Some days I’m just not in the mood to pick up a beauty magazine.
Even one with a gorgeous face on the cover that’s intended to help me realize all the sneaky ways that aging is changing my poor face.
Although I do understand.
I do realize that aging is the Ultimate Negative Word in the proverbial beauty dictionary. I know its propensity to rob me of my precious collagen, mess with my estrogen levels, and take what’s left of my smooth neckline. I’m aware that aging is the slow, menacing destroyer of all things that make me look youthful.
But some days…I’m just not in the mood to have my ‘fear’ buttons pushed. Some days I just don’t feel like being in a fight against aging, I don’t want read the latest anti-aging tips and I don’t want to rush to join this race against time.
Can you relate to this?
I was in the grocery store when I saw this magazine called New Beauty, a publication I’d never heard of it before but I thought, “Oh look. What a lovely photo of Heidi Klum.”
Doesn’t she have lots of kids and isn’t she in her forties?
I couldn’t remember, but I’d heard somewhere that she throws extravagantly fun Halloween parties which made me think fondly of her, so I picked up a copy and opened it, expecting a few healthy tips on exercising and eating better.
Only as I thumbed through the pages, I landed on a photo spread which confused me.
There was this BEFORE Heidi, looking beautiful and young.
And there was this AFTER Heidi, looking beautiful and young…
(apparently she is only 40 years old) except the AFTER photo had tiny circles strategically placed on her face. Hmm…on further inspection it was apparent that these dots were intended to highlight the deteriorating effects of aging on Heidi’s near perfect-face. If readers strained their eyes--I’m not exaggerating--they could see the gradual imperfections that had occurred as a result of natural aging.
But there was more. Page after page was dedicated to displaying the insidious ways that aging is attacking our faces. Holy moly. I had no idea how inevitable it all was. Saggy jowls, Volume loss. Droopy lids. Vanishing cheek fat.
And I never knew there were so many beauty techniques I wasn’t doing and state of the art procedures that could be helping me. But the worst part was the seed of self criticism implanted in these pages. So by the time I arrived at the photos of plastic surgeons with their beaming, white smiles next to their specialties, I had gotten the message loud and clear:
If the natural effects of aging can mess with someone as beautiful as Heidi Klum, imagine what will happen to us mere mortals. Translation: we better start right now (already too late) fending off all that saggy skin in our future.
Except for one thing.
On this particular day I didn’t want to focus on the darker sides of growing older. And I wasn’t in the mood to inspect Heidi’s face because the truth is, I could feel self-doubt and insecurity begin to creep all over my good mood, urging me to poke and scrutinize my own face in the god-awful pursuit of my latest facial flaws.
Which made me immediately toss the magazine and keep moving. Because honestly, life’s just too short for that kind of seeing.
Instead, today I prefer to focus on what we GAIN through our years and not what we LOSE.
Today I choose to emphasize words like power and competence and talent and skills and hard-earned wisdom, all which happen to be gifts that come with the years.
Today I choose contentment over craziness.
And I choose to reflect on the difference between being seen and being recognized in this world and if you’re a woman living in our beauty obsessed culture you should know this difference too.
So let me describe it with this analogy.
Selfies are about being seen.
Selfies are about being looked at. Selfies are about a surface glance, they’re a snapshot in time, light and frothy and quickly over.
But Recognition happens beneath the surface. Recognition has staying power.
In the world of images, if Selfies are shallow, giggly girls, than Recognition is the confident woman with the deep, throaty laugh . If a Selfie is Brittany, than Recognition is Meryl.
Because Recognition is about being valued for what you can do and who you are.
Recognition is not about your French- manicured hands, Recognition is about what those hands can make. produce. accomplish.
So the next time you look in the mirror, remember this.
Being looked at might be flattering… but being recognized is powerful.
And being recognized for your whole package feels damn beautiful.
Click HERE to read
What can you do now that you couldn’t do at 20?
I’ll post your responses on my blog.