If you recall, in my introductory post to the new Write of the Middle (WOTM) ‘Gorgeous 50’s series’, I said that the series was inspired by a book given to me by one of my sister’s on my 50th birthday – ‘Grown-Up and Gorgeous in your 50’s’ by Pamela Robson. I will be sharing some of Pamela’s words and my own thoughts along the way. This post is an introduction to the subject of beauty in your 50’s.
Now that you’re in your 50’s, you’re finally comfortable in your own skin. No more comparing yourself to others, you’ve learned to relax and have realistic expectations about your face and hair. You don’t want to look younger, or like someone else – it’s about looking as great as you can for your age. Your skin doesn’t lie. Certainly, genetics play a big role in how you look now, but the way you treated your skin (from the inside and on the outside) in the past will also determine how you’re aging. Your lifestyle choices will have an impact, but some skin changes during this decade are beyond your control: the skin renewal process will be slowing down, and hormonal changes will also have an effect. There are, however, more and more ways to minimise the damage! Skincare, make-up and your crowning glory are fantastic weapons!
Comfortable in my own skin?
I wish I could say that I am finally comfortable in my own skin but if I’m to be completely honest … no I’m not. I want to be! I’m always striving to achieve that, and I am getting closer to it. The female body takes on some damage through the journey of life – having babies, changing metabolisms, hormonal shifts and generally by just getting older, and we are vain creatures who can be very, very hard on ourselves. Magazines, media, social media, society etc. reinforce perfection expected of women no matter their age or stage of life. It’s wrong but it has had quite a terrifying impact on girls and women. Thankfully, eyes are being opened to this epidemic and wonderful movements are underway to help combat it. One person I very much admire is Taryn Brumfitt, an Aussie body image activist and maker of the documentary ‘Embrace’.
Compare myself to others?
I don’t compare myself to others so much nowadays as I know there is no point to that and I do value the fact that there is only one of me and I like that. It doesn’t stop me admiring things about others and thinking how lucky they are. Long legs and olive skin for example sigh, but then again, I do quite like being petite and fair skin in on trend these days is it not?! Overall, I’m happy to be uniquely me and for others to be uniquely themselves as well. There’s a quote by Theodore Roosevelt “Comparison is the thief of joy” which I find to be quite true!
How do I feel about my Face and Hair?
Realistic expectations about my face and hair? I am not sure that I know what Pamela means by this? I expect my hair will start getting more and more greys as I get older. I expect it to behave differently in winter than it does in summer. I expect my face will gradually accumulate more wrinkles as I get older as well as other changes as the years slip by. Are these realistic expectations? I think so!
MY HAIR: I love my hair! I am very blessed to have thick hair which is naturally moderately curly. With GHD’s (hair straightener) I have the choice to leave my hair naturally curly (with a few tweaks by the GHD) or to straighten it, depending on my mood and the weather (curly haired girls will understand)! My hair can get quite dry so only needs washing twice a week. I see that as a blessing as I know some people with oily hair that have to wash their hair every day! My hair right now is showing signs of something that could be called post operation stress disorder. It’s limp and lifeless and not its usual bouncy self. Research tells me that many people experience hair loss after surgery (typically 2-3 months after surgery). I am hopeful this will not be me but we shall see!
MY FACE: I don’t mind my face. I’ve had it all my life but gee it has changed as I move through different decades of life. It’s quite incredible – it’s still me but different! I do have some broken blood vessels that I’d love to get rid of. Thank goodness for make-up is what I say! I like my full lips. I’d like to have bigger eyes like my mother and my daughter. I call my nose a ‘slippery dip’ nose. Generally though, I am happy enough with my face. It is aging but it is aging quite well so far (apart from those annoying broken blood vessels).
Do I want to look younger?
I don’t walk around each day consumed with the desire to look younger but I certainly do want to try all I can to delay the aging process! I want to be able to look the best I possibly can.
I don’t agree with the following words from Pamela “….it’s about looking as great as you can for your age” (sorry Pamela!). Nooooo it’s about looking as great as you can with what you’ve got and looking the best you can for yourself – so you feel good! If we were to look as great as we can for our age, then who is going to determine what that is for each particular age and why should there be a benchmark or a predetermined acceptable look for each age? We are all different! Grrr… I do not like statements that end in the words … ‘for your age’.
Skin doesn’t lie – so how’s mine going?
I’m pretty lucky with my skin, the lines around my eyes have increased in my 50’s but they’re not too bad. My skin leans towards being dry but I’ve learnt the right products to help with that and my skin feels good as a result. I have loads of freckles – from the sun worshiping days of my youth (far too much time sun baking).
Genetics: Somehow I drew the short straw and have suffered with psoriasis off and on during adulthood – mostly during my 20’s & 30’s. I’ve been mostly touch wood free of it for quite some time now. The consequence of all those years of battling psoriasis is thinner skin in area’s where it was at its worst and required regular application of a strong cortisone cream – Diprosone.
What lifestyle choices might have had an impact on my aging skin?
I eat pretty healthy foods most of the time so that is a good thing. I don’t drink much alcohol at all (in fact rarely these days), another good thing. However, there are two lifestyle choices in my past that I believe could impact the condition of my aging skin. Both of these things were ‘cool’ and ‘acceptable’ when I was younger. We know better now.
- All the years that I was a smoker. I was a teen and young adult during the years when smoking was COOL and I was made fun of when I didn’t smoke. Eventually the pressure was too much and I started smoking somewhere between the ages of 18 and 19. It didn’t take long and I was hooked. I gave up for my pregnancies. That was easy because I was so sick in the early days of pregnancy. Eventually, though I started it up again. I finally stopped smoking for good around 10 years ago. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and something I am very proud to have achieved. I am SO happy to no longer be a smoker. I had become a slave to it and I feel so free now!
- The years and years of sun exposure due to sun baking – mostly when I was a young adolescent, teen and young adult. The ‘Slip, Slop, Slap‘ campaign came a bit late for me. I used to have a lovely tan but I do fear that I will soon suffer the consequences. Note to self: You are so overdue for a skin check!
I completely agree that skincare, make-up and our crowning glory are fantastic
weapons in disguising and distracting from the aging process!
Are you comfortable in your own skin? Do you compare yourself to others? How do you feel about your face, hair and skin and are your expectations realistic? Do you wish you looked younger? Any lifestyle choices in your past that you might regret?
Ciao for now,
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