Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ageing beautifully...

When it comes to the media's influence on women and their self image, I've always been very defiant. I consider myself lucky to have grown up in a culture where thin is not the standard of beauty. It was really the opposite; thicker, ruebens-esque girls are considered more beautiful. Where I come from, soft round faces and curvy "child bearing" hips are the norm. As a result I have a healthy body image and absolutely no desire to be a size 34 (size 2 US) or *gasp* 32 (size 0 US). And I'm very thankful for that..

I have basically the same attitude about growing older and I really admire women who grow older gracefully, beautifully. Women like Carine Roitfeld, Natalie Cole, Franca Sozzani, jazz singer Nancy Wilson and the stunningly, just stunningly, beautiful Ing-Mari Lamy. Women who take care of themselves and claim their age and maturity, wrinkles and all!

Many women complain about glass ceilings and not being taken seriously, but then turn around and deny or hide their maturity, wisdom and wealth of experience behind a façade of "youth". The way I see it: If you look like a twenty year old, you really should expect to be treated like a twenty year old i.e. inexperienced, naive, insecure etc. This is why men become more "handsome and distinguished" with age and women don't. They accept it, embrace it and use it to their advantage, while women complain about getting older, hide it or are in denial.

Whenever I hear a woman freaking out about turning 30, 40, 50 etc., I can't help rolling my eyes and thinking: "Grow up!" Grow up and get real. Let go of what Hollywood and the media is feeding you. We don't live in Hollywood, we live out here in the real world. And out here, us real women age. Contrary to what the media is telling you, growing older is a beautiful thing. You get to know yourself. You become more comfortable in your own skin and with each experience (good and bad) you get a little bit stronger, a little bit wiser and more confident. Trust me, you get better.

I like getting older. I like the calming effect it has had on me. I even like my Lily Munster streak of grey hair that has grown out since I stopped dyeing my hair a year ago. :) I am happier and more comfortable with myself than I've ever been and I smile a whole lot more than when I was in my twenties. :)

P.S. Check out Dove's "Campaign for Real Beauty". The principle behind the campaign is to "celebrate the natural physical variation embodied by all women and inspire them to have the confidence to be comfortable with themselves." Good job!

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