Is the term ‘anti-ageing’ damaging to our self love practices?

Emily Ratajkowski by Tony Duran.

From the beginning of time, women have always psychologically been conditioned to believe that the more you age the less desirable you become. When we begin leaving the adolescent age we see the difference when we begin losing our youth at the slightest. As you grow older, there’s many instances where hearsay is common when it comes to the subject of age and beauty for women. “She looks older than her age” or even “she looks younger” in doubtfulness, in my case.

The anti-ageing industry stood at 58.5 billion in 2020, and is expected to increase by 2026 reaching a global value of 88.30 billion according to the IMARC Group. Which essentially means over the years the need for anti-ageing products has accelerated, as the younger consumer is becoming more conscious of their appearance day by day. With the increase of emphasis on maintaining ‘youthful’ skin, what struck me, a woman in my late 20’s is the disregard of mature skin. As much as the internet was in love with the idea of self-love, I felt like I saw very little regarding loving yourself through the ageing process. Many times during the national lockdown I’ve woken up to look at my face in the mirror to see what late 20’s means, in terms of my outer self. As being on this side of the spectrum the books say, these are the beginning stages of when you start seeing signs of ageing, and more or less the time you should begin equipping yourself with anti-ageing cosmetics.

The questions in my head started flooding in, so how will I feel when I finally begin to age? Will I feel unattractive inside? What will this do to my self worth? I found that regardless of how much I practice self love and don’t assign my self worth to my appearance, there’s no better feeling than feeling beautiful inside and out. That’s when between these racing thoughts, I heard Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations podcast where Jennifer Lopez features as a guest, and the words seemingly exhilarated my ears. When asked how she felt about her age, her response followed “I think it’s a mindset of just continuing to realise that I’m still growing. And so long as I’m still growing, there’s still somewhere to go. That there’s more to the journey. That just because I’m going to turn 50 it’s not over. That’s what I’m realising, it’s not over. We’re just at the halftime right now. “. I felt to some extent, a confirmation of approval. Yes, the average person cannot compare themselves to somebody that may have a dietician, a fitness instructor and a nutritionalist, but it was the glimpse of attainability that stood out for me. Finally somebody addressing the ageing process as everything but a burden.

We spend years of our life, trying to become the best versions of ourselves, especially on the outside. Trying to achieve blemish free, porcelain textured skin in the constant upheaval of fixing our appearance when we have breakouts and after effects that come with them, but does it stop? We’re seemingly in a consistent psychological fret to decelerate the maturing of our skin, but does this mean we can never be content or the state of awareness we achieve with improving our skin will eventually burn out when wrinkles begin to appear?

That’s when I started looking at my life differently. As cliche as it may sound, we need to move towards a society that encourages the different forms of our beauty at every aspect of our age rather than only when we’re young. I never want to grow older disliking the woman I see in the mirror, I want to fall in love with her journey. What I personally want you to take away from these words is that’s its okay, no matter which walk of life you come from, its genuinely okay to see your skin grow older. Support and feed your skin what it needs along the journey but never forget that growing older makes us more human and if we envelope the ageing process to our experiences, our face shows the journey of our life.

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