I’m not normally one to delve too deep into self-reflection, but when I stepped out of the shower last week, I took a good hard look at myself. I’m 66. I’ve got heavily salt and peppered hair. My skin hangs lower than I’d like it to and my hips and belly are rounder than I care to admit. I’ve spent years walking every day, using face creams, dyeing my hair and wearing oversized underwear that “tuck”, “slim” and “suck” my wobbly bits in.
Now that I think about it, I don’t know why I’ve gone to all of that effort for all of those years. I’m a divorcee, but if any 60-year-old man has the nerve to comment on my looks I’m happy to hand them a mirror and walk off – we’re all older and we all look it! When I see my friends I get dolled up (as we all do) and we enjoy it but it is a lot of effort for other ladies who look just like me and are going through the exact same things as me.
When I think about it, I’ve got no real reason to go to all of the fuss. Sometimes, it actually makes me feel worse about myself than if I was to head out plain Jane with a smear of lippy and comfortable underwear on that doesn’t flatten the bulges.
I actually think that the reason I go to so much effort for my appearance, when the people around me don’t care about it all that much, is because we’ve been taught to. We look on the telly and there is a new ad telling me that this miracle cream will tighten and firm my skin! We walk into the shops and the things that stick out most in the lingerie section are the tummy tucking fat sucking awfully beige pants that make walking around overly difficult. We open a magazine or read an article online and the woman on the front clearly has fine lines and pigmentation leading us to believe she is of similar age but her hair is a deep, rich shade of auburn. We’re taught that our ageing bodies aren’t beautiful. We’re taught that we need all of the quick fixes to hide those signs that we’re getting older.
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The world actually wants us to feel like this. And I want to stick it to the world. While I was in this in-depth thought trail standing in my misty bathroom, I made the decision to love what I look like. Sure I’ve had a few too many glasses of wine in my life and sure my coffee each morning isn’t doing wonders for my teeth, but that is who I am – that is what I am and I’m tired of people telling me I can’t be just that.
I enjoy going to effort, I enjoy putting a face on and feeling like I look fabulous. But from now on, I’m going to make a conscious effort that when I do go to effort, it is because I want to. Not because I feel like I have to. And I hope that my little story can make you do the same.
I love my over 60 trademark grey hair, wrinkles and belly pooch and I hope that you’ll love your ageing signs too.
Have you had a moment like mine? What do you love most about your ageing body? Share your thoughts in the comments below…