You Can Keep Your Anti-Aging Crap, There's Nothing Wrong With Looking 40
Mom’s post on anti-aging products goes viral
When you reach a certain age, the sales pitches just don’t stop. Look younger! Fade wrinkles! Lift your skin! There are endless companies trying to sell women on the idea that their aging faces need to be corrected — and it’s exhausting.
Annick Rbsn was headed to her gate at an airport last week when a salesman stopped her in her tracks to warn her about her aging skin. Not kidding. This stuff actually happens to women. She wrote a Facebook post about the interaction that’s since gone viral. It’s had a tremendously positive reaction, because women are sick to death to being told there’s something wrong with their aging faces.
On the way to her gate, a salesman appeared and ventured a guess at her age. It was 12 years younger than she actually is. Clearly his sales tactic was flattery first, panic later:
Man: “your skin is so natural looking, you aren’t wearing any make-up, right?”
Me: “Um, nooooo?”
Man: “Let me guess your age…” Proceeds to pull out a number 12 years younger than I am.
Me: “I look my age and that’s ok actually.”
Man: unsure how to handle that.. “let me show you our face serum, because if you aren’t careful to maintain your skin now, these wrinkles on your face will get much deeper, by 45, creams won’t help anymore.”
Me: “what’s wrong with a woman looking 40?”
Man: “Well let’s talk about the bags under your eyes, and smile lines, my eye cream could improve those in 15-minutes.”
Me: “What’s wrong with my eyes? I have a miracle baby at home and haven’t slept in 2 years, so if I have bags I am grateful to have them, and my husband and I laugh a lot. Those are his fault. He loves how I look… I don’t think I need your cream.”
Man: (nervously) “They may be manageable now, but by 50, it’s too late to correct sagging skin and deep wrinkles, unless you act now, only surgery can correct those.”
Me: “what’s wrong again with a woman aging? You know, my husband and I can’t wait to grow old together, we talk about it all the time, how we’ll be this funny wrinkled old couple. My husband is going to age too, we all are. It’s kind of how life works.”
Standing ovation for this woman. That is how life works. We will age, and let me be the first to admit that yes, it sometimes sucks. I’m guilty of staring in the mirror and doing that thing where you pull your skin back a little tighter and look at your reflection and wonder when the hell your face started to fall. We’ve all done that, right?
We can’t turn back time. We can take care of ourselves and age in as healthy a way as possible, but we can’t stop time from showing some wear and tear on our faces. The question is, who decided that wear and tear was “ugly” or something that needed to be corrected?
“In 2016, refusing to accept self-loathing as a beauty standard is a radical concept. And that is just depressing on a whole other level,” writes Rbsn in an update to her post. “I have been reading some of the comments and wanted to clarify that this wasn’t a post about natural beauty over those who wear make-up, its not about being insulted by a salesman. Its not even about the salesman, who I am sure is very good at his job and following a script. Its about a billion dollar industry that depends on women hating themselves.”
When did we not just start drinking the Kool Aid, but existing on it like water? When did it become absolutely normal for 20 year-old’s to have botox? What exactly are we trying to do to our faces? Freeze them in time? Have you seen Death Becomes Her? Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work. I wonder if Robert Zemeckis knew 25 years ago that he was predicting the future, not just producing a comedy.
“Let’s start a movement peeps, let’s end predatory marketing practices that sell self-loathing to women from cradle to grave,” Rbsn writes. “Women have more important things to do in 2016 than spend a single other minute worried about our wrinkles or the acceptability of our thighs.”
This isn’t about shaming women who decide to get botox or buy the creams or believe the hype. It’s about spreading a message that says you are beautiful the way you are. Your wrinkles are laugh lines — a roadmap to all of the experiences you’ve collected. That is gorgeous. We’re all going to die. We’re all falling apart every day. Happy Friday! But we shouldn’t give any more power to people who try to convince us there’s something wrong with that. There’s not.
Making it to 30, 40, 50, 60, 70… it’s a huge gift. And it’s one that not all people get. Let’s start embracing it! We’re all aging – who cares?
“There is nothing more powerful than how you spend your money, way more powerful than FB views and shares,” Rbsn writes. “Let’s start a movement that says no to brands that require you to hate yourself in order to sell their products. Don’t give them another one of your dollars.”
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