Youth is beautiful phase in our lives: a time to be free, a time to explore, a time to find ourselves.
I try to hold onto the concept of youth, those feelings of curiosity and empowerment will hopefully stick by me for the length of my life. But when the time comes to grow up and grow old, I hope I don’t stop myself from embracing that stage too.
We are a society that is deeply focused on reversing the effects of aging, especially amongst women. Collectively, we spend hundreds and thousands of dollars a year on anti-aging potions and magical creams that claim to keep us looking young forever. We stand in front of mirrors, critiquing every line and crease that appears on our face. We dye our hair to hide our grays and worry about whether the clothes that we wear age us.
But in reality, what is so terribly wrong about aging? Why do so many people strive to beat the clock and maintain the physical appearances they had in their youth? In my opinion, it’s a privilege to reach the point in your life where you begin to age. It indicates that you have lived a long, healthy life in order to reach this point and that you have acquired a wealth of wisdom over the years.
In my opinion, society makes it very hard to age with confidence and dignity. The media will try to convince you that as you age, you lose your beauty and your desirability. But since when does our outward appearance define us? Since when do we let other people control how we feel about ourselves and our own bodies?
Our cultural standards of aging and beauty are ridiculously unattainable for the average woman. Since when did youth and attractiveness become synonymous? Let’s be honest, eventually we are all going to get some wrinkles on our face and age spots on our body. Yes, some of us will age slower than others, but that doesn’t mean any of us will age any “better” than the rest of us. We all have unique physical features in our youth and we will continue to have unique physical features in our old age.
I’m only 18, so I clearly haven’t experienced the aging process yet. But I don’t dread the idea of one day growing old. When I reach the age of 75, I hope I will be content with myself and with the way that I look. Every wrinkle that will inevitably be etched into my skin will represent years of smiles and laughs. Every gray hair on my head will symbolize a moment of stress or hardship that I successfully overcame. Age spots, sagging skin, crow’s feet: bring it on. After a lifetime’s worth of beautiful memories and accomplishments, I will refuse to allow my aging appearance to bring down my high spirits.
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