The Hamster Wheel Of “Anti Aging”

I read this quote today, by fabulous writer Jill Chivers at her blog My Year Without Clothes Shopping:
“You will never ever be truly happy or settled in your skin if some part of you believes it is wrong or unacceptable to get older, and to look older. A part of you will always be stuck on a hamster wheel (of someone else’s design), trying desperately to stop the clock, or wind back the clock, to make you look and feel younger than you are.”

That phrase “hamster wheel” really socked me. The pressures to stay “young” and “fresh” and even “young for your age” (bleghh) are ever mounting. There are a least a billion YouTubes about how to “fight aging” and “use makeup to take ten years off.” These are all for women, by the way, although I am sure some men also struggle with their aging appearance. It can feel like a hamster wheel or as futile as trying to catch one’s own tail: is this Next Thing the one that will restore my youthful looks? And of course it isn’t, but I’ll try again.

If you ever watch the home shopping channels (don’t start now if you haven’t!) the pitches for anti-aging potions and devices are relentless. The “Before” picture looks the way most of us do at midlife, and “After” has the great lighting, glossy lips and serene smile.

anti-aging creams

I hardly recognized her! (kidding!)  After using this product.

I am all for efforts to feel good about ourselves as we age. I love what Retin-A does for my skin, and I work out every day.  I wear lipstick and mascara most days, and concealer under my eyes. But I am not fooled into thinking these practices actually make me younger.

We are getting smarter, wiser, wittier, and more appealing in so many ways. We aren’t getting younger though, for whatever worth we assign to that quality. Our culture assigns a lot of worth to youth; it’s up to us to put it in perspective. Youthful appearance is one thing we’ve all had, and now we have a different, not worse, appearance. As Stephen Hawking said, time in this world moves in one direction, but we are not dead yet.

Stay fabulous,

Some fab pieces for women of any age:

Please be aware that links to vendors may be affiliate links. I do benefit from your purchases through the links on the blog.

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  1. Age can not be resisted with anything … but proper treatment will make us look younger (I hope) and .. a great anti-aging product 🙂

    • Actually Tim no attempt was made to condense, merely to give readers ample to decide whether to follow to source to read the complete item. You are welcome to provide items for puibocatlin, in which case we’ll post the whole thing.

  2. Wise words and ones I try to live by each day….but I did get braces this year along with my first social security check;-) Now, out to do my four mile walk since the rain has stopped briefly.

  3. Had to dig back for this post but your words are very appreciated and spot on.

  4. Bless you, Patti. We don’t hear that enough! It okay to age…it’s part of life. I went to a family reunion 2 years ago with my older sister ( 5 years my senior). One of our relatives asked which of us was the older sister! Groan! ( I know, rude question). Neither of us answered that question. Later, my sister admitted to having a bunch of facelift and laser procedures done on her face. I am and will age “au naturale”. So be it.

  5. Nice post! I agree that there is a fine line between not completely letting gravity and the ravages of time have their way with us versus hopping on the gerbil wheel. I just this week made an appointment for hand rejuvenation. I looked at them the other day and wondered how in the heck a fifty five year old ended up with ninety year old hands that I’m not quite ready for yet. Happy to have some options!

    • [quote co0=3ntm”em009″]Cela ne me pose aucun problème qu’à titre individuel vous soyez opposé à l’interruption volontaire de grosses, c’est votre liberté de conscience, et elle n’a qu’une seule limite, fondamentale, c’est la liberté de l’autre, de chaque femme, à disposer de son propre corps.[/quote]Le problème, c’est que la femme qui avorte dispose du corps (en croissance) d’un autre ! Et ça, en droit, s’appelle un meurtre.

  6. Right on the mark!!!!! As a 70+ yr old matriarch, I embrace my age, my gray hair, my wrinkles and so on. AND I also put my best foot, face and frock forward when engaging in the world. Looking our best at any age is the point – NOT to chase the elusive younger person you once were. But let’s face it, its all about making money on the backs of women’s manufactured low self-esteem so they’ll buy a “promise” without question.

  7. A great hair cut, a good night’s sleep, and a smile…work wonders. That and a little under eye concealer, some eye liner and mascara, and a bit of blush. And a top in a colour that flatters. My list keeps getting longer. Oh… and exercise in the fresh air. Gad. I sound like my grandmother.

  8. Fantastic post! “Anti-aging” is a slippery slope and a battle that’s impossible to “win.”

  9. This is such a smart post Patti and I do agree. I also like to look younger than my age, but there is an incredible preassure on this…I was thinking about that the other day, when I was watching cosmetic sugery over a 30something actress, already…let’s enjoy life and appreciate that we are ageing, and also I hate to see people mocking older women for being aged…for aging is a process we all have to go thru and it shouldn’t be feared nor laughed at! By the way, I was late in joining the link-up but I think you will like my dress. Kisses

    Fashion and Cookies – fashion & beauty blog

  10. Bravo to you for saying this.
    I do think there’s a difference between a focus on exercise and health, in order to avoid spending the last years with chronic illnesses, vs. cosmetic concerns. Healthy is good, even important. Beauty? Fleeting and never enough, so why even play that game?

  11. Thank you! I was very disappointed when my favorite skin care line went from reasonably priced basics, (indeed that was the mission) to focus on anti aging products that are very expensive. It’s laughable also to see celebrities who have had facelifts touting their makeup and skin products.

  12. Hurray to your post Patti. I could not agree more. No matter what we do and try we will age. Aren’t we the lucky ones? I so enjoyed our conversation and an interesting mind, the impression that we make is so much stronger than a “youthful” looking face. Thank you for sharing and have a fabulous week. <3 Sabina

  13. Great post, Patti! I agree wholeheartedly. And it’s true, the more “interventions” we undertake, the faster we have to keep that wheel spinning. I’m aiming to be as cool as Linda Rodin, who takes care of her skin, puts on some bright lipstick and doesn’t seem to worry about much else.

    • Maryanne, falando em dias bonitos, mais ou menos em que meses são os mais bonitos? Digo ensodaralos, sem muito calor nem muito frio, de cartão postal?Um abraço

  14. Besides, how can we exercise our superpower of invisibility, if everyone is staring at us because we look so much younger than they know us to be?

    When I first achieved “middle age,” I thought that invisibility was a curse. Now I recognize it for the gift that it is … good thing I work for Goodness and Light. Industrial sabotage would be very easy to accomplish, at my level of invisibility.

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