Endless Beauty Collective
EBC Approval Seal

The Lovin' Midlife Blog

Vogue Cover

5 Steps We Can Take to Stop Negative Messages About Aging

On November 7, 2021, Vogue magazine came out with an interview with Sarah Jessica Parker. Excited as I was to read it because I am a Sex and the City fan, what struck me was the  backlash she received that came after her remarks on aging.

Here’s what Sarah had to say in the article:

“It almost feels as if people don’t want us to be perfectly OK with where we are,
as if they almost enjoy us being pained by who we are today, whether we choose
to age naturally and not look perfect, or whether you do something if that makes
you feel better.”

The more I read, the more every muscle in my body tensed. And finally, I had to stop reading altogether when she told this story:

She was sitting next to a guy friend with a fabulous head of grey hair. Yet, as she sat at the very same table with the very same tone of grey, she was judged. Harshly.

I immediately reached out to some of my girlfriends, and they were just as livid. This is not the world we want to live in. This is not the world we want to raise our daughters in.

But…

If all I do is sit here feeling annoyed, hurt, and pissed off, then I am part of the problem and not the solution.

I jolted when I realized this and vowed that I wouldn’t just sit there.

Because here is what’s on my heart (and I have a feeling it may be on yours too)…

I believe there can be a world where:

  • Things are profoundly different as we attach only positive messages and stereotypes to aging.
  • Aging and self-worth are tied together, yet only in beautiful ways that suggest our worth AND our beauty only increase as we age.
  • It’s common knowledge that every aspect of aging may not be all fun and games, but it is perfectly natural and there are many wonderful aspects to it.
  • Saying you’re anti-aging is akin to saying you’re anti-life.

We are the changemakers who can make this world possible.

So I compiled a list of things I can do right now to spark that change. Will you join me?

  1. Flood social media accounts with age-positive messages and images .
    Find quotes; share your own thoughts; post pictures that reflect our incredible beauty as older women; highlight other women who are helping us be recognized as beautiful, not despite but because we are aging. Share posts or stories of beauty, skincare, and haircare brands that are getting it right (or, those who aren’t). Talk about your  experiences and invite others to share theirs.
  2. Search for and comment on other women’s age-positive posts.
    Reach out to both women you know and women you don’t. Search hashtags like  #progaging #proage #proagerevolution #proagewoman #agepositivity #positivelyaging #over50andfabulous #lovinmidlife and leave a substantial comment on the posts and accounts you resonate with.
  3. Make a statement.
    Add a line in your Instagram bio where you tell the world you’re proud to be a woman in midlife. Adjust your personal email signature with a favorite quote. Wear clothes or accessories that tell the world exactly what you think of being a woman in midlife (shameless plug for the Lovin’ Midlife Shop–I had to do it).
  4. Buy your skincare, haircare, makeup products, and magazines only from companies that have come out as ANTI anti-aging.
    These brands have said ‘no’ to doing any age-negative rhetoric on their products and in their advertising: Better, Not Younger (haircare), BOOM! (makeup, skincare), GLOW Recipe (makeup, skincare), Superfluid (skincare, makeup), Maison_276 (makeup, skincare), and Allure Magazine.
  5. Be mindful of the words you use when speaking about beauty and aging
    to others (and yourself ).
    And, ask your family, friends, etc., to do the same.Make these switches:

    Instead of:
    “She looks good for her age.”
    Say:
    “She looks good.”

    Instead of:
    “She’s still beautiful despite her age.”
    Say:
    “She’s beautiful.”

    Instead of:
    “She’s how old?! Man, she’s doing something right.”
    Say:
    “She looks so proud.”Avoid using any words currently negatively associated with midlife and growing older overall: crisis, downhill, falling apart, over the hill, losing it, finish line, done, ‘the wrong side of forty’, etc.
    Make a point of using words that are currently viewed as positive when describing midlife and beyond, and aging overall: beauty, journey, adventure, growth, wisdom, unembarrassable, vital, fierce, pride, possibility, curiosity, awakenings, etc.

These may seem small or even trivial, but all it takes is touching one life every single day. All it takes is one mindset shift after another.

We’ll get there. And when we do, the Sarah Jessica Parkers of the world won’t have to answer to their grey hairs.