Getting Older, Admitting One’s Age, Lines and Wrinkles!

Mother Teresa and Orphan Baby by Fred Miller(CC BY-NC 2.0)

I wonder if I am the only person who’s finding it difficult coming to terms with an ageing appearance.

“A lot of women feel that way,” says Imogen.

“I guess there wouldn’t be such a huge anti-wrinkle cream industry if everyone was satisfied with the way they look,” I observe.

“And think how many people dye their hair,” adds my oldest-at-home daughter. “They’re not happy with grey hair.”

Maybe Imogen is right. I am not alone. Many women are concerned about getting older. But I still feel a little bit guilty because my appearance is of importance to me. I wish I could be like Mother Teresa. She certainly looked old but her wrinkles were irrelevant. She never had time to think about what she looked like. She focused on other people and not herself. And so she shone with a beauty that came from deep within her.

You might have guessed, I talked about ageing in this week’s podcast. After listening to my recording, I’m not sure I’m comfortable posting my inside views on ageing. But it took me a long time to make this podcast so I shall publish it. But that doesn’t mean you have to listen. Feel free to skip over this one, if you’d like. I won’t mind at all!

I haven’t got any program notes this week. Instead I shall post an untouched photo of me. It was taken in the cafe at Mary MacKillop Place. Imogen and I were enjoying coffee before the start of the Catholic Digital Media Conference.


You can also find me on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page!

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Comments

    • Miu
    • September 11, 2014
    Reply

    That is the question: Is there an anti-aging industry because people demanded it? Or is there an anti-aging industry which makes people demand their products by telling them that wrinkles are not good-looking?

    There is definitely a difference between having wrinkles and not taking care of one's appearance and I refuse to let a company tell me what is looking good and what not, because they care about my money. And not about me.

    1. Reply

      Miu,

      I think the anti-ageing industry does a great job making women feel that wrinkles are unattractive. All those before and after photos… Women could choose not to buy the products but ,on the whole, they don't. I admire your attitude and it's one I'd like my daughters to have too. I'd like to be stronger myself. Maybe that's why I made the podcast. It takes courage to talk about our insecurities but perhaps other older women are feeling the same way.

      It's good to chat. Thank you for your comment!

  1. Reply

    Dear Sue, thanks for these honest thoughts! When I meet an old woman, who is very nice and dearly, I think to myself: when I'm old, I'd like to be like this woman. And I'm not caring about her wrinkles then. This may take away some of the fear from us of getting older! 🙂
    By the way, I finaly wrote the 7 revealing facts about me!
    Question: Do you prefer comments here or on facebook?

    1. Reply

      Bernice,

      Sometimes it is scary being honest, but not when friends are so supportive and kind. Thank you!

      There are times when I also look at older women and hope I'll be like them. Yes, they have wrinkles, but they also have a softness and gentleness about them. I guess it's their inner beauty shining through. That's not easy to acquire. It takes more work than just applying a cream!

      Thank you for writing a revealing facts post. I enjoyed reading it very much!

      Bernice, I don't mind comments here or on Facebook. Whatever is easiest for readers. I am just grateful you stop by to add to the conversation. Thank you!

    • Vicky
    • September 12, 2014
    Reply

    What a nuisance to have Elle McPherson in your feed and not someone like Meryl Streep or Helen Mirren! I think I'd like to age like they have, instead of trying to stay young like famous models. I think it helps to have older role models, don't you think?

    Sophie is very wise. Children often are, I think. When I tell Jordy that I'm too old to do something, he tells me that I'm not old, I'm new. He thinks the younger photos of me are the 'old' me because the photos are old. I like his thinking!

    I wonder if it's harder to age when you are so fit and full of energy. I probably feel older and then look in the mirror and discover I'm still only middle-aged!

    Interesting conversation, Sue 🙂

    1. Reply

      Vicky,

      Yes, I have read some great articles about Helen Mirren. But I haven't seen or read anything about Meryl Streep for a long time. I guess she got older! It sounds like she is a good role model, and that's just what we need.

      Oh I love what Jordy said. The latest version of anything is always supposed to be better. Yes, I think we are maturing very nicely as Sophie would say!

      Harder to age because I am fit and full of energy? That's a new thought! But then again you are the younger sister. I feel young and look older. While you feel old but still look young. However old I get, you will always be younger. Maybe being the older sister isn't so great after all!

      Lovely to chat with you!

    • Hwee
    • September 13, 2014
    Reply

    I think having people to love and who love you back is more important to me than looking young and beautiful all the time. People who love you for who you are for a long time (I'm thinking family) provide the best security that you are lovely in their eyes. Having a beautiful soul is more important than trying to go against the natural process of ageing of the external self. 🙂

    1. Reply

      Hwee,

      Oh I think you are so right. What does it matter what we look like when we have family who loves us unconditionally? As Sophie said in the podcast, children don't even notice their mothers are ageing. They are always beautiful to them. A beautiful soul… yes! Mother Teresa will always be remembered for her inner beauty. That's the kind of beauty that lasts forever.

