Do You Have An Anti Aging Obsession?
I can remember having an “anti aging obsession” as early as my late teens. Sure, I wasn’t yet obsessed with makeup, but I spent tons of money on acne products and aging creams. I would obsess over the latest wrinkle creams from L’Oréal and apply them as diligently as my zinc sunscreen. I remember my boyfriend laughing at how neurotically I would repurchase a cream the moment I ran out. Although I would usually be laughing with him, the fact remains that I still felt powerless to stop my own neurosis and there’s something wrong with that picture. Why are we so obsessed with stopping the aging process? What’s up with our anti aging obsession? And moreover, as Cindy from Hello Dollface said in her post about the term “anti-aging”, we need to change the way we talk about aging to reflect a more positive, aging gracefully thought process and mindset.
Anti aging is a term so ingrained in my brain that I find myself using it in posts all the time without even giving it a second thought. After reading about how anti aging as a marketing term is affecting women, I became pretty horrified at the effect my words might be having on readers. I would never want readers to feel like they “have” to do something or else they’ll look old, ugly, etc. What’s wrong with those things anyway? And who says you need a skincare product to be or not be those things? The entire reason I work so hard to be transparent about what I’m doing with you guys is so that you have the option, the choice, and the awareness to make your own choices. I’m not trying to trick you into anything, but I know that’s usually the aim of many marketing campaigns across the board, especially where “health” and “beauty” are concerned. You don’t have to look further than the latest QVC ad or fitness infomercial to see words that often imply we aren’t, won’t be, and can’t be complete without their product. This “you need us” marketing tactic is one that most companies employ and it’s very effective. It worked on me for years and I wasn’t even their target audience.
I feel so lucky to have my boyfriend in my life. He’s kept me grounded in reality and never lets me get too obsessive about the whole “aging” thing. I no longer obsess over my “fine lines” which is ironic since I’m at a proper age to have them now. I’m sure I’m not alone in this aging panic. What’s sad is that it’s actually considered the norm. As soon as we hit our teens, aging becomes a horrific obsession that must be countered at all costs. That’s why girls as young as 16 go out and get botox, nose jobs, boob jobs, and even face lifts. It’s why young teens use eye creams even though they don’t have a fine line in sight. And when you really stop to think about it, isn’t it just ridiculous?
I love a good eye cream or face mask just as much as the next girl. I work hard to look nice and feel good about myself and I think that journey is different for each person. I also think it’s important to not judge someone else’s personal journey. It means something different to everyone. And while I think skincare and makeup are fun and a wonderful way to feel like your happiest, most confident self, I also feel that at this point in my life, I’m working to not be so obsessive about stopping the clock. After all, to live and age is a gift that’s not granted to everyone. It’s hard to feel grateful for the lines that will inevitably take root on my face. I can only hope to make peace with that and live in gratitude for the fact that I’m given the good grade to make it that far and to have lived, loved, and laughed my way there.
So, I’m not making any promises (old habits die hard, people), but I will do my very best to stop using terms like anti aging and age reversal. I never stopped to consider the effect I was having on readers when I used that kind of language nor did I think about the kind of mindset I’d be encouraging by doing so. I never want you guys to think you need to change to be beautiful, to be happy, or to be loved. You’re beautiful and wonderful enough right now, in this moment, just the way you are. That’s something you can’t put a price tag on. It’s something that has nothing, at all, to do with eye cream.