IN my life I am surrounded by beautiful, damn right fabulous women.
The kind of women that make me proud to know them. The kind of women who make juggling modern life demands seem easy. The kind of women whom I know, you would all love.
One of my good friends is one of these super women. Beautiful, clever, talented, funny and kind.
She has a creative and demanding job. She’s a mum, wife, daughter and friend.
She has it all.
But she’s worried about hitting the big 40. And she’s fearful about getting older.
Not so far off forty myself, I admit I have a few little niggles too about my next impending milestone. It’s only natural I guess.
But I ask you, why is a number so important to us?
Why are we so fearful of ageing?
Why do we think getting older is something to be sad about?
I looked at my stunning friend the other day and I listened to her fears. I heard what she was saying and I absolutely understood.
But it didn’t half make me feel a little sad.
Because she doesn’t see what I see.
She doesn’t see, that I see, a beauty of a woman in the prime of her life.
She doesn’t see ,that I see, a woman who is becoming wiser, more talented and more brilliant with every passing year.
She doesn’t see, that she truly has got it all.
And that a number, even one that starts with a four at the beginning, really won’t change anything.
Because it won’t.
At forty and beyond I have absolutely no doubt that she will still be fabulous.
That she’ll still make me cry with laughter. That she’ll still be stylish and stunning and sexy.
So why does she fear it?
And why do all of us fear getting older?
The biological clock is probably part of the reason I guess. I sure as hell can hear mine ticking loudly each day, in my mid thirties. But aren’t we more than our fertility?
And of course, the media, the lovely media, don’t help. What with all their photoshopping and criticising and stalker-ish behaviour of all famous women, young or old.
Is it because of men, do you think?
Do we fear getting old because we think we may no longer be attractive to them?
We’re continually told that the opposite sex prefer their women bouncy and youthful, with long locks and not a day over 25. But if that’s the case, how come, in my mid (exhausting) thirties, I still can get an odd appreciative glance from a man in the street.
How come lots of men think Helen Mirren, who’s nearing seventy, is the absolute bomb?
As women, we are continually being made to fear getting old, as if getting older and living more, is the worst thing that can ever happen to us.
But I ask you ladies, isn’t this just f**king horrendous?!
Doesn’t this just make you want to shout about the injustice of it all?!
Doesn’t it just make your blood boil that the world seems to think that us women are only valuable if we’re young, beautiful and dare I say, but a little bit gullible or naive.
Haven’t we been conned and treated unfairly for long enough?!
I know of women, who have had botox in their mid twenties for goodness sake. I mean, seriously, is getting a wrinkle or two, really the worst thing that can happen to us?!
But it’s there, isn’t it?
That fear. That ticking clock. That dread. It’s there. Whether we’re angry about it or not.
And it’s not our fault. We’ve been made to feel this way.
We are continually told that ageing is something we need to fight. We are continually given the message that we are worthless when we get to a certain age.
Men – of any age – get moisturisers with positive, inspiring names like ‘facial fuel’ and ‘turbo booster’.
Well it’s all about ‘anti-ageing’ isn’t it?
What the hell does this even mean?!
But do you know something? I don’t want to look twenty again. Nor do I want to look thirty. I’m not bothered about wanting to look ‘youthful’ I just want to look like me, as I am now, but at my very best.
Because I tell you something, we should be so lucky to get older.
We should be so lucky to acquire a face full of laughter lines.
We should be so lucky to have more days on this planet to see sunsets, enjoy hot sex, wear pretty things and watch our children grow up.
We should be so lucky!
Society has made us feel fearful of getting older. Society has made older women feel invisible, forgotten and unloved.
But that doesn’t mean we have to accept it.
Nor does it mean it has to be our truth.
Isn’t it time that we stopped actually caring what number we are? Or even better, started owning our numbers with pride?
Really? Isn’t it?
Today I am 35. Next month I will turn 36.
This morning I found a single grey hair on my head and watched the light bounce off it in my bathroom mirror. Am I bothered?
Nope, not one bit.
I hope I get to be so lucky that I live to be a ripe ol’ age.
I hope that I’m still here in my forties and fifties, eighties even (!) still blogging and still telling my beautiful friends, that no matter how old they are, they’re still bloody incredible.
To me, we have two choices as women when it comes to getting older.
We can either accept it, be grateful we’re still here and choose to be and look our best, at whatever age and at whatever number we are.
Or we can fight it and try and run away from it. With surgery, lies and at great expense.
That’s our choice. Right there.
And there’s no judgement from me, either way.
But I can’t help but feel that we’d all be a lot happier and calmer if we went for the first option.
I can’t help but feel that this option is the most appealing.
So yep, this morning I did remove that fine grey hair from my tired head. And I’ve no intention of succumbing to a barnet of grey hair anytime soon.
But you know one day, when I do get quite a bit older and when I think the time is right, I’m rather looking forward to some silver locks.
And in fact, I’ve already planned that I will probably dye them pink.
Because I may then be considerably older. I may then be considerably wrinklier. But I promise you this, I’ll still be doing my absolute best, to be me, at mine.
Whatever the number. And whatever my age.
Pics: Taken by Masque Photography.