Thoughts on beauty, imperfection and aging from adolescence on

Thoughts on beauty, imperfection and aging from adolescence on

Is there any wonder that our own perceived imperfections undermine our self-esteem?

We are perfection- beauty- and youth-obsessed. Television, movies, and advertisements, all tell us that looking beautiful and young is more desirable than aging gracefully.

Maybe we are brainwashed, but I don’t believe there is a woman who doesn’t feel and perform better when she believes she looks better. Truthfully, being married for many years and raising children tells me that there isn’t a person at any age who doesn’t feel and perform better when they look better.

Demoralizing our self-esteem starts early. As adolescents we obsess over every pimple, believing it makes us less attractive. Of course, believing it undermines our interactions with others, so we are less attractive though not for the reason we think.

Does everyone pluck out that first grey hair? Is it the very first sign of aging?

Or is it that first wrinkle – the crease in between the eyebrows or the tiny crow’s feet around the eyes? Aren’t we lucky though? There is a full spectrum of treatments that help from over-the-counter creams and potions to dermatologists’ prescriptions, just to cite topical remedies.

Perhaps more depressing than anything else for women is hair loss. Maybe because it doesn’t happen to every woman; maybe because it is so hard to treat; but lose that “crowning glory” and the feelings of inadequacy, undesirableness and the wish to hide creep insidiously into every interaction. Presto, there we are back in adolescence. But now the thing that makes us feel unattractive isn’t fleeting. We won’t grow out of it. It won’t get better with age. It will only get worse.

Then again, maybe not. Today. We. Have. Options.

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