Never too old


Most of the modern beauty standards promoted in TV commercials, in the entertainment industry, in the fashion industry, and on social media don’t seem to be alright. These standards say that women should be dolled up all the time and look picture perfect.

Pimples, acne, or wrinkles are shown as if it is the end of the world for a woman; dark skin is shown as a hurdle to rising high in one’s career.

Don’t commercials say that a woman should always force herself to look like a doll, with forever young, wrinkle-free fair skin, no dark circles, bright lips, neat eyebrows, painted eyes, perfect hair, and perfect teeth? Why do these commercials and promotions always idealise a woman like this? The answer is simple; it is to market their products.

The truth is that there is very little reality behind these commercials. These commercials and promotions create myths and fear against women aging as they portray a woman’s physical appearance in a very unrealistic way. These have made us believe or feel that a woman with wrinkles, dark circles, grey hair, and dull skin is ugly and unpleasant; and a woman should not look like that. The danger is that these are creating immense pressure on women, forcing them to fit into these unrealistic modern beauty standards. This pressure causes them to spend unnecessarily and use unhealthy products.

These commercials create a fear of aging, forcing us to believe that old age makes us ‘ugly’ and ‘miserable,’ therefore it is a must to use anti-aging products and all sorts of beauty products to make us look ‘young,’ and ‘desirable’.

But, this is not true. There is no need to force yourself to look young and dolled up and there is no need to believe that these beauty standards are true. The truth is that you should be confident about who you are, and welcome aging with an open mind.

Aging is a natural process

Aging is a natural process and that is the reality. Everyone ages. The fear of aging is natural and common all over the world. Thus, there is no need to put ourselves under pressure thinking about this. It is important to understand this, and no matter how many expensive products and treatments we use, this natural process cannot be stopped.

Youth is temporary as our childhood was.

There is nothing wrong with being old

As it is a natural process faced by all living things, there is nothing wrong with it. It is just another phase of our lives, just like our childhood and youth. So be ready to embrace it with an open mind. We must understand and realise that there is nothing wrong with looking old, to having wrinkled skin or grey hair. No one in this world has discovered the fountain of youth.

Practice self-love

It is important to look good, but it is more important to feel good and be good. Invest the time you spend on beauty products and treatments to focus on your inner self. Embrace your age and body as it is. Instead of spending hours and money on beauty products, attempting to fight this natural process, spend that time loving yourself. When you start to love yourself, you will learn to feel comfortable in your own skin. You will also realise that being content with yourself is important, but not to please anyone else nor look beautiful to feel validated by others.

Do not compare yourself

There is no need to compare yourself with what you see on social media or TV commercials. You are you and accept it. We all are different and unique human beings. This uniqueness should be understood and accepted. There is no need to follow someone who looks ‘beautiful in front of the camera’.

Take care of your mental and physical health

It is more important to be healthy, physically and mentally. To be physically healthy, eat well, drink plenty of water, stay fit and most importantly be clean. Have a balanced diet. Make it a habit to be clean. Cleanliness is not only keeping your body clean but also your environment. Make sure your clothes are clean, house, garden, workplace and so forth.

Make it a habit to walk outside, and be close to nature. Gardening is a great way to keep up your mental health. As we grow old, feeling depressed and the fear of loneliness is natural. This is why having hobbies and socialising is important. Stress and depression are major factors that have a negative impact on our physical appearance. Therefore, maintaining good mental health is important. Arts and crafts, gardening, having a pet, reading books, participating in charity, meditation, yoga, and religious or spiritual activities help you maintain your mental health.

Start now

Do not wait till you retire or most of your loved ones are gone, to start preparing yourself to face aging. It is always better to start now; start practicing self-love, adopt good health habits, be fit, meditate and do yoga, make the best use of time by spending them on fruitful tasks and so forth.

The trick is, when your mind is trained in your younger days, you will not have to struggle when you are actually aging; it will be a smooth, graceful phase of your life.

By Ama H. Vanniarachchy