Grow in Glow

It's offensive to ask people's age. Really, why? Maybe, these are some of the reasons....


Many people try to defy the fact that aging is inevitable. Changes will occur: physically as well as psychologically. Wrinkle will start showing, your skin will become saggy, black dots spots will emerge - we lose the “youthful image”, eventually. But who actually creates those images? Again, the blame is on businesses and the media. These two tries to capitalise beauty standards not only on our body shape, skin tone, hair texture, but also the anti-aging appearance.

Youthful image is depicted as the golden time of your life. But, is it? Physically, may be yes. Psychologically, quite doubtful. Based on experience, if youth is a golden time, then how come many of us youths are experiencing doubt, being undermined, seen as careless and irresponsible?  It pretty much contradicts the very essence of the term golden. The image of being young is constructed by businesses and media through only their "physical" lens, where it is exploitative and deceitful.

We can easily find any anti-aging products in drugstores. What does it actually mean? Do you really believe on the product’s effectiveness to eliminating your wrinkles? Have you ever think that it might be their strategy to shake our confidence by making us always feel that “we are not good enough, so let’s buy this”. The vicious cycle in breaking the self-love is so strong, that sometimes we think it’s the norm. Oh no!

So, repeat after me: we are all beautiful no matter what!!

Allure Magazine just recently declared their progressive commitment to no longer use the “anti-aging” term. As a beauty magazine, they are aware of the harm by glorifying the youthful image and its effect on self-confidence. Michelle Lee, Allure’s editor-in-chief, stated, “Whether we know it or not, we’re subtly reinforcing the message that aging is a condition we need to battle - think anti-anxiety meds, antivirus software, or anti-fungal spray”. Well-said, isn’t it?! This positive-image campaign should definitely be replicated by other media!

Now adding a gender-lens to this topic, sexism within the age sphere is also strongly visible. Remember how Trump greeted Brigitte Macron? Yes, he said, “You are in such good physical shape”. This kind of unsolicited, offensive, sexist, ageist type of comments probably not so much experienced by men. Older women face multi-discrimination as they are considered less attractive and “expired”. Men who are partnering with older women are also somewhat perceived as having a fetish. These socially-constructed notions about women are not only devilish, but also make no sense as aging is inevitable.

The effort to abolish the anti-aging movement is also tried by some artists through their artworks. One of them is Fran Meneses who confessed in her Twitter handle that she has never drawn her wrinkles, and she proudly said, "I like them now. They reflect how much I laugh and how excited I am about life". Simply encouraging! Look at her illustrations below:

Illustration by Fran Meneses, taken from her personal twitter handle.

Illustration by Fran Meneses, taken from her personal twitter handle.

Illustration by Fran Meneses, taken from her personal twitter handle.

Illustration by Fran Meneses, taken from her personal twitter handle.

So hence, embracing self with love and respect is the key to grow in glow, despite how old we are. Be like fine wine, improves with age!