My friend’s grandmother passed away recently. I was looking at a picture of her grandmother as she was telling me the story of her life, and all I could think of was how sweet she looked and what a blessing it was to her and her family to have lived so long. She recounted the days of family dinners, weekend sleepovers, sage advice, and her grandmother’s slow decline. Her story got me thinking about my one remaining grandparent. I realized that I find my own grandma to be completely adorable and how fortunate I felt to still have her with me. At the time, I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of my very first granddaughter. Between her story and my own thoughts, I was completely swept up in nostalgia and emotions.
Then it hit me. Not once have I ever looked at my grandma and thought of her age. Not once have I ever noticed a wrinkle. Not once have I ever been concerned with her dress size. Not once have I ever thought her white hair made her look old. To the contrary, I’ve always adored her white hair and was ecstatic when she decided to “stop dying” it black. It then hit me that as women, we tend to focus so much on our external appearance. Always trying to age gracefully. Trying to hide our age, grays, wrinkles etc.
Isn’t this behavior the opposite of aging gracefully?
Our conditioning and primping process teaches us to stave off the signs of aging as long as possible. To not embrace our maturity. We consider it rude to ask a woman her age. To me there is a difference between aging well (healthy, eating right, exercise) and covering up our age.
When did we accept this as our truth?
I’m well on the other side of 40. In fact, I’m inching up on the BIG 50 in two years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not telling you to abandon your beauty rituals. My grandma also happens to firmly believe that you never leave the house without “putting your face on”. What I am saying is to review “why” you do the things you do.
Take a moment for self reflection. Are you doing it for YOU or are you doing it to please a society that has given us an impossible standard of beauty? Push back against the stereotypes that have been cast on you. This is your chance to define yourself for yourself.
Age gracefully by embracing all of you. Take care of yourself from the inside out and I guarantee that when you look in the mirror, you’ll love who you see looking back.