Grey, Grey. Go away. Come again some other day.

Over at the hoopla there’s a great highlight on the Q&A episode with Pamela Stephenson about her addiction to cosmetic surgery. You can read it here

At the end of the article there are 2 REALLY thought provoking questions and I wanna add my two cents worth on this blog.

Does it take courage to age gracefully?


How tied is your self-esteem to your appearance?

So let’s look at the second question to begin with; as it is, in my opinion, the pivot to the answer of the first.

This is the chicken and the egg scenario for so many women. Because when you look good you feel good. Right? But don’t you look good when you feel good? Hmm such a conundrum.

I don’t think anyone has noticed when we talk about our daughters; quite often the first description we make on introduction is about appearance, and not intelligence. Ie. “This is my beautiful daughter, Betty, who just turned 1.”

How tied is your self-esteem to your appearance?

In my case, my self-esteem is tied to my appearance far more than I like to admit.

I grew up in at least one school where being a brunette, Asian looking skinny girl was so out of the ordinary I may as well have painted myself with obscene words and spat at everyone. I didn’t feel beautiful. Therefore my self-esteem was shot to hell. But I think I was more harmed by the bullying, most of which centered on my ‘out of the norm’ appearance than anything else. Because others saw me as ugly, and had no trouble telling me, I began to believe it.

I was passed over for jobs because of my appearance and have had interviewers actually tell me that THAT was the reason I missed out. It’s a form of discrimination, but who’s going to report a business for such behaviour when they are trying to land that first job? Nobody I know of. *Note* I ALWAYS dressed appropriately, so it was the body beneath, not the clothing that lost it for me.

Not being able to even land a paying job by the time I’m 30 is certainly NOT a highlight of my life. I will admit however; I did make a conscious decision years ago that I didn’t need the emotional torment of rejections based on my physical appearance, (things I can do NOTHING about), so I stopped actively looking for paid work.

Now for the first question… Does it take courage to age gracefully?

HELL YES! Should it… HELL NO!

I’m actually surprised that beauty companies aren’t outdoing IKEA when it comes to consumerism. We are all so afraid of looking older. We strive to look youthful… why for heaven’s sakes?

Less wrinkles in seconds, the 5 signs of aging, because you’re worth it, maybe she’s born with it… but most likely not.

Wrinkles, freckles, creases and dimples are signs of a glorious life lived. Smiles, pain, laughter, stresses that we’ve overcome, illness, summers where we maybe had a little too much fun etc. Do we all want to look like we’re freshly ironed? No life lessons learned, no experience, fresh out of the box?   I know I don’t.

I don’t even want to colour my hair anymore.

I’ve spent my whole life with such dark hair that going lighter will be a nice change. Why pay for streaks and foils when nature will hand them to me for free and using fewer chemicals? That and my hair is so dark naturally that the hair dyes never really showed up anyway.

Grey hair would probably be more widely accepted if more women dared to go grey. How many 50 something year old women do you know who try to keep the same colour hair they wore in their 20’s?

At a certain stage in life, the chemically dark hair just starts looking like you’re trying too hard. That you’re frantically clawing at the last strands of youth and you’re not giving up without a bloody good fight. At least if you are going to colour your hair, add some colourful streaks. Bright ones. Ones that say ’Yes I colour my hair, but I am over trying to make it look natural. Girls really do just want to have fun.’

So now, are you brave enough to age gracefully and how much is your self-esteem tied to your appearance?

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