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I found my first grey hair at age 25. A short, silvery predictor foreshadowing the inevitable, right? Well, I ignored it like most 25 year olds would. By 27, though, that silver strand multiplied into a small field of grey, scattered through the front of my hair. It wasn’t until I was 28 that I noticed three lines, seemingly permanent, forming across my forehead that it hit me. Yes, I knew I was getting older. But it honestly never occurred to me that I would, well, age.
There were other signs, of course, but none I was willing to acknowledge for what they were. Through my denial I attributed everything to having my daughter. In my defense, the stretch marks, random weight distribution, and loss of elasticity in my skin were all legitimately associated with pregnancy and giving birth. But this was… different.
While the physical signs of aging were traumatic enough, and by traumatic I mean I suddenly looked like a Sharpei naked and refused to look in a mirror in that state, there were a whole new set of emotions tied into it. For a few panic stricken moments on that fateful morning when I discovered my new wrinkle friends, I completely understood why people get Botox. I had previously dismissed them with an incredulous gasp and would exclaim “are wrinkles really serious enough for people to inject botulism into their faces? They must be crazy.” When I mentioned to my husband that I’d actually now consider such batty behavior, he quickly assured me I was out of my mind. His reaction did get me thinking about my original mentality though. What exactly was the big deal?
I’m not usually one to point fingers. But our Hollywood obsessed society is overflowing with anti-aging elixirs, commercials pushing miracle medicines, and celebrities with their perfectly photoshopped pictures. What message are they sending? One that had little ol’ me think showing my age makes me less valuable as a person. And if that’s the affect it has on an adult, just imagine what our kids are growing up valuing. That’s a seriously dangerous mentality to be selling.
Here’s a newsflash: I am who I am and that’s it. The reality is I’m not in my 20s anymore, and that’s ok. I shouldn’t expect or be expected to look like I am. I’m just as valuable now, with my wrinkles, white hairs, and saggy skin, if not more so. So you can keep your collagen, silicone, and plastic-ness. I’m not now, nor do I want to be, a Stepford wife. I’m pretty attached to my facial muscles and their ability to change my expressions now and again.
But I may just keep a jar of the latest and greatest youth serum for, you know, my weak moments.