Vanity vs. the Mirror

Posted on May 15, 2008. Filed under: Of Mind and Matter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Okay, ladies—let’s get real. When most of us gals over fifty say we’re “hanging loose,” the phrase has taken on an entirely new meaning. Yes, I must confess that a lot of me has morphed into flesh that settles into loose folds whenever I sit, bend, or button a waistband. I do try to keep up with my aerobics and even lift weights a couple of times a week. Yet, despite my efforts, gravity seems to be tugging extra hard these days.

Thankfully, the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in American authors and they are writing a number of books to cash in on aging boomers and our worries over the visible signs of growing older. Not long ago, I came across an article in USA Today that discussed the latest crop of anti-aging books filled with dos and don’ts for the mature woman. Each of them looks interesting to me as I’m hoping to hang on to whatever looks I have left. But, I do have my limits!

The article suggests that a woman in her fifties or sixties is pleased to be alive (rather than dead by this age of decrepitude) but that she can’t pass a mirror without averting her eyes. Now, maybe my vision is going faster than I’d thought but I can still look myself in the mirror without gagging or fleeing the scene totally repulsed by the appallingly wizened reflection.

Shockingly, I like myself better now than when I was younger and so do most of my friends. Why not write a book about that? Yes, it may be important to look our best at any age. And, yes, looks do affect our self-esteem but so does a lifetime of growth and development. I may not wear my wrinkles proudly but I don’t despise them either. A lifetime of friends and laughter, memories and family, and challenges and triumphs more than makes up for a few lines. And, no one need avert her eyes at that!

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7 Responses to “Vanity vs. the Mirror”

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I am a male and I hope that you do not mind me contributing.I just turned 48 and I have never felt better about myself. I may have a little less hair and the hair I have may be gray, but I do not care.

Way To Go,

Mark Parbus
http://thoughts.babyboomerjourney.com/

Eileen,

I hear ya about those doggone folds! I have more weight on this bod than I’ve ever had, though I still have skinny legs.

I’m not totally averse to looking in the mirror and on some days I think…”Ok, not too bad” On other days? Well, I just don’t look!

I did write a book about growing older (Whatever! A Baby Boomer’s Journey Into Middle Age). I do address the whole weight gain–my body is under attack issue–but I also agree that these have become some of the best years of my life. I’m happier than ever and, unlike 20-30 years ago, I don’t feel the need to compete with other women. What you see is what you get!

Frankly, I don’t care about those folds. I am just glad everything is still working. *laughs* I have also noticed that I care a whole lot less about what others think about how I look, or trying to fit into some magazine concept of what a woman is supposed to look like anyway. You can’t look like those women. Half of them are fake anyway, and had to buy most of the ‘equipment’ they are sporting. *laughs*

Bra-VO! Whatever happened to the idea of aging gracefully? I am shocked at the faces of some celebrities whose facelifts have left them looking like aliens! And some of those lip injections are just a joke!
I’m not 20 anymore and I’m darn proud to be 57, wiser, funnier and a more interesting person than I was decades ago!

I’m 57 and proud of my wrinkles and my gray hairs! I could do without the sag, but I’m not willing to go under the knife to suck it up!

I write about being a DIVA of a certain age on several of my blogs. Maybe I should compile them into a book?

I too have succumbed to the pull of gravity – and frankly, I don’t care. I’m healthy, I have energy to do the things I want to do, and I spend a lot less time in front of the mirror – not because I’m afraid to look, but because I’m content with what I see and don’t feel compelled to keep trying to “improve” it. Thanks for the words of encouragement and guess what, you’ve been TAGGED! I hope you have some time to find some friends to tag, for details go to The Adventures of Traveling Bob (http://travelswithbob.blogspot.com/)

Have a happy week!! Melodieann

When I look in the mirror I don’t mind what I see, but I also say “Who the heck is that?” For that simple reason is why I started http://www.boomerinthemirror.com


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