Join the Movement Against Ageism by Owning Your True Self (and Age!)
We’ve come such a long way when it comes to celebrating age. Right now, it feels to me that ageism is slowly becoming a thing of the past. I am thrilled to see so many incredible women coming forward with overwhelming confidence and bravery to redefine what getting older means in our culture, it inspires me to speak out even louder. (And you know I’m already pretty loud to begin with!)
I’m glad our culture is recognizing that ageing is not a kind of decline, it’s an ascent. It’s finally having understood how to live your life to the fullest and then getting to enjoy that fresh wisdom and confidence.
Today in the media, we see a shift. Whereas ageing women are still underrepresented, we are finally starting to see more and more ageing beauty in magazines, television, and social media. Women are bravely shedding their layers, sometimes literally by consciously choosing to go makeup free, or by refusing to have their imperfections removed in Photoshop. We want to be seen for who we are. As we all grow in our self-confidence, we also grow in our collective confidence as women—and this gives us tremendous power. What an exciting time to be a woman!
I was so thrilled when Alicia Keys decided she was done wearing makeup, even to award ceremonies. She said, "I don't want to cover up anymore. Not my face, not my mind, not my soul, not my thoughts, not my dreams, not my struggles, not my emotional growth. Nothing." This is such a beautiful message to all women, and also to herself. I think she looks even more beautiful now. She radiates confidence.
Pink recently replied to someone who said she was looking old on Twitter, “I am of the mindset that it’s a blessing to grow old. That if your face has lines around your eyes and mouth it means you’ve laughed a lot. I pray I look older in 10 years, cause that will mean I’m alive.” I absolutely love that quote. That is exactly how I feel about embracing any wrinkles.
This movement has been going since the beginning of time. It’s just finally gaining momentum. Think back to Frida Kahlo, for example. She was a very sexually active, attractive woman. She consciously made the decision to embrace her signature unibrow. It didn’t stop her. It propelled her.
On a personal note, I remember how turning 30 was such a turning point for me. I suddenly had so much more confidence and certainty. I think of my 30s as a wonderful time in my life. By now, I know where I want to go in life, and I am lucky enough to have the resources and support to pursue my dreams. I’m not full of self-doubt or stuck figuring life out through trial and error as I was in my 20s. I much prefer the person I am today. As I get older, I’m not worried about pleasing everyone. I’m ready to accept my whole self exactly as I am, and I don’t worry about who doesn’t like it.
I’m a minimalist. I go out without any makeup most days, and I feel truly free (and beautiful!) doing so. So I have under-eye circles? So what? I’m a busy working mother! I am perfectly at peace with my eyes reflecting the true depths of my fatigue! I have a small capsule wardrobe of timeless pieces that I love. I don’t like to follow trends, and I find that more stuff equals more stress. My mother, however, is the opposite. She is never without her perfectly applied makeup, and her hair is always neatly coiffed. Maybe it’s our Latina culture or her generation that makes her feel she needs to project this image of perfect beauty, I would think. Plus, she used to mistake my minimalism for lack of self care, when to me giving yourself permission to be exactly as you are is the ultimate act of self love.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve understood that neither of our philosophies is wrong. Both of our intentions are exactly the same: to feel beautiful and express our confidence. So if you do feel beautiful in makeup, wear it! What’s most important is that it makes you feel beautiful, not because you feel obligated to look a certain way, and not because you want to hide. Let your light shine. You do you—always!
I think a big part of stopping ageism is centered around just that: accepting ourselves exactly as we are. We’re done being “prim, proper, quiet.” We are who we are, and we aren’t going to dim that light for anyone. We are emotional and intuitive. We are insecure, yet confident. Beauty comes from within, that’s why confidence is the solid root that strengthens along with our wisdom. Owning your insecurities and confidence all at once, that’s what makes you a woman.
Embrace who you are and help the women around you do the same. We are all beautiful and worth celebrating. I hope you’ll join me in the movement against ageism by giving yourself permission to be you. I’m giving myself permission to be me.
Throughout the ages, every generation says something to the next generation of women. What would you want to say?