as i continued to plumb the depths of “the age advantage” article in positive.news i was happy to read the unnamed author’s findings about the idea of anti-ageing. she/he tells us that the editor in chief of the US women’s magazine, allure, has resolved to stop using that term and has asked the beauty industry to do the same. editor michelle lee says, “when we use the term anti-ageing, whether we know it or not, we’re subtly reinforcing the message that ageing is a condition we need to battle”. the anti-ageing sector of the cosmetic industry generates billions as women and men frantically attempt to have un-lined and un-sagging skin, un-grey hair, un-flabby muscles and all the other physical changes that happen on the continuum of ageing.
i find this all deeply disturbing. while it certainly behooves us to stay as healthy in bodymindheartspirit as we are able, i want my age to show. i want every wrinkle, grey hair and arthritic joint to be on display. to have elderhood honoured and respected we must honour and respect it ourselves. by attempting to erase all the signs of ageing, we participate in our own diminishment. we participate in supporting the notion that only the young have contributions to offer to our society and that we, the olders, are a burdensome, useless demographic. (interesting to me is the fact that most youngers who complain about us as a group don’t realise they are complaining about their own grandparents and great-grandparents!)
what would our world be like if we gave up the idea that “ageing is a condition we need to battle”? what would our world be like if every time we noticed a new wrinkle or experienced a new discomfort, we said to ourselves, “wow. this is interesting. i wonder where it will take me, what it can teach me.”
we would be living in a very different world, one filled with compassion and grace, love and caring...and joy!