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February 28, 2024

Embracing the Beauty of Aging: a Call to Rewrite the Narrative.

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“You have some really good wrinkles coming in,” he said. “You look really beautiful.”

My immediate response wasn’t a thank you. It was a cringe, a tightening, a silent panic of, “Oh no, I’ve failed. What will people think?”

A fleeting moment, a simple compliment, and an immediate trigger of shame. WTF.

Why is it that as women, we have demonized aging to such an extent that we view it as a mark of failure rather than a celebration of life’s journey and our life etched into our face? Beauty, heartbreak, hope, grief, love…all there.

Our world is so obsessed with youth and perfection, and its damage is so pervasive and deep-seated, that I can’t even take a loving compliment from my partner, without feeling its sting.

Isn’t it finally time to reclaim the beauty of every stage of life?

For centuries, society has dictated that a woman’s worth lies in her youth, her fertility, her ability to conform to narrow standards of beauty.

The pressure to maintain a youthful appearance, to hide the natural signs of aging, has left so many of us feeling inadequate, ashamed, and constantly striving for some mythical and unattainable ideal.

But what if we dared to challenge these norms, to see aging not as a decline but as an evolution, a transformation into the wise, empowered beings we were always meant to be? Once and for all confronting the distorted messages that have shaped our perception of beauty and worth.

This obsession with smooth, dewy, and flawless skin, and the relentless pursuit of perfection, only diminishes our true essence.

It keeps us trapped in a cycle of self-criticism and self-doubt. Keeping us obsessing in front of a mirror at the wrinkles or cellulite or some minor sign of fleeting youth.

Isn’t it finally time to reject these harmful narratives and embrace the inherent beauty of aging? The wisdom etched into every smile line, every wrinkle, every curve of our bodies?

Midlife, and menopause—these are not endings but beginnings, opportunities to shed the layers of societal conditioning and rediscover our authentic selves. To step into the well-earned wisdom and inner power that comes from living a life and truly knowing ourselves. When can we finally see that, “There is nothing wrong with your face,” as Justine Bateman reminds us in her powerful book outing this distorted and damaging obsession with youth.

We are not defined by our appearance but by the depth of our experiences, the strength of our convictions, the resilience of our spirits.

As we navigate the complexities of midlife and beyond, there is an opportunity to shed the external narratives and the stories about what others think we should be. It’s a time to remember that beauty knows no age, no boundaries. A newborn baby, a budding teen, a pregnant woman, a midlife woman, a 90-year-old etched by life with a twinkle in her eye: let us celebrate the journey, the triumphs, the challenges, the moments that have shaped us into the women we are today.

Wrinkles, lines, aging bodies—these are not flaws to be hidden but badges of honour, reminders of a life fully lived.

It’s time to rewrite the narrative, to embrace the beauty of aging in all its forms. Let’s start by honouring ourselves, our bodies, our stories.

Let’s reclaim our power, our voice, and our worth, at every age. Let’s create a world where aging is not something to be feared or shamed but celebrated as a testament to the strength, the resilience, and the beauty of the human spirit that shines through, in every wrinkle.

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