No one knows what the future holds but everyone wants to look good getting there. People worry about fine lines and wrinkles. They focus on things that sag and let’s not forget that extra weight around the tummy. No wonder the cosmetic industry is booming. More than $13 million was spent on advertising in 2017 alone.
The problem is that too many people think that looking good means looking young. They try to hide the fact that they are aging even though it is a simple fact of life.
“Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
— Betty Friedan
If only there was someone to show them that life is about your fire not your age.
Oh, wait! There is!
Covergirl signed Maye Musk to be their newest brand ambassador in 2017. Seventy years old in April of this year, she is a model and dietician with two Master’s degrees. She’s got the smarts and the looks to go along with a wealth of confidence.
She doesn’t dye her hair, flaunting her short white crop with abandon. She wears makeup not to look younger but to enhance her natural features, not to impress other people but to make herself feel good. She’s happy and proud. Comfortable in her own skin and full of vitality, she is what I wish more women could be, myself included.
She may have passed some of that exuberance onto her son Elon. Yes, that Elon, but don’t think that’s all she’s about. He may be on the verge of technological greatness but she has left her mark just the same. Maybe Elon can be as cool as his mom when he gets older.
Whether it’s vanity or fear of the great unknown, we need to get over getting older. There’s no stopping society from pushing unrealistic expectations on us, but we can rebel against that tyranny. Like Maye Musk, we can take the media’s image of beauty and turn it on its head. Be beautiful for who we are, not what we look like.
Too often we forget the simple beauty of being alive. Not everyone has the opportunity to live a long life, but we all live just the same. Our lungs move air in and out and our hearts pump blood through our veins.
It’s the energy we put into our everyday lives, not the make-up we put on our faces, that keeps us “young at heart”. If we play victim, we grow weak. If we revel in moments, we grow strong. Vitality is not about youth; it is about living life to the fullest at any age.
“Some people are old when they’re 18 and some people are young when they’re 90. You can’t define people by whatever society determines as their age.”
— Yoko Ono
I thank you, Maye Musk. You are a badass and a role model in more ways than one.