Ageism in the workforce is very much a real issue and its effects on physical and mental health, decreased quality of life and premature death are tragic.
So when I learned about the Pro-aging movement I knew it was something I wanted to embrace in my own practice. The objective of the Pro-aging movement is not a rebrand of the same messages we’ve all been fed. The debate isn’t should we age, it’s how we choose to do it.
If you feel good with more Botox in your face than Joan Rivers, good for you. If you want your jowls to hang down to your knees, then let them. If you want pink hair and a neck tattoo, do it. The only standards aging should have is whether or not it makes you feel good in your skin. It’s about relinquishing the judgements we put on ourselves and others in the name of beauty and age.
In the beauty business, and especially in the skincare world, words like “anti-aging” and “youth cream” are synonymous with the industry itself. And honestly, the language is kind of dumb when you think about it. I mean, consider that the alternative to aging is… death?
In that context, yeah, I’m all about aging. Because in truth, aging is the most luxurious privilege we could ever hope to attain in this short and precious life.
The point is – you can age however you want.
What does aging “gracefully” mean to you? Does it look like a welcome acceptance of every wrinkle and dimple? Does it mean undergoing extensive plastic surgery to fight the pull of gravity? Is it something in-between?
The beauty of these questions is that we get to choose.