Saturday, March 28, 2015

Why Do We Fight Aging?

I’m almost sixty.  It’s a year away, so I figured I should give the age some thought.  Amazing, is the word that comes to mind. I have some gray in my hair, and some lines on my face that I’m pleased to see deepen when I smile.  All about me is older than it was when I was twenty-nine, thirty-nine, and so on, you get the idea.  Everyday, in the media, I’m told about the many ways I can look younger, thinner, chicer, as if there is something inherently wrong with the natural process by which we age, and as if I have nothing else to do but groom.  I submit to the media that maintaining this ethos of fear is very good for sales.  Smoke and mirrors keep us from looking at what’s really important.

When I was young and supple my biology told me to find the best match I could, and it insisted that I procreate, to further my genetic line.  It’s just nature, which I was allowed to reason with critical thought, and then act on, or not.  It was my choice. 

I would not be that younger self again, been there, done that.  There are so many new chapters left to write.  My children would be an experience yet to come, and not the inspiring adults, whom I love and admire, and who have lives of their own.  

But it’s that fertile moment in time, when our bodies want to biologically showcase themselves for a mate, that has been engineered, by the corporations, into a lifelong quest.  Why should a woman of sixty look as if she were still trying to procreate, when what she wants is to live her life, looking at the world, and not into a mirror?  I want a life which includes good food, sex, comfortable clothes, and flat shoes.    

Why do we not celebrate the contour of the sag as a badge of honor, as a right of passage, as heroic?  Why do we want to look as if we haven't lived at all? Why is the look of starvation, visible bones, a turn sideways and disappear aesthetic, considered perfection?   While real starvation is only on view as politics, lest we make the negative comparison on our own, and enlightenment ruin a well oiled marketing machine.  

Corporations want us to be consumed with the amount of hair that sprouts on our bodies, as they supply us with so many ways to remove it, while never mentioning its value as healthy protection.  I challenge the corporations to really market to women.  Have your designer mafia create masterpieces for bodies that don’t look like boys with boobs.  Give us what we want, instead of telling us what we want. 

In the end, I’d rather wait it out in a hole that fits me, my grey hairs, my round hips, and my sagging boobs, than try to smash myself into someone else's square peg.