“Women don’t allow other women to age gracefully. And we don’t give ourselves permission to age gracefully.” – Cameron Diaz
Preach, Cam. Preach.
I’m 24, I’ll be 25 this November. I know some may stop reading after that sentence, so I just want to put it out there right off the bat. I’m young. Fresh. Green. I am no authority on the matter of aging. I have almost no wrinkles and only a small patch of grey hair that can be attributed solely to genetics, not time. I’m young and I can only empathically understand aging as it exists for so many people who have aged for longer than 25 years.
I recognize that my perspective is one of luxury and I am aware that my position can change as time goes on… But I just don’t think it will.
One of the loveliest things Christopher ever said to me was, “You’re going to age beautifully. I can’t wait to see you without make-up when we’re 70. You’re somehow timeless…”
I know, right? (I’m assuming you’re all oo-ing and aw-ing now.) And in a way, he might be right. I do plan to age well. I take very diligent care of my skin. I avoid the sun for more than 20 minutes, wear sunscreen religiously, love hats (see my summer style post…), cleanse, exfoliate and moisturize like I’m living in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica (p.s. that’s a real place, google it). So it’s not that I want to look like an old leather glove left out in the sun when i’m 50… but I don’t want to look 35 either.
Another thing I have to add here that might make you further question my credibility on the subject is that wrinkles don’t really run in my family. My mother’s skin is amazingly beautiful, and her mothers’ was incredible – even at 95. However, grey hair certainly runs in the family. My hair started going grey when I was 15. I still just have a small patch on the crown of my head that’s noticeable when I wear my hair certain ways. My mom used to color it for me in high school. But as I got older, I grew to really like it grey. It was a conversation starter for a somewhat shy, introverted, teenage me. Now, I just love it. It doesn’t so much start conversations anymore, but it does make me feel beautiful because it’s a reminder of my heritage.
Not to say that my mom was wrong for coloring my hair for me when I was younger – I totally get it – but now I feel sad that I ever felt a need to cover it up, or lie about who I really was.
Aging gracefully is not something I ever hear people talk about. We all look for ways to turn back time, pretend or lie about what we really are. I certainly don’t mean to shame those who pursue botox, color their hair, or swear they’re really 29. I totally get the pressure you feel. Owning who you are takes a lot of bravery, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. You don’t really want to be 25 again. I know that. You know that. We all know that. You want the body you had at 25, with the wisdom and life knowledge you have now. But what you have now is so much more valuable than the body you had then. The problem with lying about our age is that we’re perpetuating the idea that women need to lie about who they are to feel beautiful or accepted.
I will not lie about my age, get face lifts, botox, color my hair or shame myself for my age. I may not be an expert on the matter, but I know the woman I want to be and the example I wish to set for my son.
I aim to move with time. Take care of my body and treasure the gift of aging. After all, growing old isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.
Enjoy the good stuff ya’ll.