Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Beauty for Women

My thoughts today are about women's beauty. I know we focus so much on building young girls self esteem and making sure they don't feel the need to be a size 0, or telling them that the don't have to look a certain way (big tits, tiny waist, pretty ass) to make themselves popular or attract mates, and that attracting mates isn't the be all to end all, but what about grown women? Day after day, we're obsessed with avoiding wrinkles and sagginess and fat and greys. I'm not one to judge, my colourist knows me better than my husband and I admit to once spending 5 hours in the salon, but when I step back to think about it, the messages women are bombarded with is just as much if not more and there is very little messages towards women 30+ that it's okay to look your age.

Look younger, tighter, firmer, prettier and you'll be happier! Hell, they've even turned Ellen to the dark side. I saw a picture of her next to some make-up thing or another in the supermarket, and I thought to myself, she sure as hell doesn't look that way on her show. Not to pick on her or smash her, I think she's awesome, but that picture was not her, and I want my real Ellen portrayed on the advertising dammit! Why? Because she looks great as she is!

What's wrong with looking your age? I'm not saying that we should set up a big bonfire for our lotions and potions and hair dyes right now, although it would probably save us a bundle, but maybe we need to examine the reasons why we need these things to make us feel better about ourselves. Look at plastic surgeons. Yeah, they make money off of boob and nose jobs for teens and 20 somethings, but where do you think their real bread and butter comes from? I don't want to be lining those guys pockets, I need the money for grandkids, vacations, the fund I'm building to take over the worl...Nevermind. Anyhow, I don't want to buy into the machine that tells me that a wrinkle is the end of my life. Quite frankly, I'm afraid! I'm not a Goddess, much as I like to think I am, I can be programmed too.

So what's my solution? Burn your products!!!! Oh wait, errm no. I don't have a solution. I just want to open a discussion. What is beauty at our age? I'd like to think and hope that by the time I'm 50, beauty is what I define it to be, by a woman who has seen some of the world, raised her children and booted them out of the house to their own adventures, made good friends, had good laughter, shed a few tears. Where it's okay to have some grey or wrinkles and a body that may not look great in a bikini. I'm hoping by the time I'm 50, I'll realize there are a lot more important things in life than worrying about looking younger.

I'm in my 30s, again, I don't see myself giving up my salon any time soon, but I can start taking steps to focus more on a healthy beauty, which comes from the inside, both physically and figuratively. Good food, good wine, plenty of water, good wine, sunscreen, good wine, friends, good wine, you get the picture. My body has done 5 years of hard labour in creating three beautiful children, it has oodles of stretch marks, lumpy spots here and there, a claw mark courtesy of my 3 month old Wolverine, not so perfect breasts and a butt that is sucumbing to gravity at light speed. But I think to last night, making Christmas cookies with two of my three boys and none of that matters, we were just having a great time and not once did what I look like (and I'm a messy cook, so you can believe it was scary) ever creep into my mind. So by the time I'm 50, I hope I'm too busy for regimines of lotions and potions, looking beach perfect, looking 10, 20, 30 years younger. Because in the big picture, my beauty comes from my life experience and I'm hoping that at 50, I will be filled to the brim with beauty.


frannyharp said...

As commanded, I read and post :)

I find myself wondering what "look your age" means. Yes, my hairdresser knows me pretty well, particularly in the colour department - but I don't necessarily colour to look younger, it just looks better.

I am 64, almost 65. People tell me I don't look that age, and I have to tell them that this is what a normal, healthy 64-yr-old looks like. I sag in places, and truth be told I am a little bit proud of those sags. I had four kids in four and a half years - that does things to the body.

I can tell you what my beef is. When I go shopping for clothes there are two extremes: stuff for the extremely young, and polyester bags for anyone over 55. What is age appropriate? Go to the Bay or Sears - the stuff for people my age is horrendous. I can get reasonable stuff at Reitman's, sometimes Northern Reflections - but seriously - I often end up shopping in the younger department because I refuse to wear a polyester bag with pink and green flowers on it!

