Monday, December 10, 2007

Another Look at Aging

I just found this interesting statement in the December 10 post, "Aging, Femininety and Sex Toys," on Ronni Bennett's Time Goes By ( (If you're looking for thrills, no, it isn't primarily about sex toys.)

"Attaining a more androgynous appearance as we get older allows us to move on to the new role nature intends for us in late life – that of elders with more concern for the world outside ourselves than during the more ego-driven mid-years."

This interests me because it brings to mind the issue of "graceful aging" vs. extreme attempts to look younger. Personally, I've given up the battle to stay or look young and am just doing the best I can, but I marvel at some of the seniors I see who are still obsessed with clothes and hair and face lifts. In my opinion, some of them look like clowns with their intense, colorful makeup, "young" hair styles, and pseudo-sexy, age-inappropriate clothes. Some look as though their faces are frozen, and they probably are, thanks to Botox.

In my opinion, many of my peers are too concerned with shopping, cosmetic surgery, and exotic wardrobes. On the other hand, I believe in the right to spend one's money as one sees fit, to dress and look any way one wants. I just advise taking a careful look in the mirror.

I'm also aware that I haven't been completely consistent. My hair isn't entirely its natural drab color, and I can't explain why I bother visiting the nearby beauty shop occasionally. I guess it's my single induldence. I explain it not as wanting to look young, but wanting to avoid looking older than I really am. Oh well.

Back to the quote: rather than dwelling on our growing physical imperfections, let's concentrate more on "concern for the world outside us" and less on shopping for that perfect suit or fur coat or "young" hairstyle. That means volunteer work, sharing our life stories through writing, helping others, and all the other things many of us are already trying to do. I do see a few "senior princesses" occasionally, and I try not to judge them on exteriors alone.

We elders can't really win the battle of attaining or regaining or preserving feminine perfection, but there are other battles out there that we can still win if we try. It's all part of aging gracefully, and that's a very difficult thing to do!

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne

No comments: