aging

 

Firstly, let me clarify that this rant is an opinion piece all about me, my personal experience with aging and how I forsee myself dealing with it in the future.  This is not a judgement on anyone else, their decisions, actions or opinions.  It’s all about me, me, me.   I will also preface this by acknowledging that I’m currently 38, some of you maybe older, some younger, but I can only speak from where I am now and my journey in getting here.

But enough about me, let’s talk about me…

Where do I begin?  Well, I’ll start by saying that I’ve removed ‘anti-aging’ from my vocabulary (and blog), because what the f*ck is wrong with aging? (Also I hate how the word is spelled, with or without the ‘e’, they both look wrong, it annoys me).  Amazing skin care expert, Caroline Hirons, shares this sentiment (not about the spelling), and is so eloquently quoted as saying,  “Aging is a privilege not everyone gets”.  Amen!  There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting older and looking the age you are, whatever it might be.  Sure, I find it flattering when people think I’m younger, but I’m not ashamed or scared of looking 38 either.  It’s my age, it’s OK, and I love it.  I’d much rather keep having birthdays and aging, than not.

Also, the phrase ‘she looks good…for her age‘, shits me to tears.  Yes, I’ve said it many times before, but when I stop to think about it now, it’s a bit double edged.  Can’t a woman just look good, without a list of conditions?

Everyone is going to age differently due to so many variables.  Genetics is a big one, and something I am very thankful for – except for the varicose veins, chooky neck and bad knees.  It’s the reason why there are women who can abuse themselves with alcohol, cigarettes and the sun, and still not get a wrinkle or age spot.  Or conversely, why other women can spend a fortune on treatments and skin care, stay out of the sun and only eat organic, but still look like a Shar Pei puppy.  It’s genetics people!  Something we can’t change, so accept, embrace, thank your parents for your good bits, and move on.

Although you could change, you know, with surgery or cosmetic procedures, but this rant is about me, and that’s not something I am choosing to do.  I have had a varicose vein removed and my spider veins injected, so I am not completely above a bit of work, but I am not considering any facial or body augmentation in the near or distant future.  Since becoming a mother, a lot of things have changed for me as far as beauty goes.  I wear far less makeup, I rarely do my hair, but I also don’t analyse my changing face the way I used to, even though it has changed more in the last two years than it has in the past twenty.  I’ve reached a level of acceptance that makes all these new ‘signs of aging’, trivial and meaningless to me.  I often go sans makeup to the shop or to lunch and feel almost as confident as when I’m wearing a full face.  Makeup for me now, is less about camouflage or necessity and more about creativity or accessorising an outfit.  I love the process of application far more than the finished product.  The joy, for me, is in the technique, which is why I like working on other people.

But I digress…

Back to ‘work’.  Another reason why I don’t want to get anything ‘done’, is that I like to be able take credit for my good bits when I’m paid a compliment.  I don’t want to have to turn around and say, “Well, actually…”, which is exactly what I would do.  I couldn’t hide it or be deceiving, I know that already.  One night I chose to accessorise with a very eye catching cleavage.  I stuffed my already padded bra with some chicken fillets and showed my new endowment off with sly confidence.  Everything was great until the woman I was speaking drunk with expressed depressing envy over my bouncy chest.  I had to come clean, and right there at the table I did.  “No, no, no.  It’s all fake, see?”, and proceeded to pull out the contents of my bra and let her see the real me.  We embraced, tequila, embraced, champagne, embraced, fell down.   The truth had, literally, set us free.  I’m not afraid to own up to my shortcomings, but when I’m praised for something that is truly me, then I want to ‘own’ it.  Sure my hair colour is fake, my tan (when I have one) is fake, makeup, for slap’s sake, is super fake and I’m happy to admit it.  The smooth skin around my eyes, my high cheekbones, and full lips, however, are all mine, and I enjoy taking credit for stuff I know other people go under the knife to achieve.  Not that I worked hard for them, again, I have genetics to thank…and maybe an obsession with eye cream.

Being a mum to two little girls also makes me hesitate in taking such drastic measures for the sake of vanity.  I have been very unkind to myself over the years, especially as a teenager, dealing with unnecessary low self esteem and self worth.  I don’t want my daughters to think of themselves in the same negative way that I did, so I’m being very careful to set them a positive example.  I’m fine now though, and it’s the thought of their wellbeing that keeps me conscious of the kind of role model I am presenting.  I want to represent the type of woman I hope they will want to be, not one who complains about her aging face and body or obsesses over her appearance.   I want them to be women of intellect and substance first, and enjoy their beauty as a lovely compliment to their wit and sense of humour.  I do however, want them to look after their skin.

The condition of the skin is what can keep us away from the needles and knives, and make us feel like a million bucks.

The skin is where it’s at for me.  If a woman, of any age, has glowing, hydrated skin, then she radiates health and beauty.  This is what I aim for when choosing skin care and complexion products and the benchmark for what I choose to review on this blog (I only share the good stuff here).   You can have a face full of wrinkles, but if your skin is plump and radiant – and you’re a lovely person – then nobody gives a shit.  Conversely, you could go and Botox the hell out of them, but if your skin is unloved and lifeless – or you’re a nasty bitch – then no amount of muscle paralysis is going to make you beautiful.  I would much rather spend my money on nourishing my body’s largest organ with luxurious organic skin care products, than fill it full of quick fix poison…for the rest of my life.  Again, this is my opinion about my face, so stop yelling.

This post is going the way of many of my opinion pieces and I’m about to write a whole book.  So I might need to make this a two, maybe three, part series and sign off now, unless of course you want to hear no more about it, in which case let me know by leaving a comment.  Also, if you want to have your say on this delicate, debatable and highly personal topic, then please continue the discussion with your comments.  This is a positive, supportive and friendly space, so only constructive input will be accepted.

Thank you again for taking the time to read my ramblings.  I hope they inspire you to show kindness to yourself and others.

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