Growing up tall and skinny, I endured relentless bullying, which taught me to shrink into the background, to avoid drawing attention to myself. I never learnt about fashion or how to apply makeup. That was for the popular girls, attracting the boys. Not the tall-geeky-library-loving-teachers pet. Which may explain why I find myself having mascara wiped off my face now, like a parent wipes chocolate off a toddler!

Navigating Society's Beauty Standards and Finding Wisdom in Ageing

As the years have passed me by, from teenage, young adult, parenthood into the Menopause years, I find myself increasingly frustrated by society's relentless pressure for us to all conform to certain standards of behaviour and appearance at each life stage. Daily marketing pushed at us, for the latest fads, fashion, pills, gadgets, surgery or the most hated term ever #Hack... All to hold back the hands of time.

Stop the ride. I want to get off!

I look at my reflection daily. I see a rawness that's unique to me. Isn't what you see of me "Good enough"? My past emotions and story of life are painted in my thin lips, descending jowls, deepening Spanish cannon lines. I'm used to them greeting me each morning. With increased intensity, I hasten to add, when on go the glasses to catch the rogue facial hair. I don't like it. No one does. But let's take off those rose-tinted specs.

This is called AGE.
We SHOULD look different from our 20s. And from each other.

That face. Those wobbly bits. That's me. That's who I AM. I should be happier with me. But it's hard. There's so much conflicting information to navigate out there for those of us "ageing", and I am fatigued with the constant swiping them away. I am told that I should conceal my grey hair, but celebrate it. Wear age appropriate makeup, yet go au naturel like Pam Anderson. I should cover up, unless I've undergone breast lifts or butt enhancements, in which case, it's encouraged to flaunt those changes in the smallest bikini and declaring I have the perfect 50+ year old body!

Let's get back to being allowed to be ourselves, eh? And loving who we see as we look back. Let's get real. Life is way too short. With each passing day, I'm reminded of life's fleeting nature, prompting me to cherish simplicity and to live in the moment....In my ageing body.

I just wish I could have been there for the younger me. To give her some wisdom as she navigated her life decisions. I would have told her to stop worrying about not being good enough, too thin, too fat, too tall, too quiet, too sensitive, too this and too that. Just be yourself in that moment. If your so-called friends, partners, husband's, work colleagues, don't like you as you are, then please don't change to suit them. Change what you want to change. Never change to become what others expect.

To you reading this. Stand firm in your authenticity, refuse to conform to standards set by others. Be yourself, age like a good wine, and find beauty in the uniqueness in your individual journey, and the marks it leaves on you.

Love yourself for exactly who you are, at whatever age that may be

Previous comments

Melanie Rayner
"Think most of us have suffered with never feeling like fitting in. I was the short one, and so wished l was a foot taller. Think as we grow older we actually appreciate souls and kindness is more important. And if we don't fit in the right crowd. It's their loss."
Sarah Hall
"100% behind you with this. Haven't bothered with much more than moisturiser for years now and I look better than most who spend oodles on anti aging my opinion of course! "
Rob Wilson
"I think most people eventually reflect on not complying with other people's views and opinions. It takes someone special to reflect on it, write about it eloquently, offer advice and to then share it. It's a great article and kudos for sharing, especially before your tits are lower than your knees x. (Thank you for the laugh, sis x) "
Helen Saunders
"Well said xxx I think most of us that have struggles early in life, helps make up who we are today. From what I know of you, You are a lovely caring woman and it's a pleasure to be part of your group. Keep being you "
Samantha Hallam
"A great read, it does feel like a daily pressure when you are bombarded with media taunting you. I agree with Dawn as well, age is a gift. Thanks x"
Dawn Cummins
"Beautifully expressed.Thankyou. AGE is a beautiful gift x"
Susan Wilson
"Totally agree. Well said. xx"


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