On Midlife Beauty

It’s biology, really. We are hardwired to desire the youthful and the symmetrical so as to grow and improve the species.

But also, it’s not biology, not in its true organic state. Our big, smart brains teamed up with our amygdalas to exploit our anxious id to feed our hungry avarice. Yeah, OK, I don’t know how well all those mixed metaphors would hold up in English Comp 101, but you get my drift, right? We’ve manipulated ourselves into believing that the closer we are to age 20, on either side of the timeline, the more acceptable, desirable, and worthwhile we are.

I’m really hoping I’m not the first person in your life to call bullshit on this right here, but I’m going to work very hard to be one of the loudest and most persistent. Seriously, people – is the rosebud more beautiful than the bloom? The blooms more fascinating than the rose hips in autumn? They certainly don’t make a fabulously beautiful and delicious tea or last as long in an arrangement. Don’t even get me started on acorns and saplings and magnificent canopied oak trees.

What this all boils down to might seem simplistic, but is actually monumental, and that is that you are in charge of your own story

Yes, yes, these metaphors are flying all over the place right now, but the gist is this: You are participating in a revolution, whether you realize it or not. This astounding series of tubes we’ve got going on here did one thing better than it did almost anything else and arguably better than any other revolution – it truly put power into the hands of the people.

The power of knowledge, of curiosity and creativity – along with communication – are the most important of all. What this all boils down to might seem simplistic, but is actually monumental, and that is that you are in charge of your own story.

We decide what we like, what we consume, what we want more of or less of in our daily information and inspiration. Women of a certain age are used to accepting marginalization as part of the script, but we absolutely don’t have to do so any more. It’s our script to write and rewrite as we see fit. You decide how you are represented to the world.

How do you see yourself? How would you like others to see you?

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