I am getting older. I was taking pictures of myself and my son the other day and it really hit me that I look a lot older than even just a few years ago. The ageing process is speeding up all of a sudden.
Some of you are probably ‘facepalming’ right now and going to navigate away but let me try and engage you with where I am going with this…
Those few years ago, had I seen my face at the moment, I would have cried. I would have panicked and tried to figure out how to best restore my perceived beauty. I would have felt that things were over for me and I was all washed up. But a funny thing has happened and changed it all. I am OK with how I look, not because of some radical acceptance brought on by numerous ad campaigns trying to get us to love our skin (but secretly making us more aware of the importance of image), but because I am too busy expanding my knowledge base.
I don’t need beauty to define myself. I am studying to be a professional and I have a great job on the side mentoring young women (tell you about that next blog!). Of course I still like to do my hair and my eyebrows before I leave the house, I am not declaring a total war on vanity here. I am just declaring that the more fulfilled you are in your role in life then the less you care about how youthful or beautiful people think you are.
Lately there is so much more focus on body image. People speaking out and saying it’s OK to be big and beautiful, saying it’s OK to be ethnic and beautiful… but still beautiful all the same. Ever thought that actually beauty never cured a disease or helped a person in need? Beauty doesn’t balance your accounts or clean your guttering in autumn. Beauty is a waste of time and the more we toot on about it, even if we’re trying to accept it in all it’s forms… It doesn’t bloody well matter folks. Not a damned bit.
Educate yourselves. Educate others. Educate your children. Help people. Help yourselves. Grow food. Grow flowers. Hike trails. Swim rivers. Buy nice things. Save your money. Travel. Laugh. Eat some cake and go for a run in the morning. Balance things out.
Someone wise once told me that the more you stare at a feature on yourself the more out of place it seems. Same goes for a narrow focus on what makes a person great. Focus on their looks and they blow out of proportion. I know a lot of ‘beautiful’ wastes of space. I know a lot of amazing people too. Those people are amazing because they inspire me and make me laugh, they challenge me and they urge me to grow. Nothing to do with ‘brow game’ or their 1950’s inspired pin up shoot posted all over Instagram.
To sum it up. I am confident I had fun when I thought I was young and beautiful and I look at my daughter and hope she is making the most of her carefree time with golden hair and milky skin but I will show her that when the sunsets on that, when we grow as people we can find a whole new beauty to the world. We can find that knowing things and sharing that knowledge in your own way is the most beautiful thing in the world.
Put down your mirror and pick up a book. Stop trying to be something you might have been but are not now. Be a new thing.