Rotation around the Sun . . .
The longer we live, the more beautiful life becomes.
I think aging gets a bad rap, especially for women. It’s like society doesn't value our novelty after a certain age. I find it a little sad that as men age, they gain more prestige, they appear to have more knowledge, they become “experienced”, they become mentors and experts in their field. While women’s value seems to be more attached to our physical appearance than our knowledge or experience.
We’ve been raised in a society that, still to this day, only gives women “air time” when we’re young and beautiful. We rarely see women over the age of 50 in magazines, in movies (as the leading lady, and not the “mom”) or even in board rooms. It’s as if our value decreases as men's increase.
And because of this disparity, we obsess over beauty products or undergo procedures to make us look 10 years younger. I admit that I sometimes stare at my face in the mirror and wonder where the taut, fuller face of my 30 year old self went. When did I buy into all of it and only focus on my physical appearance? Why am I telling myself this false narrative about my aging? And why can’t I replace this narrative with all that I’ve accomplished?
Maybe that’s my lesson and resolution for my birthday. Every time I say something negative about my loose skin or a new set of wrinkles and age spots - I’ll need to say three nice things about myself. And slowly I’ll be able to undo the programming in my head about aging.
Isn’t that what we’re trying to work towards? Positive change. Righting the “wrongs” of our lineage and this patriarchal society, to improve the lives for ourselves and our children? That positive change starts with us. It’s not enough to just tell my daughter, I have to teach her through doing and showing her how I’m proud of myself and how much I value myself. So my promise to myself is every time I find myself counting the lines on my neck or wishing my age spots on my face and neck would stop multiplying - I will stop, and then replace them with three positive ones.
That is my birthday wish for you too . . . To not just stop saying the negative things to yourself, but replace them with positive ones. Can you imagine how this will change the trajectory of our lives? Maybe create a new societal norm for our children? I think it will make us love our age more, appreciate our wisdom and experience (even if our society won’t) and it’ll allow us to create a supportive community for other women. I’m so ready for this . . . what about you?