You only need to visit a shop or open a magazine to know that visible ageing is seen as a negative thing. We’re all aware that we should be trying to combat ageing and maintain our youthful looks. At the same time, young girls are also being encouraged, no doubt by their media role models, to look and act like older women (we’re looking at you, Kylie Jenner). But what is so wrong about looking your age and taking ownership of it?
It’s a common belief that as women get older, our looks fade. This is obviously debatable, as many people exude a confidence as they age that radiates and makes them more attractive to others. However the majority of women still do what they can to delay the ageing process, whether it’s by investing in fancy beauty products and treatments or even going under the knife. This probably stems from years of being made to feel as though our worth hinges on our looks, and that women are meant to be ornate. And we can thank the patriarchy for that!
While the feminist and body positive movements encourage us to embrace and nurture the skin we’re in, we are still far from accepting sagging skin, wrinkles and greying hair. In the past the pressure to remain young was more common among the rich and famous, but as cosmetic surgery and high-end products become more readily available, this has become a concern for people regardless of their social stature. The fact that more people in their 20s and 30s are already injecting Botox on the regular is testament to that. The irony is that women who go to extreme lengths to hide the fact that they are ageing can end up looking unnatural, because who has a wrinkle-free face at the age of 60?
When it comes to ageing, all we should aim for is to do it gracefully. For some that might mean undergoing surgery or getting some injectable enhancements, for others it might be as simple as just drinking enough water and applying SPF daily. It’s a personal choice. It’s society at large that needs to challenge and change its perception of beauty and recognise that it doesn’t end as soon as we hit a certain numerical milestone. Our faces are an indication of how we have lived our lives, laugh lines and all, and you can still go forth and slay, whatever your age.
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