Friday, January 31, 2014

On Loving My Wrinkles

      Lately I have started ruminating on pretty much every aspect of my appearance- while I am not a vain person I do have my insecurities which always seem to pop up at this time of year- two weeks out from my birthday. I'm quite sure this obsessing about fine lines and for head crevasses has much to do with the conventional idea of beauty placed in our minds by popular media- I know this and yet I stand and stare and frown into the mirror. I'm at that target age the beauty companies love- still young enough to be hanging onto that youth with a death grip yet old enough to start noticing the sun damage.

     Incidentally I love my wrinkles, creases and "blotchy" skin- they are evidence of many fine years spent outside living- underneath my best friend the sun. I don't mind the grey hairs that are starting to crop up more frequently- I don't try to hide them as they are what they are. My smile is crooked and discoloured- yeah lets talk about that- my dentist says I drink too much coffee- apparently only blinding white teeth are considered natural and beautiful. I look at my face and see the culmination of almost 38 years of life well and not so well lived- all the hills and valleys of my experience are etched on my face. When did that become such a bad thing? The celebration of self and life well lived worn with out apology on a bare face.

      I recently read a very well written open letter to the beauty industry- from the author of the blog Revolution From The Home. The letter in it's entirety was beautiful and moving and raised a multitude of excellent points- it can be read here. I love that she straight up calls out the beauty industry saying "the beauty you're selling is bullshit"- I tend to agree. Since when do we need a corporation- who is just trying to make money- keep that in mind- to tell us how we should and should not look?  This is is the best part though and I needed to share it with you all.

" You lie to little girls
You confuse young boys
You perpetuate self-loathing in adolescents.
You manipulate images of already-beautiful
bodies into unachievable, inhuman shapes in
order to present "beauty" as just beyond our

     Yes- yes and yes! Not that I have ever wanted to achieve commercial beauty but the influences still sought me out- in Oprah style make overs by our babysitter, well meaning hairstylists telling me how to correct my skin blemishes, my peers questioning my choice in thrift store fashion. No matter how well one is surrounded by amazing, strong women who walk to the beat of their own drummer there will still be that Great Aunt asking why are you so fat? This needs to change- a conversation has been started and needs to become an anthem for my daughter and her peers.

    While I struggle to age gracefully- learning be me in a body that is now middle aged and not 19- I am more concerned that my knees hurt when hiking that anything else. I seek to be the role model my children need- I struggle as everyone does to quiet the negative voices in my head that make me stare in the mirror and frown. I swear my children will never hear me comment negatively about my body- they will hear me say instead how much I like my strong legs that have walked miles on the earth- they will hear me comment how my hands have become my Mother's hands- the ones I remember from when I was a child. My daughter will not learn from me she is only defined by her appearance and by that same breath my son will know women are more than an object.

"Its genius, really. Deceive us when we're little, make empty promises while we're desperately seeking to define ourselves, then contort our perceptions of what's possible and just like that... you've got customers for life"
                                Revolution From The Home

        Think about how powerful this conversation can be- think about how life changing it can be. I'm not saying leave your make up at home- if that is what makes you feel good- but question why it makes you feel good- who says you have to look a certain way to be beautiful. It's with little steps and big questions that things start to change- yes a beauty revolution perhaps. So start a conversation- just start talking.

     Once again it is Friday dear Friends- I think another hike is in order for us this weekend- some quiet and stillness. I'm wishing you all much love, peace and natural "mature" beauty this weekend! Happy Friday Friends!



    in case the facebook link didn't share (in a hurry at the moment to check)

  2. Great post Sharilyn! I try to remind myself that I need to love my body for what it can do rather than what it looks like. Especially now that I have my little girl it still blows my mind that my body GREW A HUMAN BEING!

  3. Great post Sharilyn! I have always tried to love my body for what it can do instead of how it looks. I don't always succeed, but I find I'm better at it the older I get...although I am struggling to believe that I'm turning 30 this year!. I swear I feel 25, maybe 26 tops!


Please feel free to leave a comment- I love hearing from you!