Today I turn 64 and if I am to believe the media, I have long passed my expiration date of desirability as a woman.
In fact to accept conventional wisdom about women, nothing matches their fear of visible signs of ageing.
But here’s the un-botoxed- wrinkle in that. Every woman is an “ageing woman.”
It begins at birth and continues if we are fortunate for 80 decades. Yet the window for beguiling is a short one in our youth culture, one lasting only a third of our life expectancy.
Women’s attractiveness seems at best highly perishable. Not unlike a container of milk there seems to be an expiration date, a best-used by date of about 30 years.
Despite the fact that we are currently living in a time when women over 60 are more visible and more powerful in government, business, and entertainment than ever before, when it comes their looks old stereotypes about our attractiveness linger like fossilized remains.
Women’s desirability is likely to decay.
The insistence that there is an arbitrary expiration date for women and their perceived beauty has not lessened its strong grip. In fact it has only accelerated as more fillers, serums, and procedures lay in wait to correct the “problems” fix the “flaws” and reverse signs of aging. To turn back time.
All Out War
Having been drafted by the media at an early age, I have been waging a war against any visible sign of aging for over 35 years. Like most girls I learned at an early age that along with a “visible panty line” there were to be no visible signs of aging. Or we ourselves would become invisible.
By 1985, as 30 loomed for me, it was all out war.
So began decades of daily reconnaissance scrutinizing my face and body for any and all flaws. I was on high alert as a full-on assault on wrinkles, creases, furrows and lines escalated. My defense budget skyrocketed as I boost my already bloated arsenal of costly creams, lotions, and potions.
It is only now that I am beginning to question if it’s truly a battle worth waging.
I am constantly told “I don’t look my age,” the holy grail of praise for a woman.
Though secretly pleased, I also know I will never be 30 again, nor 40. Why would I look that way? Six decades of sorrows and loss, despondency and pain, along with great loves and laughter, wisdom and adventure are etched as deeply in my face as in my heart and psyche.
I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is a life lived.
I am far from expired.
© Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream, 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Sally Edelstein and Envisioning The American Dream with appropriate and specific