Why are Women Scared of Getting Old?
Dread getting older? Women around the world seem to worry about aging more than men do. Wrinkles. Saggy breasts. Gray hair. Permanent post-baby belly. Dry skin. Weight gain. Each change wrought by time and gravity renders most women a bit more invisible in a culture that prizes dewy youth . Enter the booms in plastic surgery, laser skin resurfacing, and "anti-aging" cosmetics. And it never ends.
Fear about appearance persists right into the 70s and 80s -- when women add hearing aids, walkers, canes, and stooped posture to the dreaded "visible markers of being old". Age brings intelligence, experience, wisdom and beauty . So why are we so scared of it? The trouble is that many of us find it impossible to relate to these worrying facts, unable to face the reality that every day we inch ever closer to our own dotage.
I've noticed recently that when I run into female friends, especially in groups, that one of the ways women often bond is to enter into a discussion about how we don't like how we look. Somehow, a conversation that starts with "How are you?" often turns into a shared lament about weight, age, hair, the fit of jeans, etc . I'll admit freely that I don't want to have this conversation. In fact, I often fall silent and end up wandering away when it happens.
I keep asking myself if there's a way for me to bring up what's happening and my feelings about it. I wonder if doing so would be helpful or just make others more uncomfortable than they obviously already feel . Here's why I don't want to have that conversation: I know that age is not just a number. I know that weight is not just a number.
If your biggest fear is getting older, the best thing that can happen to you is getting older. That's right! Like treating a fear of heights with exposure to heights , the universe will also desensitize you to a fear of aging by continuing to apply time + gravity.
That said, things do change when you get older. For women, chief among these concerns is "losing your looks." Must use more moisturizer — rather than feel bad, I actually feel good, good that I am alive and this age and still totally healthy, in spite of how much I wasted my youth, or rather, got wasted while young. Think about it : Pretty amazing.
It Happens So Slowly That You Don't Really Notice at All. It's not like you go to bed beautiful and wake up a hag. You grow old gradually and notice every once in a while. You're still you, just older. And while it may offer a momentary fascination or a ping of mortality, it is hardly cause for copious weeping or even fleeting depression. You're a human. You're still alive . No one lives forever.
You can't control others' views, but you can do a lot to stave off the infirmary and cultivate an inner beauty that transcends the outer packaging . Get enough sleep, reform your diet, exercise, laugh, stay engaged with the world. "You're as young as you feel" may be a cliché, but it's true.
I'm not afraid of getting older but that doesn't mean I want to get old lol hahahaha