The news last week that Allure magazine has banned use of the term ‘anti-ageing’ within its pages made me do a mighty air punch, because HELL YEAH (and also, ABOUT FRIKKIN’ TIME). This centuries-long obsession over remaining forever youthful is so boring. And while the taut skin and tight ass of our twenties is something we’re supposed to go to extreme measures to hang onto, can we all be real for a second and just agree that really, the minds we had in our twenties were, for the most part, trés foolish? Maybe I’m alone here, but all that anti-ageing, anti-wrinkle bollocks ain’t for me. I’m rather enjoying the ageing process, thankyouverymuch.
My thirties have been an absolute blast thus far. The day I hit the big three-oh, it’s as though I shed all that insecurity and self doubt of my twenties, like some uber sexy snake. I’m more confident, more self assured, a zillion times more independent. I’ve built friendships that have more meaning. I find it so much easier to draw boundaries and make clear what behaviour I will and won’t stand for from those in my life, because your propensity to give a fuck about other peoples’ opinions of you just goes right out the window once you hit 30. I’ve done far more exciting things in my career and feel more focused than ever, with absolutely no doubt I’m on the right path.
I may be the only woman who’s saying this but damn, if my thirties are this good, I kinda can’t wait til my forties! Seriously, I have this really intense feeling that things are gonna supercharge themselves once I hit that four zero. I’ll be even more financially stable, hopefully my career will have elevated to the next level and I’m convinced I’ll find the great love of my life in my 40s. Rather than it being something I fear, I’m over here like BRING. IT. ON!
While the patriarchy stays telling us that we lose all our worth as women the second we hit 30, I’m here to tell you, nothing can be further from the truth. Times are a-changing amigos. All that bollocks about needing to have figured everything out in your life by that age is based on times when people were getting married and having kids at 21. Unless you reside under a rock, you may have noticed, people ain’t doing that anymore. With advances in science, your worth is no longer linked to your fertility either. If motherhood is something you choose, there are many ways you can do that now (I’m not over here implying any of them (including the natural way) are easy, I’m saying, they exist).
We live longer, we work longer and the traditional family unit is, well, not so traditional anymore. Everything you believe about ageing is total bollocks at this point. I’m currently 36. My mother had a very different life at 36 than I do right now. Imagine your grandmothers life at your current age. Look at all the options we now have. We can be whatever the hell we want – but the patriarchy still wants me to believe that if I have a few wrinkles I should hide myself away? Oh, do fuck off.
I see young women playing into this all the time. ‘OMG, can’t believe I’m turning 24 tomorrow!’ Calm down, love. Your life ain’t over. And guess what? One day you’ll turn 50 and you’ll still be alive and if everything pans out, you’ll have a life and be happy and have achieved some great things. You know why? BECAUSE YOUR LIFE DOESN’T END AT 30.
Stop using that as some imaginary finish line. Stop demonising and devaluing women who are older than you, as if you’ll never age.
I get more excited with each trip around the sun these days. Every year added feels like a badge of honour. I’m starting to see some wrinkles forming, around my eyes and mouth – sure signs that I’ve done a lot of laughing in my life. I’m getting grey hairs too and get excited whenever I find a new one, hoping they’ll develop into a strong silver streak (a la Cruella De Vil).
You know that phrase ‘grow old gracefully’? It really connotes that you should grow old quietly, preferably unseen, just kinda of fade away into the shadows and don’t make too much of a fuss about it, because old ain’t pretty and as a woman, what use are you if you’re not pretty?
Listen, Society, ageing gracefully ain’t on my to do list. I have shit to do. You will be witnessing every ounce of my fierce flyness til the day I draw my last breath – wrinkles, grey hairs n’ all.