The Beauty in Aging

It was my birthday recently and a lot of the comments were, “so you’re 25 again”, or ” how does it feel to never age”. While I love all the comments and, let’s get real, what woman doesn’t like being told she looks great for her age. It got me to thinking about the aversion we have as a society to growing old.

Botox is at an all time high. Every ad to women is selling them the dream of keeping their youth. Telling us to fear the wrinkles, the age spots, the grey hair, even the attitude and demeanor of someone who has experience or age.

It’s similar but slightly less intense for men. Men are considered ruggedly handsome by their wrinkles and distinguished by greying hair. This doesn’t meant their immune to the ‘don’t age’ discourse. You ever notice how many male enhancement drugs and remedies you see inadvertently every day?

Advertisers push men to not go bald, don’t let your pecs sag, and keep the ‘right’ amount of grey to be distinguished but not old. Can’t get an erection on a whim, let’s fix that. Oh, and that knowledge and experience you have, let’s keep talk of that to a minimum because talk of stocks, mutual funds, and long term sustainability is boring. “YOLO, man.”

Ok, I’m not saying taking care of yourself and living in the moment is a bad thing, but we’re losing the beauty, respect, and dignity we should be reveling in as we age. We spend so much time attempting to be something we’re not from listening to all these ads telling us we’re not good enough so we buy more of their miracle product.

Yes, take care of skin and try and prevent damage, but for health, not to reach some ideal of looking like a 25 year old when you’re 50. Wrinkles mean you’ve laughed, lived and enjoyed life. Why try and cover that and be something that someone else deems ‘appropriate’.

I remember being 16 and terrified of going out in the sun. My grandma taught me young that wrinkles we bad and I was using eye cream by the time I was 17. I hid from the sun like a vampire. I didn’t go to beach parties or other events for fear of promoting wrinkles. This lasted too long, but eventually I realized I wasn’t living life but a slave to not looking older.

I still protect my skin, wear sunscreen and use a hat to shade myself as much as possible, but I don’t let it dictate what I will or won’t do. I decided living my life was more important that being some barbie doll in a plastic box.

Color your hair if you like, but don’t buy into feeling like you have to. You’re beautiful with grey hair no matter what hollywood try’s to sell you.  If you like coloring your hair great, but do it because you like it and not because you’re trying to fit into some mold that says you shouldn’t have grey hairs at your age. Who cares.

I’m surprised I don’t have grey hairs yet, but I will love the day when I do. I think grey hair is beautiful and I look forwards to having many of them. Grey hair is merely a result of low copper levels that slowly diminish they hairs natural melanin that colors it. Big deal.

Grey hairs are one mark that you’ve experienced a lot. You have a lot of  knowledge to pass onto younger non-greying generations. Shouldn’t that be celebrated and respected? Which brings my to my last point about embracing the knowledge and experience you have.

Let’s stop trying to live and act like were 25 with the YOLO mentality. It’s true you should live like there’s no tomorrow and I’m the strongest supporter of that, but when we do it because society tells us we should rather than because we have a strong desire to we lose the truth that is us taking us away from true happiness.

Embrace your experiences, knowledge, and personality. You are beautiful just as you are. When you do that some people might not like you and that’s ok because you will find that others, still, will like you more. Not only that but you will love yourself more.

Live YOUR life, your dreams, and your passions, and if you get a few grey hairs and wrinkles along the way love them for the memories they gave you. I had a wonderful birthday with the best of friends, many laughs and great surprises and I look forward to many more to come.



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