Are you Anti Anti-aging?
Have you heard the rumblings which are provoking a revolution in wellbeing? To ban the terminology ‘Anti-aging’?
I, for one couldn’t be more thrilled about this. Not because I am a woman of above 40, but because the phrase ‘Anti-aging’ has just never sat right with me. I have used it, rather reluctantly, in the past but was never comfortable with the term. It’s such a derogatory phrase. Implying there’s actually something wrong with aging in the first place, it’s just rude! NewsFlash! It’s a natural, unavoidable part of life! I say ditch the jargon and embrace life!
Now I’m not suggesting giving up your collagen or retinol-laden creams, if you believe they work for you. More like, we need to change the way we think and talk about aging. Dropping the added bit to the ends of sentences is a start: “She looks so good…for her age” being just one common example. By stopping talking/thinking about it like it’s a terrible disease, we stop reinforcing the message that aging is a ‘condition’ we need to fight.
Born. Age. Die. Get over it!
Let’s face it, we are aging from the moment we’re born. It’s one of the few certainties of life. There’s no ‘anti’ to it. I suspect this phrase is likely to have been coined by the beauty industry – after all they’re the ones who make a shed load of money on pushing this latest miracle serum/cream/pill/dragons blood potion (yes, really!) to ‘equip’ women in their anti aging arsenals so they can face the world with confidence. I know, I’m a sucker for all that hype too, but don’t believe it. The only thing likely to feel lifted is your lighter purse – with the distinct lack of money left in it after you’ve shelled out how much?! for that latest ‘miracle’ cream! Find what works for you and stick with it. Love the skin your in.
In the media.
The media are often part of the issue in this war. With images famously retouched prior to print and many of the creams and potions sold as anti-aging, feature beautiful young models who haven’t lived long enough to get a fine line. But, and this is where the breakthrough comes from, there have been rumblings in the media saying we should change the way we think and embrace aging. Recently, Allure magazine have boldly banned using the terminology ‘anti aging’ in their entire publication. This is a very liberating move, I believe. It allows the luxury of letting us open our eyes and minds and appreciating all women in all their beautiful stages of life. There is beauty to be found in us all.
It’s all about attitude.
An obvious choice maybe, but let’s just take a look at the super-sexy 72 year old Helen Mirren. She has never looked better and is utterly fabulous and talented. She’s fierce and feisty in equal measures. A woman who has had an incredibly successful career which, thankfully, shows no signs of slowing down and a true screen siren, and with her attitude, a fantastic role model. Good for her, I say!
This very weekend gave us another example in the form of 58 year old Debbie McGee on BBCs Strictly come dancing. There has been a backlash of negative comments on radio, social media and in the press regarding this contestants high scores. The criticism lies with her having had a career in professional dancing. That’s was 30 odd years ago! Can you still do something as well as you did 30+ years ago? I know I, for one, wouldn’t dare attempt those cartwheels I used to do with ease, for fear of needing a hip replacement! Why is it that we, in the UK, are so quick to knock people down when they do something well. People – let’s grab positivity by the proverbials and celebrate achievement at every age!
Let us not forget the latest Versace fashion show. Donatella paid homage to her brother, Gianni by recreating his legendary show in the ‘90s – which famously featured the original supermodels walking the runway to a George Michael track.
Donatella got together 5 of the original supers – with a collective age of 242 – to walk down the catwalk, in slinky gold dresses, to George Michael’s ‘Freedom 90’. A retro moment perhaps, but a fantastic publicity stunt, none the less. Sheer brilliance. Needless to say these Amazonians still look as awesome today.
…with a dash of skepticism.
You may be a skeptic and dismiss such celebrities for looking great or aging well. After all, they probably lead highly pampered lives and have skincare brands delivering bucket loads of goodies for them to endorse their product. Not to mention the army of makeup artists at their very disposal. Right? I doubt that’s always the case. Yes, both money and genetics play a part. But to look that incredible takes an enormous amount of discipline and a good strong work ethic, for starters.
And us mere mortals?
It’s not just the famous who can give the aging process a run for its money. There’s a lot we can do to slow it down too. It’s not rocket science but following a healthy, balanced diet, getting enough rest, drinking plenty of water, regular exercise, stressing less and actively enjoying our lives, all add years onto your life. When you have fun you radiate that look on the outside. It’s a very attractive look.
But no one can prevent aging for good. Nor would I want to (as I have gotten older I have embraced my eccentricity and found I can get away with much more at my age, than I used to be able to!). Life and getting older is a privilege which we should not take for granted. I personally believe we should embrace it and try to be the best we can be – at every age. I don’t just mean in our diets and exercise, but mentally too. Anyone who has read any of my other blogs, will know I’m an advocate of the ‘you are what you think’ school. If you have a positive mindset you can achieve anything. At any age.
So now is the time for you to embrace ‘Brand You’. Picture your own Oh fabulous me – the person you most aspire to be and work towards becoming them. Every. Single. Day. This is your time to be the best you can be in every area of your life. Stop worrying about growing older – those frowns will only turn into more wrinkles! Have fun, enjoy yourself. So what if you have more wrinkles than you used to, learn to love them – they tell your story, they’re the stripes you’ve earned! Wear them with pride.
Stop spreading yourself too thinly, rushing around with a hectic life and limited time in order to please everyone. Just Stop. Stop being everything to everyone and focus on you. Give yourself a break. Do what makes you happy and don’t listen to what other people think!
Off the starting blocks….
I’m not saying you need to start smoking cigars like the lady in the image above, but if it makes you happy…. Look at her for a moment, though. She looks really interesting to me. I would love to hear her story.
Do more of what makes you happy. Initially, it might be just taking small steps or making tiny incremental changes. Just make sure you keep going forwards and not looking back – remind yourself you’re not going that way, if you have to!
Be mindful of your body and listen to what it is telling you. Living by the 80/20 rule works for many of us. Where for 80% of the time you look after your health and wellbeing; eating nutritious food, exercising, being mindful of every decision you make, taking time out of each day for you. Then 20% of the time you can afford to be a little more relaxed and have that glass (or three) of wine or reward yourself in some other way. Whatever pleases you. Doing it this way it doesn’t feel like deprivation.
Its not selfish to move the focus on to you. Everyone around will also benefit from the happier, more contented person you become. Taking care of you will give you a sense of happiness and confidence which you will radiate. This is so attractive to others as well that they won’t even see any wrinkles – just a happy, confident person. Spread that joy!
But ultimately, remember you only get one life and, in the grand scheme of things, it’s not that long a time. So dont waste it worrying unnecessarily. Be kind to yourself. Look after you. Enjoy getting older and all the opportunities which come your way. Be at peace with who you are. Do things which you enjoy. Love yourself, have fun and accept you, in all the glorious chaos you may be!
Don’t forget to share your stories with us. Who inspires you? Who do you most admire? What motivates you to be your best version? I’m really eager to know!