Something amiss in our culture has recently come to light. As in, a light bulb over my head kind of come to light.
It’s the lie that women should look twenty years old for at least thirty years. It’s ridiculous really.
We do not want wrinkles, gray hair, sagging anything, or any other sign of the fact that we have lived life for forty years or more. It’s considered a compliment to look much younger than we actually are.
Doesn’t seem that bad, until you realize the problem it’s creating: women are refusing to accept their season of life.
The Bible talks about older women teaching the younger women, but no one wants to be the older women until absolutely necessary.
When women refuse to accept the signs of growing older on their bodies, it usually transfers to other areas of life. They often act like they are twenty. They dress like they are twenty. They think like they are twenty.
All of this conveys a message that growing older is bad and should be avoided.
I am not exempt from believing some aspects of this lie. For example, I just love it when a photo is good enough that it doesn’t show the bags under my eyes or the tightness of my skin on my neck and those are the ones that usually make it to my Facebook page. ;-) Whenever I see an older woman whose chin or neck are not saggy and whose eyes are tight, I think, “Wow, she looks GREAT! I wonder how she has done that?”
BUT… I have been asking God to change my mindset. And He is doing so.
While I still dislike the bags under my eyes and the sagginess in parts of my body, I am embracing the signs of entering a new season of being an older woman. I want to grow old gracefully and that must include accepting the changes an aging body brings.
My friend Jan and I had a conversation about this awhile back and she mentioned how difficult it is to find women with gray hair. It really is challenging to find a gray haired woman unless she’s over seventy.
Don’t believe me? Start looking. Even though the Bible says gray hair is a sign of wisdom, we act like we don’t have it. We certainly don’t want it. I’m guilty of plucking gray hairs right off the top of my head in the past.
I think this reflects the lies we are believing: it’s bad to get older and it’s really bad to look like you are getting older.
Research shows that the average cosmetic surgery patient is a married, college- educated, employed mother. While it’s sadly true that teenagers are having surgeries that break my heart, that’s another issue for another time. Most of the women seeking to change their appearance are women who are growing older and are not happy about it. Why are they not happy about it? Why don’t they want to get or look older? Why don’t we?
I enjoy time with older and wiser women. Seriously. My life has been blessed by spending time with older women. Older women who have walked down this path of like, path of faith and path of mothering longer than I have and care to share their experience with me . It’s a huge blessing.
If we all act like we are not older, how will the younger women know who to seek guidance from on their journey? If we dress, act and think like we are twenty, instead of embracing what God has taught us in our forty/fifty years, how will others glean? Why would they want to glean wisdom from someone not showing evidence of wisdom… or would women only seek advice on how to keep from growing and looking older?
Let’s admit that there are real perks to growing older. Let’s accept our season of life. Let’s fight the lies.