You Look So Young
When I was a child I couldn’t wait to get older. I wanted to be thirteen so I could get my ears pierced, sixteen so I could have boyfriend, seventeen so I could drive and eighteen so I could vote. Even though it seemed to take a long, long time, I reached each milestone as I grew up.
Now I am in the second half of my life, it seems the normal thing to want to look younger. But unlike my earlier quest for maturity, it isn’t going happen no matter how long I wait. In fact, every hour of the day takes me further away from being as young as I once was.
It would seem to me that the reason most women keep colouring their way long after it suits them, is because they fear looking older. “Grey hair is ageing”, they shout, “it will make me look old.”
I wonder what is wrong with getting old, and what the fascination is with staying young. When people offer the compliment “You look so young,” I find it quite bizarre. My body displays the years of my life like a trophy and I am proud of it. I don’t want to look young, I want to look vibrant, alive, interesting, and attractive.
Perhaps what women fear is not being attractive any more, or being invisible. I believe that losing your beauty has nothing to do with how old you are. It’s all about your attitude. Perhaps what women fear is the way some older women become shrinking, wizened, dry shells of who they once were. Those whose energy crackles with disappointment, their smiles forced and empty.
So instead of telling another mature woman she looks so young, perhaps we should change our vocabulary. Older women, who embrace ageing and don’t buy into the myth that youth is the peak of one’s existence, should be called juicy, sexy, warm, glowing, fascinating, striking and adorable.
We don’t care to be called young, when it’s something we don’t value at all.
Do you mourn the loss of your youth or are you happy being the age you are?