Women Over 50 Don’t Need To Be “Fixed”

We women over 50 don’t need to be “fixed”. Aging is not a failure. Today I feel a rant coming on about the “anti-aging” beauty market. Yes, there’s a whole industry that tries to make us unhappy with ourselves. Then, they figure we’ll buy their stuff to feel better. 

Our brains have been conditioned to believe one narrow view, that young is beautiful, young is strong. Then Western culture brainwashes us from childhood that that we can be better, prettier, and more desirable if only we buy this or that product.

“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

In the last decade some companies have included women over 50 in beauty campaigns. They still stand out as the exceptions. Here’s 81 year-old Jane Fonda on the cover of British Vogue.

From May 2019

But flip through the inside of any beauty magazine, and many ads for skincare products feature 20-somethings.

The persistent marketing campaigns are not a coincidence: the “anti-aging” industry takes in $80 billion a year. But, as the National Institute on Aging has stated, “no treatments have been proven to slow or reverse the aging process” — therefore, “anti-aging” is a Quixotic mission. Just a thought: perhaps the beauty business could be more supportive, a partner as we age?

The average life expectancy for a woman in the U.S. is 78, and in Canada it’s 82. “In an era in which people actually live longer and longer,” Susan Sontag wrote in the 1972 essay “The Double Standard of Aging,” “what now amounts to the latter two-thirds of life is shadowed by a poignant apprehension of unremitting loss.” I wish I could write like Ms. Sontag, because she just said it!

We don’t lose value as we age. True, we’re not dewy fresh, but we are getting more complex and more interesting. Our lines and spots and silver hairs are not diseases. We don’t need to be hard on ourselves about them, or buy things to get ourselves “fixed.” 

Gorgeous baby sister and me, about six months ago.

Let’s agree to step out of the negative spiral, and focus on health and joy.  I look forward to many years of sunscreen, (and retinoids), biking, yoga, quinoa salads, and a healthy six four ounces of Merlot per day. 😄

P.S. I found a fierce article about the beauty industry, by a young woman, and I recommend it to you: (warning for strong language): “Anti-aging” Is Marketing Bullshit.

End of rant, stay fabulous and safe, wash and wash and wash, xo

Listen to the professionals for all the latest news on the virus. Meanwhile, browse these treats:

Header image via source.

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  1. age is a state of mind….. I’m 71 and my husband is 73. He still works full-time, but we take 3 vacations a year to a resort near Tulum ~ where we zip-line, ATV through the jungle, horseback ride, parasail and otherwise refuse to “act our age” (but also just “chill” in our Casitas w/concierge & pool butler ~ y’all MUST go to El Dorado Casitas!). We don’t forget to count our blessings either, but truly believe that keeping active keeps us strong….

    • Hello Cindy and thanks for coming by. You and your husband know how to have a fabulous time! Rock on and stay well, xx.

  2. Hello Patti, hope all is well with you. I couldn’t agree more ageing is a privilege denied to many and as such should be embraced. Those anti-ageing ads really annoy me too . No mention is made to the fact that so many of us embrace and enjoy the freedoms that come as we age. Not sure about Jane Fonda as the poster girl for natural . All the best. xx

    • Hello dear Jill and thanks for coming by. Yes to embracing the freedom age brings! Hope you are well and feeling wonderful, xo.

  3. I agree with your sentiments. But Jane Fonda is not exactly a poster girl for natural aging.

    • Hello, Jean. Totally agree about Ms. Fonda. It’s hard to find an ad campaign that features no-medical-interventions and no-photoshop. Thanks for coming over and be safe, xo.

  4. yes I like the quote : “Ageing is great when you consider the alternative…” its very blunt but it helps to get very real about how precious life is and no matter how old we get its still very short… so lets live it and to heck with negative comments and advertisements designed to strike fear in us.

    • Good morning Angela and thanks for your spot-on comments. Life does fly by, doesn’t it? Enjoy every sandwich, xo.

  5. Patti! this is so beautiful!….I am 49 now, not really belonging to the 40s, not yet in my 50s and i struggle with the prospect of ageing…but i am getting better with working through the mind gymnastics of it all–i like myself better as an older woman, life is so much more interesting, i am more of a student, and the women i meet my age and older are people i can sit for hours with and talk (in comparison to my 18 year old daughter and her friends hahaha!)
    xo eva

    • Hello Eva and thank you for writing. This is great: “i like myself better as an older woman.” Me too. Love to talk with women of a certain age, we know stuff! xo

  6. Great article. I’m so tired of crepe erase commercials. Crepe skin is a natural part of aging. Wear it proudly!!

  7. Patti, I agree with your every word.
    And I applaud Annick Robinson’s words ‘Ageing is a privilege’.

    • Thank you Jenny, and thanks for coming over. Totally agree that aging is a privilege! Stay safe and well, xo.

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