Okay, so the title of this post is deliberately misleading, a lure if you will, to attract the unsuspecting web surfer eager, perhaps even desperate, to halt the aging process. We all know this is impossible, so why are we trying?
I’m speaking to our cultural fascination with and celebration of – youth – and flowing from that, a desire by those in later life to cling to youth. People are pulling out all the stops to either consciously or subconsciously deny time’s effect on their bodies. Businesses picked up on the “youth desire” long ago and now actively promote it. It’s everywhere you turn, on billboards, television, magazine and the internet.
Take a look at Age Defy, for example. They even offer a service on “Airbrush Tanning” . . . am I the only one that finds that bizarre?
And what about this company? Agedefying-secrets.com Oooooh, they have the secret – in a bottle – for a fee.
Now, far be it from me to criticize anyone for buying a little age defying cream or take steps to prevent the development of wrinkles. There are some mornings that I wake up with tired bags bulging under my eyes that I just have to keep a container of Loreal eye lift cream in the bathroom cabinet to tighten that action up. That’s coming from a 35-year-old male, so don’t read this post as a criticism of anyone seeking a more youthful appearance. No, I am not immune to societal influence. There are few that are.
What perplexes me, and what I’m writing to, is how strange this societal trend has become. We live in a time when gray hair is dunked in dye, anti-wrinkle cream is lathered on, and people aspire to become Botox beauties. Are we becoming a nation that, instead of aging gracefully, is aging disgracefully? What is wrong with wrinkles and gray hair?
Through this denial of aging are we losing an opportunity to face aging consciously and thoughtfully, and through that live, learn and grow? Are we eager to retain youthful looks, because looking old reminds us of our mortality, our eventual death? If so, what are the implications of such a denial?