Celebrities and social media are ruining aging for the rest of us. Here’s how I’m actively working to combat ageism.
The “Queen of Provocation” has been all over my news feed recently, and I’m not surprised.
During her recent appearance at the Grammy Awards, Madonna caused quite a stir. Apparently, she’d had quite a bit of facial work done and it was obvious.
More than a few people called her out online, and she was (sort of, understandably) upset.
Once again I am caught in the glare of ageism and misogyny That permeates the world we live in. A world that refuses to celebrate women past the age of 45 And feels the need to punish her If she continues to be strong willed, hard-working and adventurous.Madonna, via her Instagram
I’m a Madonna fan, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I grew up in the era of Lucky Star, Live to Tell, Ray of Light, etc.
Madonna is a marketing guru. She managed to sell her actual self more than her actual talent.
Her image, her aura, and her personality were her bread and butter.
I think there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, especially as a woman.
It’s funny that we should be everything but marketing geniuses.
And she’s right about society casting us off at 45. It’s true, and honestly? I think it’s happening today even younger than that.
It seems that after the age of thirty, unless a woman is a millionaire, looks twenty-five and is still considered “sexy,” she’s a nobody.
Personally, I believe this is why women like J-lo are having a moment.
She’s beautiful, talented and has caused quite the recent stir with a new marriage to an old flame.
But as usual when I see an onslaught of one particular kind of woman, I’ve asked myself:
Why does the world celebrate when a woman doesn’t “age?”
No, seriously. Think about it. Why does it make the news if J-lo looks hot?
Why are we proud of “anti-aging,” as evidenced by the news coverage?
Do the women who write these articles realize the message it sends out to the rest of the world?
Do they realize that anti-aging isn’t really even a thing? We are all aging.
Speaking of aging, more than a few of our sex-symbols are now having babies. (Nothing ages you faster than having a child!)
Rihanna used her half-time performance to announce she was pregnant with her second child.
The critics have had a field day with her show, calling it everything from tasteless to trashy.
I personally had no problem with it.
I thought it was fun.
I felt the same way when, not too long ago, it was Shakira and J-lo up there, shaking their tailfeathers.
What I did find tasteless were the comparisons to Blanche on Golden Girls made after J-lo and Shakira’s Super Bowl performance, such as this one:
Why are women no longer allowed to age?
And furthermore, if we’re going to celebrate the fact that these ladies still look young-ish, can we also celebrate the men and women–and social media apps–who make them appear that way?
- Can we celebrate the plastic surgeon who’s pumping them full of botox and fillers? Who’s nipping and tucking away at parts of their body?
- Can we celebrate the makeup artist who knows how to make this wrinkle disappear in that light?
- Can we celebrate the clothing designers who design hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth the clothing specifically for their body shape?
- Can we celebrate the Instagram and tiktok filters that change the very faces and bodies of these celebrities?
One thing I hope we will see is how futile it is to continue to celebrate a woman who doesn’t age because she’s had the privilege of being able not to.
Did women really come this far to continue to be held down by such ridiculous standards as looking younger than you really are?
Is this really the mountain we plan to die on?
If so, let me go ahead and trek down the side of that thing. Because I refuse.
Let me grow old gracefully, world.
Let me wash my face, and wear my makeup, and get up every day and get dressed in a decent manner.
Let me eat good food and walk my dog and maybe lift the occasional dumbbell.
But if I’m going to fret about whether or not I look more like J-lo or Blanche Devereaux, then you know I have given up on life.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Basal Cell Carcinoma, a form of skin cancer.
Even though it’s considered, “the good kind” of cancer, it was still a devastating and lengthy process to endure, one I’ll be dealing with for the rest of my life.
I was a tanning bed queen, and I bought into this idea that I had to look like everyone else, to please men, and to appear “sexy.”
What a lie from hell.
Here’s the truth. There is one direction we’re all going: Oldsville. And whether J-lo gets there now or later, she’s still getting there the same way I am.
And I’m not going to waste my time in denial about the simple truth that one day we will all die.
We’re living in a day where we have convinced ourselves that the world can be perfect, and we can live forever.
Sorry, y’all, that’s just not the case.
Being beautiful on the outside is relative. Our ideals of beauty have changed over centuries of time.
Instead of trying to be beautiful for the world, let’s be authentically beautiful. Let’s dress and act in ways that make us happy, not everyone else.
So fret about it if you want, I’m going to eat my breakfast, walk my dog, hop in the shower and put on my drugstore makeup…
while I watch a little Golden Girls before work.
See you soon,
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