The Beauty Mantra: Anti-Aging?

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The Beauty Mantra: Anti-Aging?

The Beauty Mantra

As a self-confessed, proud Girly-Girl-Product-Junkie-Fashonista-Wannabe, I am truly passionate about the change of seasons—and the dubious need for the new beauty products that accompany each solstice. Summer is the very best of all: the sun feels warm on our faces, kissing them with an optimistic glow—thus requiring a bronzing sunscreen! Summer colors– the glorious pastels of flora and sunsets, and how fabulous that the goddessess of fashion have officially declared pink the new black! Even beauty neutrals take on a shine, as our inner light emerges from beneath layers of all that is dreary about the darker months. For some of us, this emergence is marked by a subtle, peachy cosmetic flush, designed, oddly, to look as though one’s face is utterly unadorned. Oh, it is heaven for me, this reconnaissance with the warmer months: light palettes of floating fabrics, shimmering lotions and potions, mystery cosmetics, largely organic, untested on animals and delivered in dazzling recyclable packaging. The sweetness of flower-based fragrance can–and does– instantly transport me to the garden of my choice. which happens to be the Tuileries, 113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001, Paris, France.

On some level (one clearly not connected to rational thought) I truly believe that if I could only find the right hair product, all would be well in my world. In fact, on a good hair day, if I am wearing the right shoes, I am sometimes prone to the dreamy fantasy that given a chance I could reorganize the world, providing a lifestyle of wellness, grace, world peace, and luxury products for all. And I probably could, because, for the moment, I believe it to be so.

Beauty and belief are pals, no doubt about that. Haven’t we all encountered a passerby who has wowed us with their saunter, implying a confidence that makes them impossible to ignore? Who has not had the experience of inexplicably feeling like they “look good today” and therefore seem to emit a subtle yet attractive magnetic pull? Standards of beauty are reliably ever shifting, thus requiring new and quasi-necessary products (yay!).   Well-thumbed glossy magazines continue to inform us of what is beautiful now. And therein lies a genuine, terrible conflict for my Inner Product Junkie, because what the rage right now is… Anti-Aging.

Anti-Aging? Are they kidding?   Have the Ambassadors of Beauty considered the alternative? A Beauty Mantra that requires the elimination of a natural, developmental process is, well, plainly weird. “Anti-Aging” seems a lot like “Anti-Living” if you ask me—and why purchase any product that makes you feel like you have already lost it?

Is aging a beauty crime?

No! Emphatically no! The crime is in having a Beauty Mantra (“Anti-Aging, Anti-Aging, Anti-Aging”) which does not allow us to enjoy what is unique and lovely about our appearance in whatever stage of life we are experiencing. However old you are today, if the heavens cooperate, tomorrow you will be older. Embrace it! Even babies are aging at an alarming rate, and look how cute they are!

I would be lying through my professionally-whitened teeth if I said I am unwilling to try the newest magic potion that portends to preserve my relatively youthful looks. Anti-aging products are not the culprits; it is the mantra that offends. The beauty gods should help us enhance and enjoy the signs of our age: the unique facial lines that imply years of love and sorrow in one’s life and the many adventures which have accompanied same. Lines born of laughter, lessons learned, and experiences we can call uniquely our own. We have earned our visage. Our faces and bodies tell the tale years of self-development, families growing, children raised, and friends and loved ones so dear that in their eyes, you are always looking fabulous.

“Anti-Aging” must go! We need a new, more powerful mantra that celebrates our true outer—and inner—fabulousness. I am partial to “Uniquely Moi.” Try that one out, and see how nicely it rolls off your tongue.

Uniquely Moi! Now that’s a product line I would embrace! A product line with skin preserving properties—because I am Uniquely Moi!   A clever lip gloss which plumps and freshens—Uniquely Moi again! Exfoliate my dusty skin, smoothe me, seal in my moisture, why not? I’m not Anti-Aging, I’m Uniquely Moi!

I may be on a first name basis with the cosmetic gurus at a few beauty counters, and I may be (am) an easy mark where beauty products are concerned, but embracing the implication that one must be perfectly and presently preserved in order to look—and feel—beautiful is not for me. As much as I enjoy a perfect mascara application, sans under-eye racooning, I can’t say I think about it much throughout the day. Once I’ve used my products, I’ve used them, and they don’t cross my mind again unless someone comments on my radiance or it’s time to wash my face. And I sure don’t spend much time thinking about aging. I am far too busy being Uniquely Moi!

 

About Allison B. Friedman

Allison B. Friedman, known to her friends as Allie, submitted her first manuscript to Doubleday when she was five years old. Sadly, it was rejected, but she did receive a personal note from an editor encouraging her to keep writing—so she did. Writing, like breathing, is essential for Allie, who has joyfully produced award-winning short fiction, prose poetry, years and years of newspaper and magazine columns, and original content for a weekly radio show called “The Therapy Sisters.” Allie’s work has been featured in a number of small literary presses, including the literary journal Beanskeeper, and she was a winner of the Poughkeepsie Journal’s “Tailspinners” short story contest. An active member of the Wallkill Valley Writers community, Allie has published her work in the group’s anthology. Her short story, “Sahara Affair,” was born in the Wallkill Valley Writers Workshop, and was published in 2013’s award-winning anthology, “Slant of Light: Contemporary Women Writers of the Hudson Valley.” A practicing psychotherapist, Allie wrote a newspaper column, oxymoronically entitled “Understanding Adolescence” and a monthly column about wellness in “Living and Being” magazine for a number of years. The voyeuristic observation of the intricacies of the human experience is endlessly fascinating to her. She has been a frequent contributor to a number of professional websites, including the Parent Resource Network, where Allie served as a staff writer and was on-call for the website’s “Ask the Expert” feature. Allie was honored to deliver a keynote address at the annual conference of the National Association of Social Workers on the subject of utilizing creativity in social work practice. Allie’s love of writing led to the creation of a therapeutic writing curriculum, which has been well received by her clients. Allie lives in New Paltz, NY with her wonderful husband and, at any given moment, some or all of their collective seven children. She wouldn’t know an empty nest if she was sitting in one. Current projects include a the completion of a novel which she swears will not defeat her, building a blog, and spending as much time as possible with her newly minted granddaughter!

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