It's something we all know deep down inside.
But still we hope.
Maybe I just don't know enough. If I kept up with the trends, I'm sure that new breakthrough technology would help me retain my youthful glow.
Maybe I'm just too cheap. If I spent more money on that fancy cream, it would work, right? There must be something amazing about it, to justify that price.
Maybe I'm not consistent enough. If I could only remember to remove my makeup every night, and apply that serum with upward, lifting motions with my fingertips - then it would work.
Maybe I didn't start early enough. If only I hadn't partied so much in my 20s, and instead developed a rigorous skincare routine, then I would look amazing.
It must be my fault.
But deep down, we know, in our bones, that these products can't undo years of hard living and poor lifestyle choices.
And we also know that anti-aging products can't do what they say on the tin.
It's an impossibility.
Like it or not, every day, we age. We move forward in time. We grow. We change. We evolve.
Even the name of the product is setting us up for failure.
I'm not saying we should let ourselves go. That we should let ourselves fade into a floral-printed, polyester-clad, hunched old age, with a quiet shuffle off to the gold course. Au contraire.
I'm saying we should redefine our goal.
Anti-aging is impossible.
Think of the most gorgeous older woman you know. What does she look like?
I'm guessing it's not the woman with collagen-injected lips, a perfectly smooth forehead, perky breasts and coiffed hair.
There's a slippery slope with plastic surgery that we all sense, innately.
A little bit can be ok, and then suddenly - woah - it just feels wrong.
I'm guessing that the most gorgeous older woman you know is vibrant. Radiant. Happy. Maybe with little crinkles around her sparkly eyes when she laughs. Full of energy. Alive. Fully embracing her unique self, and not shy about who she is.
The most gorgeous woman is bien dans sa peau (one of my favorite French expressions meaning 'feeling good in her skin').
Isn't it funny how we know what makes a woman gorgeous - but we apply different rules to ourselves?
Aging gracefully might be OK for others, but for ourselves, we want to freeze-frame our 25 year old bodies - forever. And any deviation from that is failure! Self-criticism! Blame!
The fact is that we are all aging. Every day. It's part of moving forward in life. And at any age, the most beautiful women look like a gorgeous, vibrant, alive version of themselves. The best version of themselves possible. They look their age (well, within 10 years or so!), and they look good.
It's much more fun to move towards something, than run away from something.
The other thing that really gets me about 'anti-aging', is that it's fear-based.
The whole idea of focusing on 'anti-' something, means that we're focused on the negative thing. We're afraid of it. We're trying to avoid it. We'll do anything to prevent that perceived bad thing from happening!
You see, even if you manage to avoid the dreaded aging today - it could get you tomorrow! Or next week! We must be ever-vigilant!
It's an exhausting and never-ending struggle.
Instead, it feels so much better to focus on the future and work towards a goal.
What if, instead of anti-aging, we spent all that energy, all that research, all that money, all that time focusing on creating beauty and radiance and abundance in our lives.
- What if we focused on feeling bien dans sa peau?
- What if we focused on nourishing our bodies through food, water and good sleep, so we were full of energy everyday?
- What if we focused on maximizing our good qualities, rather than trying to hide our faults?
- What if we focused on looking like the best, most alive, most vibrant version of ourselves?
- What if our prescription for health was laughter, human connection, whole foods, water, sleep and creativity - everyday?
Life would be a lot more fun. We would treat ourselves better. We'd all be a lot healthier. And we'd have many more vibrant, juicy, gorgeous women around!
Forget anti-aging. Let's do this instead.
So instead of anti-aging, I'm asking you to join me on a quest for a different goal:
The dictionary definition of Radiant is:
- sending out rays of light; bright; shining
- characterized by health; intense joy; happiness etc.
Sounds like a pretty good goal to me.
When you're naturally radiant, you're glowing, vibrant and full of energy. You're beautiful - in an alive, authentic way.
You're making choices (and using beauty products! Oh I do love beauty products!) not to prevent an awful possibility, but instead, to enhance your radiance. To maximize what you've got. To get pleasure out of life. To enjoy the journey.
Good food, herbal remedies, natural beauty products, creativity ... these can all help you cultivate your own natural radiance.
Natural radiance is my new goal, and I hope it will be yours too.