I recently found a blog for women over 50. Said blog includes a 10-part series called “How Not To Look Old.” Also, More Magazine runs that crap all the time, and I’m appalled that we’re buying it. It’s like we’re still in junior high, reading Seventeen and slavishly following its mandates, afraid to show the slightest bit of independent thinking.
We’re so brainwashed to abhor age that our efforts to emulate children is accepted, expected, and admired. We demand it of ourselves and each other.
Oh, hell yes, unpuckered skin is beautiful, but I refuse to try to have it, or to lament that I don’t have it, or put some 18-year-old on a pedestal because she does have it. I also refuse to see myself as LESS because I have wrinkles, lines and crevasses. My belly looks like a road map of scars from life-saving surgeries. And I ain’t apologizin’.
My 85-yr-old mom is wrinkled and her spine is bent, but she attends exercise class three times a week, drives herself all over town, enjoys lunch and movies with a large group of girlfriends, and is still hungry to learn, grow and evolve. All of these women are old, and they’re successful at being old. They’re courageous and enthusiastic, in spite of the physical and mental pain that old age layers on. Yet when they go to the store they see the magazine stands plastered with headlines about how much we desperately do NOT want to look like them! Is that the news? Is that what matters?
I’ll tell you what matters: I recently had a scare. I thought I had a form of cancer (I don’t) that killed 2 of my aunts. One of them was 60 when she died. I’m 56, and after that experience, I don’t really care if I LOOK old – I’ll just be darned glad to GET old.