The world has it upside down.
Social media screams out overt judgment on wrinkles. If you are an older woman with wrinkles, you must smoke or imbibe in alcohol on the heavy side. Right? Or, you could be eating the wrong diet, or perhaps you don’t use the latest and best anti-aging cream. Lord forbid, you have wrinkles!
As I ponder today’s inside-out view of aging, I think about my own signs of advancing age at 61 years old. Wrinkles. Graying hair that I don’t color. Only a touch of lipstick and color on my cheeks. Initially, the lack of makeup launched due to chronic blepharitis, and sadly I forced the condition to worsen through vanity for many years. That is, until a doctor said, “Would you rather have your eyesight, or would you rather wear eye makeup?” I chose healthier eyes. This is now my campaign for life.
As I reminisce, I visualize both of my grandmothers, and how I adored their soft and wrinkled skin. Did I look at them and wonder why they wore no makeup? Did I look at them and wonder why they didn’t color their hair? Did I judge the cotton housedresses and granny shoes my maternal grandmother donned every single day of her life? Did I judge the pedal-pushers and sleeveless button-front cotton shirts that my paternal grandmother wore (nearly) as a summer uniform? No. I admired. I wish I could see and touch those wrinkles and hear those voices once again.
An abundance of wrinkles, gray hair, and dressing for comfort taught me to accept and not judge. Endless genuine love without shame filled my heart. Value systems that stood firmly in place left their mark on me. I have been led, through example, to live with honor.
The Lord gives us this crown of glory. The Lord didn’t create us to not age.
My body image is sacred between me and my creator. He loves me. But that doesn’t mean I let myself go. I have my own battles. Every day I work on my health. I take a brisk walk or two. I stick to a ketogenic diet to fight my blood glucose numbers. I strive to continue weaning from pharmaceutical medications. Do I do this for the sake of vanity? No. I do it to take care of this vessel—my body. I do it because I don’t want to die tomorrow. I do it because what transpires internally is most important to my mental and physical perseverance in life.
I am an advocate for aging gracefully…and I stand with my feet firmly planted on the ground to vanish the twisted misconception that we, as women, cannot show signs of age. Phooey on that!
March on lovely ladies. You didn’t live to 50, 60, or 70 years old to be discarded like a bad piece of fruit. Welcome to the age of freedom to be just who you are.