I watch with my head in my hands when the adverts come on the television. The cause of this despair is quite simple really, it’s the idea that women are failing if they don’t “match up” to the perfection that is personified in stick-thin, teen-age models with “perfect” lifestyles and the skin, hair and figure to match. Apparently, it’s what we all want.
I’d like to know, According to whom?
I saw an ad for skin cream that claimed “80% of women said they’d consider delaying surgery after using it”
Delaying? As if, surgery was inevitable once we took a good look in the mirror and realised how wrinkled we were.
Another shows a husband, claiming “we’ve been through three pregnancies…. and she still looks like Kate”
Let’s get this straight – the model still looks 30 because she is 30 and has probably never borne a child, let alone three. Your wife still looks like your wife because you love her and we see only what we want to in people we love. And by the way, despite the grey hair you seem to despair of, she finds that sexy and exciting. Don’t knock it!
My point is, who is it that sets these expectations, these apparent standards we must strive to achieve with diets, creams, procedures and prodding? And what is it that makes us buy into them? Is it a crowd thing, that sense that “everyone else does it so if I don’t then I’ll stand out for the wrong reasons?” Is it that we’ve been so convinced the message is true, we’ve started to believe it ourselves?
I looked at my husband this morning; really looked at him. His lines around his eyes, from working out-doors and no doubt added to by stress over the years. His grey hairs, now a good 30% of his head is covered in greys and whites. I love them, I think they show his experience and maturity and yes, if I’m totally honest, they just look incredible with his tan! I looked at his hands, with scars that show a life-time of crafting, creating, working hard for a living. Oh yes, I looked at other bits too – but that’s between us 😉
I asked myself “Do I see these changes in him as imperfections? Do they stand out and become the things I notice?” The answer for me was no. I see these as the signs that we are growing old – together. That makes me emotional. We did not anticipate this. It’s exciting and new. I love the lines that tell his story, the rugged look that highlights his features, the grey hair that makes his blue eyes even more intense.
And I wonder, does he notice my lines, my creases and wrinkles? Does he see the grey mixing in with the blonde or notice the lines on my hips and arms which tell of my history? Does he love me because of them or despite them? I believe I know. I believe he’s with me on this one.
According to him I’m beautiful. According to him I can stop fixating over the ageing process and continue to celebrate my years and my lines. According to him, I’m perfect just as I am.