    • Wendy
    • September 15, 2014
    Reply

    Right now, I don't mind getting older (I'm 44). I think these feelings come and go over time. It is hard to have all the in your face "beauty" products pushed at you, but I miss a lot of it by having most ads blocked from my computer, and watching most of my TV through Netflix.

    My mom will be turning 70 next year, and she's so excited and happy! If you told my 7 year old he could go to the amusement park and have a dozen ice cream cones, he would not be happier than she is about turning 70. She's happy because she is getting so close to seeing God face to face!

    I'm not there yet, but I sure want to be!

    I wrote a blog about this a while back after seeing a woman who won a beauty contest for women over 40. She was in her mid 40s but looked 25, and it really helped me see what that would mean for me if I looked 25 for the rest of my life. It clarified for me that I actually want to look my age. http://zoomtimes.blogspot.com/2008/02/age-before-beauty.html

      • Wendy
      • September 15, 2014
      Reply

      I meant to add, thanks for writing about this so openly. You've really provided a good space to reflect on these issues and how they affect us all!

      It's always funny to me, because to me you do, in fact, look very beautiful, and, well, less than middle aged!

    1. Reply

      Wendy,

      Your mother sounds like a very inspiring woman. What a wonderful role model for you. That's what I'd like to be for my daughters. Our attitudes really do affect our children, and even though you say you're not there yet, you will certainly arrive because of what your mother has passed onto you.

      Normally I am like you. I have an ad blocker and I never watch TV so I'm not usually bombarded with advertising. But Facebook seems to have got around the problem of readers blocking ads on their pages. They've been putting sponsored posts into my feed which I could choose to ignore but sometimes I find myself tempted to read.

      Thank you so much for the link. Your post is excellent! I do agree with everything you wrote.

  2. Reply

    Oh I see your wrinkles; believe me, I"ve got them too and I don't care for the look of them on myself. But I think you look very youthful. It's your smile. You'll never look old with that smile!

    1. Reply

      Lynne,

      Wouldn't it be nice if we could look into the mirror, see the wrinkles and say, "Oh my! I'm maturing beautifully!" I suppose our idea of beauty doesn't include lines. But you are right: Smiles do make us look better. Perhaps they distract our eyes from the lines. Anyway, thank you for your kind words about my smile. I shall be sure not to moan about my age but to smile instead!

    • emily
    • December 13, 2016
    Reply

    I will not comment on all the podcasts I listen to, Sue, but I couldn’t help myself here. In the past 1.5 yrs, I’ve noticed that perimenopause belly sag. A few months ago, I looked in a mirror and said, “Good grief, where did those wrinkles come from?” It’s horrible that we care, but it’s, in part, the fault of people like Elle M. (how old is she? If she’s middle-aged, chances are good she’s had a face lift!) Also, I don’t think the past couple of generations of parents have done a good job encouraging their children to respect older people. I’ve gotten snide, know-it-all remarks from 20-somethings on YouTube videos when I tried to make a comment from the wisdom of my 46 yrs of life on earth about the biased info the 20-something video-maker presented.

    Hate to say it, but I was like that myself until I hit my mid-30’s. It’s coming back to bite me now. Like it will come back to bite the kids in their 20’s, twenty years from now. 😉

    I think it’s totally reasonable for a person who knows you have grown children to expect that you will have wrinkles. This is natural. Creams don’t do much, if anything, and they won’t hide your age once you hit 80. Anti-aging supplements, skin creams, and weight loss products are all about making women feel bad so they’ll help the companies make money.

    Aging happens. No matter your diet, no matter how much money you spend on creams. I recently stopped freaking out about my aging body b/c I realized it’s bringing me one step closer to Heaven! 🙂 (and a glorified, perfect body, hello.)

    (PS – I know I’m preaching to the choir, Sue, but that podcast got me so stirred up I think I’m going to blog about it and make a video!)

    1. Reply

      Emily,

      Writing a comment takes time, I know, but you are welcome to add your thoughts to any of my podcast posts. I was pleased to see your comment on this one.

      Getting older and especially looking older is difficult. However much we try not to focus on our appearance, perhaps all of us need time to adjust to this new stage of life.

      Yes, people like Elle don’t help. I noticed that Kate Middleton is now promoting reverse ageing skin care products too. There is a lot of pressure to try and retain or regain our youthful looks.

      The other day, I saw a popular Youtube video about ageing. The woman said she wants to grow old with her husband so she isn’t going to dye her grey hair. I like that. Those are the sort of thoughts we need to ponder. The video, as I said, had lots of views and all the comments (as far as I could see) echoed the presenter’s words. Obviously, we need someone to tell us that it’s quite okay to look older as we grow older. So I hope you will write your blog post and make your video.

      It’s been good to chat!

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