Posted: February 22, 2019
Have you ever heard someone say “wow, she looks good for her age!” Hm, are those last three words really necessary? Chances are, they were said quite innocently and meant as a compliment. But the reality is that in 2019, if someone looks good, it shouldn’t matter how old they are.
So, I started to think about why we compliment in such a backhanded way? Examining what I know as a student of science, this is what I have come up with. Biology makes us view aging in men and women very differently. A woman getting older is a bad and negative thing. Whereas, a man getting older is just fine. In fact they are viewed as more distinguished and dignified. This type of thinking comes from the genetic need for the survival of our species. The ideal man is someone who can protect, provide, and lead his family. It doesn’t matter how old he is. In fact, chances are that the older he is, the better he can provide. The ideal woman is someone who can reproduce many healthy children. The younger she is, we assume the more fertile she is. If she is beautiful, we assume that she will have healthier children. This is the crux of the obsession with youth, and the negativity about women aging.
Let’s stop condemning women for getting older and then again condemning women for doing something about their aging and looking good. There are almost eight billion human beings in this world. So I think it’s safe to say that we do not have the same survival needs as a species as we once had. Our life expectancy in the US has increased by almost ten years in the last 50 years and will continue to climb higher in the years to come. I propose that it is time that we change the way we think about aging. Because what is the alternative? Not to age? Which means not to live a long life? No thank you. I for one am aiming to live a very, very long life. Let us celebrate our healthy and vibrant aging. Let us accept that looking good has nothing to do with age.
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