By Victoria Costello
SC Staff Writer
Recently, I’ve found myself fascinated with anti-aging products and marketers targeting younger consumers.
I mean, I’m twenty years old, how is this face serum and eye cream going to help “reverse the clock” on my virtually wrinkle-free skin? It seems as though aging is yet another stage of life that has been commoditized.
As the media continually perpetuates an unobtainable beauty ideal that certainly doesn’t include the “aging” woman, the anti-aging movement has found its profitable foundation.
The aging process has longexisted with associations of negativity and despair in our society.
Aging has transformed into a cultural process as much as it is a biological one.
Why don’t Westernized cultures regard their elders with the utmost respect and admiration like other countries do?
Why do we view the elderly as disposable? The answer is simple: the media.
Women are reared to believe that much of their social currency hinges on their ability to mirror the ideal feminine image glorified by the media.
When a woman begins to age, as the wrinkles, gray hair, not so svelte body, and sagging skin appear, she is deemed unattractive by society’s standards.
I mean, how often does an older woman appear in movies, advertisements, or television shows?
Interestingly enough, the older women that appear in advertisements are usually promoting some sort of anti-aging product.
Additionally, those who appear in television or films are often placed into one of two categories: the “haggard old woman” or the woman playing the “grandma” role that doesn’t look a day over 40.
Aging is inevitable, that’s right — it’s an unavoidable, inescapable, natural process that we all must go through.
It makes me angry that women feel they must fight aging because it is deemed as “unacceptable” in society. It seems as though women are faced with a double bind when facing age.
If a woman doesn’t take part in the anti-aging movement, not buying into cosmetics or cosmetic surgery enhancement procedures, she is deemed as a woman who has “let herself go.”
On the other hand, an aging woman who has decided to combat aging through the use of cosmetic surgery, if the work she has done is visible, she is regarded as “having had some work done.”
So, what’s a lady to do? Right now you are in fact older than you were yesterday, therefore, you have aged. We are all aging, and while many of us college students have yet to experience the visible signs of aging, they will someday appear.
Wrinkles shouldn’t be branded with a negative connotation, as they are a sign of hard work. Wrinkles are a sign of resilience and dedication as life is no easy task.
We have a choice when it comes to aging: we can either embrace it and appreciate life, or we can fight it, attempting to preserve the youthful appearance our society deems attractive.
Whatever your age, I encourage you appreciate your body, and don’t fall victim to the unobtainable beauty standards set by society.
Wrinkles and stretch marks don’t define your self-worth, you are beautiful!
Email Victoria at: