OK BOOMERS listen up, this post is for you! OK not all of you really, it’s more for the female side of the equation. We don’t discriminate because I am sure that many men of a certain age who read this post will relate as well. But please forgive me because this post is really meant for my fellow women warriors of a certain age and it’s about something that I have been thinking about a lot, increasingly so as I look in the mirror these days and catch a glimpse of my wrinkled jowls or crepe eye or arm skin and I’m like whoa who is that old woman? This conversation is timely, what with all the hoopla over JLo and Shakira’s performance in the Super Bowl.
I struggle with all of it. Wanting to embrace my aging body and face fearlessly, with pride. I work out, because it’s something I’ve always done. As I wrote in a long ago post, that habit may have started back in my anorexic early 20’s (and if any of you know anything about anorexia it’s about control more than anything else), but now it’s about being healthy and teaching my seniors the importance of movement. I eat what I want and am thin most likely as a result of genetics and my metabolism. Exercise helps, but sometimes it is the genes.
And still, knowing that, sometimes when I’m teaching, I look in the mirror and say DAMN I’m PROUD of myself, but sometimes I say, “OMG I’m over 60 when did that happen?” Always that tension between feeling really good and feeling like I’ve lost something precious.
I’ve always been obsessed with being stylish
And I started wearing make up at 14. Here I am in High School, it’s in black and white but you can see from my shiny hair and eyes that I was in full make up in Spanish class.
I never went ANYWHERE without make-up. This is from my 5th High School reunion. I probably thought I looked old then.
Throughout my 30’s, 40’s, 50’s I tried every face cream regimen out there (ask my mom about my products!) And speaking of my mom, look at her!
She’s never used anything but Pond’s Cold Cream. Despite what she looks like though I could never use a drug store beauty product, heavens. I need the latest in anti-aging. And I usually post pictures of myself in sunglasses so you don’t see the eye wrinkles.
Because and I am really embarrassed to say this but it’s my face that I really care about. I’ve thought so much about the struggle to look younger. I know many women who have had some kind of procedure, whether its Botox or fillers or laser or surgery. And I guess if I’m honest, if I had a lot of money to spare, I probably would have gone that route. So I don’t blame them. I probably would be them.
But I’m not, and I just think that those of us who don’t go that route need to be the ones to be out there, talking to one another, telling each other that it’s ok, that we are strong. WE are the ones who can help each other to age gracefully. To stop each other from feeling bad. To embrace our wrinkles and call them signs of our wisdom. To stop comparing ourselves to celebrities and others, to stop finding ourselves lacking.
When I moved to Hawaii I told myself that I needed to let it GO. I now only wear some eye make up occasionally. That was a huge step for me (that sounds so SILLY as I type, what with all the crazy shit going on in the world). But it’s true and this post is about being true to ourselves. I need to step gracefully into my role as an Aunty. A Kupuna who has something to teach.
So I ask all of you, my tribe, to help me and help each other to accept our aging beautiful bodies just as they are. Post your selfies. Here I am in no make-up and no filter.
We are strong, we are beautiful, we rock. Even with our old lady hands (rock on MA).