The pressure to use Botox has been on my mind lately.
I just turned 41 and I am starting to really see myself ageing. In a world that focuses completely on youth and beauty (in my opinion), especially for women, it is a now becoming a (small) struggle internally for me. Everywhere I look, companies are trying to sell me products but they are only using young women in their campaigns, not really women my age. It is as though there are no women my age in the media. My mum has always told me that as a female, you become INVISIBLE in society as you age. Pretty depressing, but is she right? Sure there is the token, badass woman rocking it, but they do seem like tokens, to make us feel somehow included. When I am out and about in town, the ratio seems around the other way. Lots of badass older women 35+. No wonder we feel this pressure to do some pretty wacky shit to our bodies when you think about it! After all, we all just want to fit in.
Firstly, I want to say I am not hating on anyone who chooses to alter themselves using plastic surgery or things like Botox, as they are just feeling the pressure to look young and beautiful like the rest of us. We are sold this idea as little girls. It is what the media tells us, is our worth - youth and beauty. As we age, it feels as though our worth is slowly slipping away. I am clinging on and wondering what it will be like when its all gone.
I really don't want to inject myself with something that is basically a toxin. There are studies showing now that it may be causing brain damage. What I wonder is, once you inject it into your face, where does it go? How does the body eliminate that toxin? As I am all about trying to eliminate the huge amount of toxins that I am exposed to, it really just isn't an option to use Botox. But it just isn't fair! I mean, it seems that a heap of women are now using it. When I stand next to another 40-something who has been using Botox for ten years, I just look like shit! I wonder where we draw the line in the sand though. Should I even be wearing makeup? What is the difference between that and botox? I've given up dyeing my hair. Now I just let the grey shine. Should I shave my legs? So many questions ...
It's not just about me though.
I want to show young girls that ageing doesn’t take away your worth in the world. I personally feel that I cannot tell others they 'are worthy or they are enough just as they are', and then go and alter myself. I would love for young girls to not have to feel this pressure to try and desperately hold onto youth, which is impossible. Wouldn’t it be lovely to not have to grieve the loss of youth and instead celebrate the growth and wisdom?
It almost feels like I am protesting by NOT injecting myself with toxins and fillers. The first photo below was taken last week and posted to my Instagram feed. I felt I had to put a filter on my face because no one would be interested in me if I took photos of my wrinkled face. I feel like a sell-out but I aim to share more of the real me and hope I don’t scare you off.
Do you feel the pressure as you age to somehow make yourself look younger? How do we make ageing an acceptable part of life, one that is celebrated? I am only 41 and I am starting to feel this way, imagine how I will feel when I hit 60? I hope I don't give a shit! I hope that I have gained a lot more wisdom and finally embrace who I am instead of focusing on what I look like.
After all, I am more than just my body!
The second photo is of me at a much younger 30. I had just had my first baby six weeks earlier. Ironically, I felt like shit in that photo too. I had a lot of pregnancy weight on me and was emotionally and physically exhausted. I really wonder if I ever will be happy with my body.
So, how do we try and avoid the pressure? I have no freakin' idea!
I aim to talk to experts about what we can do to try and change our mindsets about how we look because I honestly need some help here. If we can embrace who we are and what we look like, then it will help the younger generations to do so too. If we demand to see our ourselves in the media, then the younger girls will see them too. I mean, I am only now starting to feel like I am getting my act together. Figuring out what is important in life and this bullshit of how we look is just that, BULLSHIT! We need to be brave and not succumb to the pressures. We need to come together as women and embrace the power that is within us.
We are creators, carers, lovers and so much more than a face and a body. That's what we need to embrace, the amazingness that we truly are within!