Age is but a number, so they say. When you’re a woman though, there’s a lot of pressure to keep that number low. We see it all around us. On TV, women tend to disappear once they get too far past 50 (with a few exceptions), whereas men can stay on there, aged, fat, greying, balding as they can be, seemingly until they literally keel over and die. I’m starting to get a little sick of the demonizing of the aging process. Listen, none of us are getting any younger, literally – so how’s about we just embrace this thing?
Anti-aging, anti-wrinkle creams that promise to turn back time and tarmac your face into otherworldly smoothness – what the hell are we so scared of? It’s gonna happen eventually (unless you decide to plastic surgery your face into oblivion like Joan Rivers). It really seems like quite the waste of energy to worry about it.
It’d help if we didn’t lose our value as women as we age. Sure, once a woman is past child-bearing age, what use are we, right? Traditionally, all our attractiveness and worth have been tied up in that. If you’ve ever read ‘The Game’ by Neil Strauss, all about pick-up artists and how to get women (the answer apparently, is to be as rude as possible), you’ll know that to a certain sect of men, you are past it once you hit 25. A depressing thought – though a relief to older women who won’t be bothered by these idiots, I suppose.
Just look at how Jennifer Aniston was portrayed post-Brad breakup. Every headline was ‘Oh Poor Jen!’, unlucky in love, forever single, and ohmygod she’s over 40, she’ll never find anyone now! Then look at George Clooney, hailed as a God among men.
In media and fashion, women tend to just cease to exist once we’re past 40 and when we’re younger, we don’t think about it because we’re selfish assholes and as long as it doesn’t effect us, who cares, right? But we’re all going to get there. We’re all going to reach that point where we’re considered undesirable, void of worth. I’m 32 and I kid you not when I say I can see the cycle starting already.
We prize youth over everything in this current climate and the older I get, the more I question that. I was an idiot in my 20s and heck, I still have a whole lot to learn but my unrelenting arrogance during that particular decade is somewhat cringeworthy now. Most people are idiots in their 20s. Aging is a good thing, mainly because it humbles you. You learn, you grow, you’re willing to accept that you may not know everything. And that is beautiful. Yes, even some goddamn wrinkles in your skin are beautiful. It is not something to be feared.
Times are changing. You when you’re old will be very different to your grandmother’s kind of old. We need to really rethink aging. When I was in my teens, 60 seemed forever away. Now my parents are in their 60s and are completely rocking at life. Seriously, you’d be hard pushed to find two cooler people. My grandmother is about to turn 85 and she still drives and wears Ray Bans.
Getting old will be what you make of it. And no, 35 isn’t old. Neither is 40, or 50, or 60 for that matter (and if I see one more chick on Twitter say ‘ohmygod I can’t believe I’m about to turn 22! I’m so old!’ I will fight you in the face). We need to be part of the change in perception. People are living longer so we’re gonna be around for a while. I shall grow old gracefully, or outrageously but I sure won’t be doing it quietly. I won’t be scared of grey hairs and wrinkles and I will accept my beauty as it changes. I won’t be slipping into the shadows once I hit 40 and I’m sure you won’t either. So let’s all start changing the dialogue about age, ’cause it’s gonna happen to all of us.