It’s funny, isn’t it? Aging.
Or maybe not funny at all. To some, even absolutely terrifying.
If you think about it, every day we live is one step closer to old age, brain and body breakdown and ultimately death. No one can change it, no one can escape it. We can’t buy or make time. It’s the one thing we all have in common, rich, poor, male, female, Hillary or Trump. We will all die at some point.
I think the reason why we obsess so much about the outer signs of aging is that it reminds us daily of our mortality. When the flower no longer is a bud, but wide open and the leaves are starting to tremble in the wind. All of a sudden life feels very short.
So we try to fix the outside, maybe in the hope of slowing the process down. But most likely because we don’t want to be reminded that another day, month, year has blown by.
Did you know that the median life is 37.8? When we have passed this number in years, we are officially closer to old than young. To death than birth. Depressing right?
However, do we actually feel old at 37? When I think of old, I see wrinkly faces, grey hair, hunched backs and hair growing in all the wrong places. You have to be pretty unlucky to look like that at 37…
I’m 36 and I only just started feeling like a grown-up. I don’t feel old at all!
Yes, my face and body are showing the first small signs of aging. My skin is not as elastic as it used to be, creases stay after I stopped smiling and I have more visible veins. But I don’t look in the mirror and think “heck I will die soon”.
What does makes me feel old sometimes is society and the constant obsession with youth. It’s so unrelatable to most of us. And incredibly stressful for anyone past 25.
I mean even the majority of anti-aging adverts are featuring 20-year-olds. As if they just couldn’t find anyone over 30 who looked decent enough to take a photo of… Who decided we have an expiry date on beauty? It just doesn’t make sense, why alienate your target group by shaming them?
I had a very short discussion today on an Instagram account of a dermatologist. I have been thinking about going to her for a consultation, but her Instagram feed put me off. It was full of 20 something models with glowing skin. Sure, it looks amazing and attractive. But I just could not relate. I asked in the comments why she only featured such young women. And the answer was that those are her clients.
Thing is, I’m pretty sure those girls have not paid (or at least not in full) for those treatments. Most of them had 100K+ followers and had shared multiple pictures on their feeds raving about the doctor. It reeked of unmarked Influencer marketing.
The problem is that these girl’s followers most likely are their age and to be honest, probably can’t afford the rate this doctor charges. On top of that, she is alienating people like me. Her real potential clients.
This is such a great example of the misunderstanding of youth in marketing. It’s believed to be the holy grail, but it’s not. Youth does not equal beauty. Beauty can be found in all ages.
No one can sell youth, but we can sell beauty. So sell it to the people who want it, not to the ones who already have it. Girls over 30 don’t look at 20 somethings and think we wished we looked like them. We look at ourselves and want to keep what we got. We want to age gracefully.
If marketing would end their love affair with youth and take a look around, I’m sure they would do a lot better. Stop stereotyping women and look at our actual needs and wants. Be a bit more realistic.
And above all, stop making us feel old when we are not!
Photo – Ida Zander. You can find my leopard print dress here.