Lately, while putting on my make up, or just passing by a mirror, I’ve noticed my skin tone isn’t what it used to be. I have very fine lines all over when I smile. My eyes seem different. I need lipstick to replicate what my younger lips used to do on their own. I don’t leave home without my Revlon long wearing lip color, slicking it on daily as part of my routine. It is scary to me, only in that I look at elderly women and think to myself in a bit of a panic, “That’s not how I want to look when I’m an old lady!” OMG…seriously. Some women let themselves go and look terrible. It doesn’t have to be that way. It just takes a little upkeep. I know we are not all blessed as beauty queens, but we aren’t born female orgres, either. Much is in the genes, an element we can’t control. Some people age well and other’s don’t. It’s the hand we’re dealt. So, regardless, we should make the best of it.
There are some mature women I have known, despite their faded girlish looks, who still seem so beautiful to me. I knew a 63 year old woman named Marie many years ago at my old church. Marie had a long, gray braid down the middle of her back and her face, despite wrinkles was very pleasing. She had sparkly eyes and what made her really attractive to me was her personality within. She was a simple woman who wasn’t extravigant-she was just Marie. Another thing that brings mature, subtle beauty is the wisdom and experience these women carry around with them that they’ve aquired from years of living. I look at older women with awe when they can make a recipe from memory, offer life advise that never occured to me and go through life with greater confidence than I could ever imagine having. Truly, they are wonderful.
The French expression “woman of a certain age” refers to middle-age, and the French — and Europeans in general — have long appreciated the beauty of older women. (I knew there was a good reason why I’m in love with France!) The kind of women I am referring to are the women who take care of themselves, and for the most part, who have gone against the norm of what most people expect older women to conform to when age sets in. For example, most mature women adopt to have short hair. Why? Is it because when we get old, we feel long hair is too youthful and out of place on our advancing frames? Or is it because a long cascade of gray down the back makes us feel a bit witchy? Why do most older women decide make embroidered sweatshirts with mock turtlenecks underneath and stretchy pants a wardrobe staple? What’s wrong with defying society’s expectations of what an older women should look like? Don’t get me wrong…I don’t think a woman over 40 should be wearing a mini skirt. That’s just ridiculous and that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m thinking more of the kind of mature women who look ‘fresh’ for their age, like the older models in the Eileen Fisher ads. (I’m not referring to mature models for her thin physiques. That’s not what I’m getting here. It’s the aura these women project that appeals to me.) There is beauty in age. It’s not conventional beauty, but more of an earthy elegance that makes mature woman attractive. You just have to look for it. Seek it out. My goodness, I hope maturing ladys reading this haven’t decided to throw in the towel because the wrinkles are setting in or have arrived some time ago. Try to battle back just a bit, and don’t let yourself go. Try to feel beautiful on the inside and it will emanate through your pores and create a glow on the outside.
My birthday is right around the corner and I am thinking about the advancing years to come with a little trepidation. It is scary. I know someday I’m going to look much older, my hair will turn either gray or white and I may never get this weight off. One thing I do know for sure. I want to grow old. As long as my mind is sharp, my hands work and I can get around I want to go on as long as I can. And while I’m at it, there’s no reason I can’t try to regain some of that earthy loveliness, too, and feel young inside.
After all, it’s better than the alternative. You are all beautiful in some way. Find your beauty spot and flaunt it until your journeys end. You’ll be glad you did.