On the flip side of that - ever watched "What Not to Wear"? It is a real study in psychology to see how some women hide everything they are and could be. But the show emphasises making the most of what you have, not going out and changing it. It's fascinating how dress, hair and makeup can bring a level of confidence - but those women don't go get boob jobs or face lifts.

I guess I am saying there is a fine line between being obsessed, and being realistic. But we also need to get rid of some of the other stereotypes, like the old granny look.

Pamela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pamela said...

I started getting grey hair in my 30's, and I coloured my hair regularly, so no one would know. Ray, my hubby, would constantly tell me how good it looked, but it wasn't until I had a nasty reaction to hair colour one day that I realized I had to stop colouring immediately.

I'm 48 now, and my hair is equal parts dark and silver. I love it, and love the low maintenance. I've been toying with the idea of going to my stylist and asking if she can strip the colour out of my hair. Don't know if it's possible, but it's worth a try!

Anonymous said...

At 41 with a 17.5 month old son I decided long ago that clean, covered and comfortable would be my battle cry.

I haven't worn make up since he was born, I am going out with some girlfriend's next weekend and have been debating about whether to wear make up then.

And I've stopped colouring my hair every time I get it cut. I do it occasionally for a 'pick me up' (and when I'm feeling flush!) but not every time.

I think whatever it takes to make *you* feel good about *you* is what you should do.


Anonymous said...

Good morning.\Beauty is in the eye of the beholder for the most part. I fell beautiful sometimes only to be told that I would look much better if dyed my hair. oh well
You are a wonderful mom Y and your boys are so sweet

Anonymous said...

A dear, mutual friend once told me "welcome to womanhood; to always being told you're never good enough." I'm paraphrasing, but the point was that the sooner I learned to deal with that the better it will be for me. I do, of course, realize we're coming at this from different backgrounds, but the issue is so much the same.

It's odd for me these days as in the past few months I've come to like my body in ways I never have before (and never imagined I would) but I'm also beginning to compare myself to others which isn't so great.

I'm with you, though...I'd rather spend the money on another great vacation (preferably on the motorcycles) with my wife than on such products.

Anonymous said...

My friend’s mom is in her 50s and she looks fabulous. She doesn’t go in for the looking younger type lotions and potions. She focuses on healthy eating, exercise (going out for a walk, working in the garden as opposed to going to the gym) and drinking wine and water. We need more women walking around like her, showing women our age that you can look fabulous with laugh lines and crows feet.

Cheryl said...

I'm also trying to make sure my girls know that they're beautiful. I even blogged about it just last week! I'm also hoping that I can soon be happy with my body to portray the right message to my girls.

Joy said...

thanks everyone for your comments. I love that we have a wide variety of woman shapes and sizes. I'm not looking forward to shopping as I get older, I'm already finding difficulty in finding a happy medium between skanky club and frumpy. It's funny how fashion can also impact our views on how we should be beautiful, since our clothes do have an impact on how we look and feel.

I'm finding what I like best about colouring my hair isn't so much hiding the grays, though I'm not fond of them, but trying out different colours. I change colours for seasons, the size of my highlites. Though maybe one day I'll find another way to express myself.

Teesie, I rarely wear makeup, I just can't be bothered for the most part as it often wears off quickly on me. I do think I look good without or minimal makeup, usually just eyeliner and mascara.

Dani, you have a very unique perspective, I hope you can benefit from avoiding a lot of the programming we've received early in life. Don't drink the Kool Aid!!!

I truly hope when I'm 50 I'm in a spot to be happy with myself. I have a friend who is beautiful, she has two boys in university and I don't think I've ever seen her in makeup, but she's totally confident and at ease with herself. Such a good role model.

Cheryl, you are gorgeous, you are smart, funny and so giving. You're at the airport I'm sure to go be a great friend, that makes you beautiful.