It’s no secret that women today, no matter our age, are constantly in front of images of other strong, beautiful, photoshopped women. Whether you’re scrolling on social media, standing in line at the store, or watching T.V., it’s constantly flashed before us.
I mean sure, do I always want to look my best and get style inspiration from them? Yes, but have I ever let the smooth skin and gorgeous hair get to me? No.
All of sudden, with 30 coming up this month I got weirdly conscious about my age. Every time I looked in the mirror I felt like I noticed a new line, a new wrinkle, or a sun spot. I started becoming consumed with retinol and eye creams. Researching Botox, fillers, and skin care. I even bought a Botox package for myself for my birthday.
Social media didn’t help this slump I had found myself in either. It seems like everyone is selling the cure for aging or finding “eternal youth.” Mix that in with targeted ads and I was overloaded with content to fuel my worries.
What is so wrong with “looking 30”? Why had this become such a worry for me as my birthday quickly approached? Why are women pressured into looking like young 20-year-old versions of themselves while our male counterparts get praise for their salt and pepper hair and laugh lines? I say we change this narrative.
I earned these faint lines on my forehead and laugh lines. They are signs of happiness, worries, and life events that have made me who I am. The smiles as I look at my babies, the wrinkle lines from worry or scolding them, the time spent outside as a lesson to put on sunscreen. Each part of them makes up the journey I’ve had so far through life and motherhood.
Instead of focusing on all the bad that society makes us focus on at these signs of aging, what if we looked at it another way? Seeing these signs as features of a mature, strong, caring woman who has learned many lessons. This should be the strength we see and be shown on social media.
It makes me think of all the news stories when the new “Sex and the City” show “And Just Like That…” debuted on HBO last year. I remember reading all of the horrific comments on the looks of the characters in their new stage of life. Honestly it appalled me that people think like that. These are all confident women taking on life’s normal ups and downs. I thought that they looked beautiful. Each of them pictured as women who have gone through life carrying the burdens we all do. I loved how they featured the real and raw of aging and displayed it as a natural part of life. After all, we are all aging, whether we want to or not, right? And to this I say: let’s raise a glass and celebrate it.
So as I step into 30, I’m stepping confidently. Accepting that aging is beautiful, taking care of myself in ways that make me feel more confident, and not letting the pressure of the media make me feel any less or do things I don’t want to do. Life is too short to get caught up in the comparison game. Find the things that bring you joy, and flash those laugh lines as you enjoy them. We have earned them.