Friends, I'm turning 38 today and boy is that exciting! Mostly exciting because I get to celebrate with my three favorite things: my family, fun and food! (And maybe a little champagne) Cheers! 🥂
I'm only two years away from 40, and (I think) I'm ok with it!
But... you know what's not so exciting? The amount of mental energy I've spent this month pondering my creep towards the big 4-0 and Middle Age. Alarmingly, I even found some articles claiming 35 and 37 as the start of middle age. What?! I'm sticking to 40, thank you very much.
How can I be nearly middle-aged when I still barely feel like an adult sometimes? Adult imposter syndrome aside, the truth is that my body is definitely showing me that it is aging. From my skin to my weight to my overall body shape, I've noticed gradual changes that when I was young, I foolishly thought would surely never plague me. (Please tell me I'm not the only one who thinks they'll be the exception to some inevitable rule of life. #naive)
But the thing is, aging isn't something we can stop - and why would we want to stop it? The alternative is less than appealing. I don't know about you, but I'd rather accumulate birthday candles and wrinkles instead of the other option.
The skincare and beauty industries are notorious for glorifying youthfulness and boldly assuming that we all have the same goal - appearing forever young. Which, if you think about it, would be pretty creepy, right? My first thought is the vampires of Twilight who never age. I'm not sure anyone really wants to be 65 and still look 25...it would be confusing and unnatural. Am I right?
Makeup & skincare lines for older skin often have age erasing promises in their names like, "Simply Ageless," and "Age Defying 3x," or names meant to evoke some rescue from a desperate situation like, "Confidence in a Cream" and "Renewed Hope in a Jar." Blech!
If you've ever found yourself fretting about a new wrinkle, or a less than dewy look to your skin with each passing year, please stop fretting. Yes, take care of your skin, but don't do it in an effort to erase all the evidence of your existence. This is the philosophy I've decided to adopt as I head ever closer to 4-0 and I'm feeling good about it.
I'm happy to be older and wiser. This picture is proof- see how wise I look!
In fact, while we wear our aging skin with pride, here are 3 ways in which I've realized getting older is actually totally awesome:
1) You Get Wiser. Hello, acquired wisdom! Moving through year after year of life slowly builds up enough first hand experiences that gives a better sense of the world. Some of those experiences may have been unpleasant, stressful, etc, but we get through them and now benefit from that knowledge and can share it with others.
2) You Get More Self Confident. Earlier this month, I shared a funny quote on my IG Stories that said, "I've reached the age where my brain goes from 'you probably shouldn't say that,' to 'what the hell, let's see what happens.'" It was meant for laughs, but there is some truth behind getting older and more comfortable in your own skin. You age out of that desire to conform to some style, physical appearance, societal expectation, and start to accept your actual preferences, goals, etc.
3) You Get Closer to Your Goals. Our goals in life change as we age. Different time periods in our lives give us different interests, aspirations, careers, and those can create a lot of different priorities for us. And as we age, the sheer amount of time we've had to accomplish our goals only increases, and the likelihood is that you start to accumulate a proud life of achievements to look back on. And some of us have lofty goals that take many years to achieve and those goals benefit from our older, wiser selves.
If you'd like to further explore how the skincare industry propagates the expectation that women stay young and beautiful in order to be valued, I highly recommend a recent episode of the podcast Sounds Like a Cult. With special guest Jessica DeFino (a beauty reporter who examines and calls out the industry's insidious tactics), the hosts discuss the culty-ness of the beauty industry with a focus on the unrealistic expectation that we somehow appear immortally young.
I also recommend the book Clean by James Hamblin. It examines the industry from it's roots to it's most recent 'miracle ingredients' from a scientific and cultural perspective. The author also discusses what your skin really needs in order to be healthy and comfortable (hint: it's less than you think!).
What's your favorite realization about getting older? Share in the comments below, or on our Instagram post today!
🥂 Cheers! 🥂