Once again, I’m shocked/not-shocked to hear of yet another celebrity being bashed online for simply aging.
Justin Timberlake, who recently made an appearance to honor Taylor Swift via video, has caused quite a ruckus for not looking exactly the same as he did in 2017.
The stir online ranged from surprise, to humor…to horror.
Apparently aging is just about the worse faux pas a human can commit these days, at least, to the younger crowd.
People tweeted everything from old fart to oh gross. It truly amazes me the words we are willing to type online. It’s like we’ve never heard of karma or juju before.
Here’s the thing: Picking on JT sounds funny, maybe even trivial. But really, it’s not. It’s scary.
It’s scary because it’s coming from a subset of people, mostly ages 14-28 or so, who have grown up around reality television, social media and filtered faces and lives.
They’ve witnessed Teresa Giudice and other Real Housewives enter jail and return better than before.
They’ve watched the Bachelor and Bachelorette go through one failed relationship after another.
They’ve seen the Kardashians’ change their men and their faces a hundred times.
They’ve noticed that for the most part their peers are only financially successful when they’re selling themselves on Only Fans or TikTok.
This is the young-adult’s “reality:” that people will do whatever it takes to live forever, succeed forever, be infatuated forever and make money forever.
Face, clothing, body…all currency.
Boyfriend, girlfriend, friendships…all currency.
Talent or just ability to BS your way through life…currency.
And in order to BS your way through life, you need a whole lotta filter. Filter for the face, the legs, the stomach.
Filter for the home, the vehicle, the skyline and sunsets.
Filter this and filter that.
And God forbid we let anyone know we’ve aged. The anti-aging crowd will come for anyone.
Even J-Lo, who recently caused a commotion by accidentally moving out of the range of the filter on her video.
For a brief second, the world saw that at fifty-something years old, Jennifer Lopez has- gasp!- wrinkles!
Mamas, it’s time we had a little chat with our children about aging.
Like, for instance, telling them that it happens to everyone.
Reminding them that social media is the land of make-believe and that human beings have very real and biological responses to aging.
Letting them know that though advances have been made to help us as we age, there is absolutely nothing in the world that is going to stop the clock from ticking.
And also telling them that getting older is not only okay, it’s good. Aging is a privilege not everyone gets to have.
I recently watched an interview with Justine Bateman where she lamented this idea we have nowadays that faces are not supposed to change.
I encourage you to check it out with your daughters and your sons.
If we don’t open this conversation about the false world wide web and the way that social media sells youth, I fear that the future for us is bleak.
Not only is age-discrimination on the rise, but also the mental trauma these young people will endure when they themselves are beginning to age will surely explode.
Last year, I had two major surgeries on my nose to remove basal skin cell cancer.
The surgeries left me with a nasty scar and a bit more of what was already an asymmetrical face shape due to a crooked jawline from never having braces as a child.
Not only did I have to learn to get used to stares, but I was also in the midst of “the change,” coming off of COVID weight gain, and entering my forties at a not-so-great time in history.
Whereas I had once believed I was pretty, I came to see myself as very unattractive.
In a way, this ended up being the best thing that ever happened to me because I realized that for far too long, I’d used my “attractiveness” as currency. Shallow and inauthentic, I depended on my outer looks to get me what I wanted.
Now, I’m free. I’ve made peace with my face, scars and all.
And I’m teaching my daughters that beauty is within because my Spirit is of God. As 1 Corinthians says,
Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?1 Corinthians 3:16
I am not afraid to age. I’m learning in this season that there are some truths that simply are, and getting older is one of them. Acceptance is the key to HUQUMMA.
See you soon,