I am not a person who spends much time worrying about wrinkles, age spots, or gray hair. I don’t wear makeup. I don’t dye my hair. I don’t concern myself with much beyond cleanliness. It seems like a waste of time, money, and effort to try to be something or someone that I am not. And I have lots of other things I’d rather do than stand in front of a mirror criticizing myself! Besides, I spent most of my teens and twenties and part of my thirties doing that. You can see from this photo that I once did my part to support the cosmetics industry. But I gave up vanity years ago.
Apparently I am in the minority because lately it seems that every magazine I see, every ad that appears on television, and every other ad that pops up online has something to do with one of the concerns I mentioned and more of the ads seem to be targeted at the “over fifty” crowd. I suppose the reason for that is the advancing age of the baby boomers. Our numbers are legion and our spending power is great. And of course we have lots of wrinkles and age spots and gray hair!
Can anyone tell me what is so terrible about age spots and wrinkles??? Honestly…this face has endured 62 years of laughter and tears. It has survived some pretty horrible accidents and lots of exposure to sun, wind, and dirt. I don’t expect it to look like it did when I was twenty. And I don’t want to spend $20 to $100 a month trying to make people think I’m 42 or even 52. If we judge people by the smoothness of their skin, then doesn’t it follow that someone with scars should just stay home and hide? I can’t follow that kind of logic.
Gray hair? I don’t have a lot, but even when they have multiplied by ten I don’t plan to start covering up my gray hairs and I don’t care whether you do or not. Your hair color has nothing to do with how I feel about your personality, character, or values. And while I understand the concept of having an attractive hairstyle that suits your personality and face and gives you confidence in your appearance, it should also suit your lifestyle and not command so much time and effort and attention that you can’t function if the wind is blowing. One of the reasons I stopped straightening my hair was because I worried throughout the day about it reverting to its naturally curly self.
We walk a fine line as women. Most of us have been taught from our toddler years that beauty is good, and other people, especially boys and men, appreciate it and admire it. First impressions are important and we’d better make a good one. Clothes make a statement. Makeup can enhance natural beauty. All true, and I appreciate beauty as much as the next person. But I think we cross the line if we expect our bodies to maintain their youth and beauty beyond a certain age. Wrinkles and age spots and gray hair are natural phases in the aging process and we do ourselves a disservice by thinking there is something wrong with growing old. I pray that God allows me to grow much older, and I don’t care what I look like doing it as long as my mind is still functioning.
I hope we also give some thought to our status as role models. We can’t tell our young women that it is their brains and talent and values that are important in life and then continue to blindly support an industry based on vanity. The next time you are tempted to spend $50 on some new “age defying” skin cream, you might want to consider putting it into someone’s college fund instead!