The dictionary defines beauty as the pleasure an object evokes in the beholder. We can’t ignore beauty; beautiful objects stir up emotions in most of us and who isn’t moved by a beautiful painting, a blooming flower, or a gorgeous baby? Who doesn’t turn their head around when a beautiful woman enters a room? How many of us enjoy a beautiful piece of music or a pleasing singing voice? When we see, or feel, or experience beauty we respond to it immediately. To deny the importance of beauty is to, I don’t know, live in a very desolate world which could also mean that one’s suffering from depression. Beauty is intoxicating and good looks will give you an advantage in life, and whether you like it or not a preference for beauty and youth is hard-wired into our brains. People have always played around with their looks in the name of beauty, this has been the ethos for centuries–it’s not a 21st-century invention. Media and advertising only have a limited role to play in the way we define beauty, because the pursuit of beauty is innate in most human beings, hardwired into our brains because that ability to choose the best- looking mate also meant the survival of one’s genes. Subconsciously, this is still what we do. Look at the Ancient Egyptians, for instance, they used oils and creams to soften their skin in the harsh, unbearable summer heat. Ancient Egyptians were so particular about their scent, clothing, and jewelry. Much before France became synonymous with perfume, the Egyptians and Mesopotamian had already made their mark 5000 years earlier. Their reason for creating exquisite fragrances was to appease their gods. Their rulers and priests were even entombed with fragrances. They would use special scrubs to cleanse their bodies and smooth out their wrinkles–mixing scented fruit juices together with was, Cyprus grass, fresh Moringa oil, and gum of frankincense. They would shave the hair off their bodies because hair was considered impure and unappealing!
Big name cosmetics companies would’ve done just as well in Ancient Egypt I suspect.
Fast-forward to modern times, how many of us are willing to accept that we’ve aged, that we don’t look the same? I am pretty confident with my assumption that most of us care. Othersize we would not be helping grow these global cosmetics industries. They know how we feel and they play on all of our emotions and focus on our insecurities in order to sell us more products and make more promises. So much has been said and done to educate us about how to combat wrinkles, and how to prolong our youthful appearance with magical elixirs and groundbreaking treatments, but what about those women who’ve done it, tried it, and now they’re sort of ready to age, naturally, organically and they just don’t give a damn? They’re probably the exception to the rule—a minority in a world that seems to be obsessed with promoting the look of youth.
My blog has nothing to do with criticizing those who’ve chosen to enhance their looks with plastic surgery or any other procedure for that matter—I love Joan Rivers no matter what she’s stretched or erased. Also, I don’t go out of my way to develop wrinkles; I take care of my skin on a daily basis, and do all that is necessary to feel healthy and look good, and I’ve resolved to just going with the flow and whatever makes me feel good at any given time. It’s a mood thing, usually, I put more effort in leading a healthy lifestyle and incorporating a workout into my busy day, and a wrinkle or two don’t have such a big impact on my life and the way I feel about myself. I’ve had Botox treatments before, and I have gone back to inject my frown lines, because I hate that those make me look angry when I’m not. I guess that’s where media indeed has disrupted my peace and quiet despite the whole biology behind why we care. Somewhere down the road, modern society has distorted some of those natural instincts and is responsible, to some extent, for the incongruous effect it’s had on women worldwide. Who’s not been affected, somehow, by the constant reminders through the multitude of media outlets of what women of a certain age should “really” look like? It’s the image of a woman who’s completely devoid of any signs of aging whatsoever that puzzles me to no end. For some it’s an ideal look and they’ll do all that’s necessary to maintain it, and for others it’s a look they desire, but cannot afford. For me, however, it’s a look that I’ve chosen to avoid, because I no longer conform to what I consider to be a newly formulated idea of aging and beauty.
A healthy self-image is an essential example for the next generation of women—all of whom are growing up with a convoluted sense of what life is all about, their role in it, and perhaps what they are expected to look like.
I just want to be me, without being brainwashed into thinking that I’ve become unattractive or undesirable, just because I’ve reached my forties and my looks have begun to change somewhat. I don’t want to pander to a media-generated blitz of images that I have to aspire to achieve.
Beauty is what we choose to make of it, so how about joining forces with me and helping spread the word that we must learn to appreciate ourselves at any age.
Welcome to my blog, let’s have fun discussing this topic!