CAN WE SEE BEAUTY IN OURSELVES AS WE AGE?
I’m 66. We baby boomers have reinvented every decade of our lives, never having accepted the status quo.
Now we’re in our 50s, our 60s, our 70s, and we’re still at it. We have proven that as life continues we can become smarter and wiser. We only add to our experiences.
I subscribe to the concept that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
And I have noticed that it is so much easier to see the beauty of youth and age in others.
We are so critical when we look in the mirror. When we look in the mirror, we are the beholder.
It is up to us to see the beauty in ourselves at every stage of life. I believe each decade brings a new and different kind of beautiful.
I’ve experienced inner and outer beauty as inseparable: People we find truly beautiful aren’t those with the most symmetrical features, or the most “flawless” complexions, but those who radiate from within and are taking joy in themselves and their lives.
I feel a different kind of beautiful now than I did as a young woman. And for me, that viewpoint has come from what I have learned over the years–and having the time to build my confidence, through experiencing life longer.
So how do you get to the place where you can hold that viewpoint about yourself?
Take a leap…
When I first stopped dying my hair, I’ll admit it: I was scared. Would people suddenly start treating me like an “old lady”? Or would I simply become invisible to others?
I couldn’t reconcile the fact that I knew I was getting better with age, with the fact that I kept trying to cover my grey. So I took the leap.
I felt the fear—and I did it anyway. And you know what happened the minute I did that? I was scouted on the street to model for a worldwide fashion campaign.
That never would have happened if I’d still been hiding my silver hair
—if I wasn’t feeling strong, confident and happier than ever.
What we feel shows! It emanates from within. Again, we can see it so much more clearly in others. It takes a leap of faith to choose to see it in yourself–to just say “hush” to the voices we’ve been listening to for decades.
But once you do? You’ll be shocked at the affirmation you get.
Embrace what we have been convinced are “flaws.”
This is a scary one for lots of us. When we’ve been told by society that the way to be gorgeous is to look as young as possible and cover up our lines, our scars, our wrinkles, freckles and so called “imperfections,” for some of us, it takes a little doing to get comfortable in the idea that those are exactly the things that make us beautiful, because they’re the things that make us unique.
But one of the most precious types of Japanese pottery is called kintsugi—ceramics that have cracked and been repaired with gold. Kintsugi treats the normal cracks that come with use as the most beautiful part of the object, highlighting them by filling them with precious metal.
In the 15th century, this form became so valuable that collectors deliberately smashed precious ceramics so the cracks could be repaired with gold!
The more cracks, the more “flaws,” the more signs of a life well lived, the more valued, beautiful and precious a work of kintsugi. What could happen if we looked at ourselves that way?
—I suggest we all consider spending less money on hiding our age–and more on feeling good and doing what pleasures us.
And that takes practice and support from friends and family! As a nation, we spend billions of dollars every year on Botox, pharmaceutical anti-wrinkle creams, hair dye and cosmetic surgery.
How many of those things actually feel good or give us true fulfillment? When I’m making a choice, I ask myself what’s motivating me. Is it fun, or is it fear?
What if you considered investing your money on things that were pleasurable to you, like wonderful food, travel, new adventures, or massage? What if you invested in feeling great “in your skin,” instead of things that hide it? What do we have to lose?
I say, give it a try—and see how it makes you feel!
See the beauty in other women…
The more you allow yourself to be truly seen, the more you encourage other women to do the same. Know what happens next?
Their increased confidence and visibility reflects back at you, and suddenly, we’re all shining a brighter light on each other. It’s contagious.
I’ve seen it happen with my friends and colleagues, and I’ve watched it unfold magically as BOOM! spreads its pro-age message to more and more women.
Celebrate your life…
and your beauty, as you are today, openly, honestly and proudly— and share that with your kids, your grandkids, your friends, and your community.
Own the fact that you are just as vital now as you ever have been. Try experimenting and getting in the conversation with friends and family about what attractiveness and beauty really is.
You’ll be amazed at how letting your own light shine encourages other women to do the same, and how exponentially more beautiful we all become as a result.