I've always been one of those people whose age is a bit of mystery, but these last few years I feel like I'm starting to look my age. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. I feast my eyes on beautiful, chic women my age and older every day in magazines and in real life. But it brings out some latent insecurities about my appearance that are new to me. The girls in the shop joke that I have age dysmorphia.
So I'm faced with a choice: age gracefully, quiet those voices in my head that feed my insecurities, and embrace the outward badges of honor that come with five decades of life experience. Or intervene in some subtle way to keep myself looking as young as possible for as long as possible.
While I would not mind having my breasts put back where they once were before I had three children, I choose aging gracefully. I don't begrudge anyone the peace and confidence that comes with a shot or a filler. But I have decided to go all natural. The lines around my eyes are especially evident when I'm smiling and laughing. The faint dark spots on my skin are from countless beach days in the sun with my children. Each of these little imperfections tells a story about me and my life.
Running a few miles in the morning used to be my favorite way to start my day, but now I look forward to candlelight Yin in the evening. I used to just hop into bed with a clean face at night, but now I spend an extra 10 minutes applying my Vintner's Daughter Active Botanical Serum, my favorite night cream and the Laneige Lip Mask. I used to give myself bonus points for hydration and nutrition, but now they're both a necessary part of keeping my body, mind, and skin as clear and healthy as possible. Gut health is not the sexiest subject, but something I think about every day. And like every other woman in America, I delete 75% of the photos I see of myself compared to about half when I was younger.
These are the things that come with age. But the inner peace and clarity that comes with life experience also come with age. Wisdom and confidence also come with age.
While I wince sometimes when I see an unflattering photo of myself or catch a glimpse of myself in direct sunlight, I try to remind myself that there's a unique and under-appreciated beauty that comes with age. This is my year to radiate that and follow my mom's advice: "always appreciate the way you look now. In the future you'll look back at a picture of yourself and say 'damn I looked good.'"