My son and his cousins were recently going through a box of family pictures that were taken decades ago. One of my sisters and I were in the same room with them as they passed the pictures around and made comments about each picture as they looked at it.
You know the kind of pictures I am talking about; the pictures we all take at family weddings, baptisms, birthdays and first days of school. The milestones in all of our lives.
There was a lot of talking and laughing going on and my sister and I were only casually listening to their comments until one of them said in a tone of surprise, “You all look so young!”
Then we went over to the box and looked at the pictures and then looked at each other.
OMG. They. Are. Right.
The color of our hair, the expressions on our faces, the clothes we are wearing. We were so much younger in a way that I didn’t remember until I looked at the old photographs.
I’m not saying that I want to go back to that age because along with the way I looked, I also remembered what was going on in my life when those pictures were taken and it was good but I didn’t want to re-live it. I don’t want to go backwards.
I feel I’ve worked hard to get to this place in my life where I am comfortable within my own skin.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t like seeing the lines that are now forming around my mouth or on my forehead and I really don’t like it when I see grey growing into my hair. My first instinct is to get rid of it immediately even though I know it’s a battle I won’t win. Madison Avenue spends millions of dollars and airs countless hours of commercials to make me and the female population as a whole feel that these normal aging signs devalue us as people and that our signs of age can only erased with the products they are selling.
Of course, I want to look and feel my best and I work hard to try and beat the aging clock through exercise, eating well and thinking positive thoughts.
These days, women have more options in life and therefore I think they are much smarter and more confident about the ways they present themselves to the world. Some agencies, such as the one that recently produced this ad for Dove soap, are finally getting the message and responding to a woman’s inner and outer beauty.
And that’s a healing thing: