Should we be scared of ageing?

An elderly person holding hands with an infant.

I enjoy get ready with me (grwm) videos as much as the next person. So much so that I sometimes talk to my bathroom mirror as though I’m a guest on Vogue’s Beauty Secret. It adds a little fun to my 3-step skincare routine.

These types of videos also keep me in the loop about all the latest skincare raves and makeup trends, and some of them are very entertaining to watch too – usually when there’s some elaborate story time with it.

Lately, though, I’ve been getting grwm videos that are not so entertaining. I find them quiet unsettling and sad. They are videos of girls who appear to be within my age group putting on tapes and silicon pads across their faces and drinking out of these special straws to prevent wrinkles and smile lines. Are we that scared of aging?

Now, the narrative that women fear the number 30 is nothing new. In fact, a handful of industries, like that of cosmetics and fashion, profit off that fear a lot. The entertainment media has also done a great deal of damage in this area with older actresses getting told they’re too old to play a character that they’re well within age to play, or worse, banished completely from the acting world once they turn a certain age. Hence, our desire to stay young forever. 

Ageism is very real unfortunately, especially if you’re a woman. So, those tapes and straws are just natural responses to this fear that has been instilled within us for generations. I guess I’m a little disappointed because I thought we’ve moved past all that – what with all these huge progress in body positivity and inclusion, why are women still so ashamed of their age?

I’m 22 and according to society, I have about 8 years left until this youthful body of mine shrivels and I cease to exist in their eyes unless it’s to sell me anti-aging creams and Botox. That thought should send me into a spiral but I’m actually looking forward to the day I turn 30 and 40 and 50 and so on. I’ve always been told by mother how beautiful it is to age and I doubted her when I was younger, but I believe her now. 

She taught me that age doesn’t stop you, it gives you more time to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. She’s 62, retired and spends her time hiking around Malaysia, if not the world (yes, she gracefully peaked Everest Base Camp at 58 years old and has her eyes set on climbing Kilimanjaro next).

Change is inevitable and your skin won’t defy gravity like it used to when you were 20 and your hair will start to grey, and your body will change in so many ways, but I don’t think that’s something we should tell women to be scared of for these changes signify growth and all the love you’ve received and given. 

Tagged in What messes with your head, ageing, growing older