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Real Simple

It’s time to get real.

This is a thought which plays on my mind more and more, the older I get.

In complete honesty, I’ve sat on this thought for quite some time. The last issue of 209, just as I thought I’d created professional suicide revealing my personal “pause,” I learned something exciting. We mid-life ladies are not alone. Not only are we not alone, but we are embracing/happy to be in one another’s (open) company.

Even more confirming and exciting was the feedback of those younger than me, openly sharing it’s a topic which was never discussed in their families, not to mention circles. The opening of the conversation in our publication; liberating. How cool is that?

My grandmother Edith White age 65 at the time taken. A face full of life.
So, as I sat at my desk, reading letters of “thanks” from readers, I realized this too may be an area in which I’m not alone.

Simply put, I don’t know when looking like ourselves became so “uncool” (for lack of a better word). The reality of this statement is even bigger than I think some ever realize.

Case in point, not that long ago I happened upon a brief video posted to an influencer’s Instagram story. The 30-something shared her challenge for all to be seen in their “realness” and “true” beauty. She openly shared with her followers that she was making this post sans make-up, lipstick and the like. 

I sat watching puzzled as I looked past her lash extensions (which I also have) to her eyes just below her Botox-filled forehead and above her cosmetically plumped lips.

Following me here? This is not her “real”/ “true” beauty. Sorry not sorry, but I find it mind blowing that a business which once relied on people trying to defy aging late in life is now supported by peoeple early into their 20s.

What happened to aging gracefully? What happened to viewing crow’s feet, laugh lines and the like as imperfections well earned? When did we become so openly comfortable with altering our natural state? And when did we become so delusional that we consider such modifications as us in our “real” state? 

Oh yes, I know the age-old argument of you “paid” for it so it’s yours, but ladies (and gents) come on!

Oh sure, beauty enhancements and augmentations have been around for decades. I think what’s caught me the most off guard is the number of young women who are equally on the bandwagon. One influencer recently posted photos with her kids openly sharing how uncomfortable she was before the shoot as it had been way too long since her last fill and touch up. She, by the way was in her early 30s and honey I am here to tell you those lines have nothing on the ones you will earn by true midlife.

As I shared this topic and my thoughts on bringing it to our pages with a friend, I quickly outed myself for my “classic” maintained lash extensions. Onboard with the idea behind my thoughts she quickly pointed out lashes are not different than nails – they’re removable.

Puzzlement with the fear of gracefully aging aside, I also marvel at the money these “middle” Americans are spending to fight the hands of father time. This trend is not just exclusive to influencers and celebrities, mommies lining up at pick-up right alongside us are equally on board. 

All this being said, I can almost hear the words of some of you: live and let live. Great point. 

My concern, however, comes as an aging woman, who happens to be the mother (and influencer) of a son and daughter. What message would I be sending to them if I was constantly on the chase to “fix” what time has created? Do I want to see them desiring augmentation of any form at a young age? And what message of vanity do I want them to follow as an example?

So here I am, a 50-something mother of two, daughter, partner, friend and writer, sans all make-up, aging as I should – gracefully, or at least I hope so. 

This is the route which my mother took and her mother as well. Two true beauties in my unaltered eyes. Now because of them and the path of aging they led for me; I will do the same for my daughter. Besides, that money saved can be used for lots more memory making and less recovery time. Cheers to laugh lines and moisturizer.