Foundations that blur our “imperfections”. Serums that give our skin the perfect glow. Filters that take years off of every posted photo.
It’s hard to let go of the youthful appearance we want to present to the world.
As our hair goes grey and our wrinkles settle in, we struggle to allow the world to see the new, if only evolving, us. This explains our relationship with the beauty products we love to hate, despite their popularity ─ hair dye and fillers, for example. But all of this goes far beyond attempts to hang on to our youth.
But, as we age, we conclude that these are just images, often altered to the point of laugh-out-loud attainability.
For some of us, rituals that include filling our skin with anti-aging treatments and pouring chemicals onto our hair to keep greys hidden go far beyond feelings of insecurity. Yes, we are presented with endless visions of beautiful youth every time we scroll through social media, flip through the pages of a fashion magazine, or turn on our favourite reality show. But, as we age, we conclude that these are just images, often altered to the point of laugh-out-loud attainability.
Over the years, we’ve managed to peel layers off of the beauty industry enough to unveil the tricks of the trade. Now, we know enough to understand the difference between natural light and a filtered, flawless ring-lit glow. So, then, do people who disapprove of fillers and other treatments meant to delay aging think we actually strive to look like an airbrushed twenty-year-old model?
We are not quite ready to accept the new us.
Our willingness to spend hours maintaining our youthful appearance can often be attributed to one thing: we are not quite ready to accept a new us. And, we are not ready to announce our signs of aging to anyone who isn’t part of our beauty squad for fear of judgement (or a parade of offensive questions about why our forehead remains wrinkle-free).
The people we interact with regularly see us, physically, in a certain light. When change happens, it is not often perceived as gradual, but rather as an abrupt shock.
Being shuttered during the pandemic is a perfect example of that shock: many of us gained weight during various lockdowns. When we finally emerged and returned to our daily routines, extra pounds and all, we were met with whispers and disbelief at the sight of the new us.
When we were met with disbelief, it felt as though those changes weren’t accepted by others.
Same for those of us who chose to ditch the dye and let our greys grow in.
Yes, we accepted those changes because we were ready; but when we were met with disbelief, it felt as though those changes weren’t accepted by others.
Either way, change is inevitable – our skin will sag, our hair will grey – and we should accept those changes on our own timeline and terms, despite how accepting the world is becoming. Even if we choose to slow the inevitable, in the end, we should choose to age on our own timelines as the process works for us, not others.
It takes courage to present a new, evolved you. Celebrate your decision to age on your own terms.
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva/Pexels|| Manipulation by Le Snobbery