When most people meet me they remark that I have a youthful attitude, and I'm often mistaken to be much younger than my years. My motto has always been, "you're only as young as you feel". I am more concerned about the image I see in the mirror as opposed to focusing on my actual age.
As I reached my forties, I began to forget how old I actually was. I had to start counting in my head how many years had passed. When I reached forty five, it dawned on me that it was time to finally "step" into my age group. Before I turned forty five, I would never reveal my age. I'd just allow people to speculate and accept whatever age they bestowed upon me. Now at the ripe age of forty six, I've stopped caring.
All of a sudden I began to become increasingly aware of other women in my age group and how beauty products were being marketed to us (or the lack thereof). I began to increasingly feel like I was being aged out despite of how I actually looked. Like I didn't fit anywhere anymore. Yes I look young, but my mind and experiences didn't reflect that. Every where I looked so-called "anti-aging" creams, serums and retinoid miracle cures were being marketed to Gen Z. Have I gone mad or is the world just upside down?
So many questions were running through my head. Did I no longer exist? Am I no longer relevant? Doesn't my voice matter anymore? All I could see were women over forty being pushed aside and everything they achieved along with them for something "younger", more "desirable". But who said beauty equated to youth? When did women become indoctrinated? Who conned us into believing that after forty women were undesirable? Do we have an expiration date? Am I now expired? I kept telling myself, "I'm still relevant". But all I saw were older women being passed over in favor of youth.
The idea of desirability and beauty have long been associated with youth. Nothing could be further than the truth. The fallacies being spread and marketed to women, are keeping women (both young and old) from accepting themselves. We need to rid ourselves of such unhealthy beliefs. They play on our insecurities and make us think that we're less than, because without that then marketing execs wouldn't have anyone to market to. If the world was filled with confident women, then who would buy their products?
I truly believe that it's time for women to write their own narrative when it comes to beauty. The beauty norms dictated to us by a bunch of men sitting in a boardroom no longer serve us. We need to start to spread positive messages about aging, especially to the younger generation. It's not about anti-aging, but about aging aging positively.
Read: The Fear Of Aging