Beauty and the Aging Beast

If we believe we are defined by who we are, then we can carry that knowledge with confidence and defy any kind of aging. Note to Self: Must sew up hole in pocket or start carrying confidence somewhere else.beauty of a woman blogfest

I’m proud to be over fifty and hope to have many more years of Riding Wild. I fought cancer and won. I don’t take life for granted, but time can take its toll and we will be judged by how we look

That said, I think it’s unfortunate that it has become the norm to run to plastic surgeons for injections and procedures, sometimes with very unnatural results. When did the stretched out upper lip ever fool anyone into thinking the woman looked much younger? I’m not against these procedures, per se, just the injections by fluid ounce.

I wonder if women have lost perspective on aging. Don’t get me wrong. I am waging my own battle with the beast, but within reason.

I think it comes down to acceptance and expectations, something that existed decades ago. The majority of my mother’s generation didn’t even color their hair. It was unheard of to have plastic surgery in Wisconsin when she was my age. Facelifts were for movie stars. Now it has become affordable and accessible. Botox parties have become the rage. I haven’t been invited to any. Have you? With this increase in pressure, most women expect to look much younger than their age and they won’t accept anything less.

I attended an Arbonne Skin and Body Care party where the saleswoman made statements like, “You don’t want to look old, do you?” and, “Neck wrinkles age you.” Everyone scanned the room while I pulled the neckline of my shirt up over my nose. I was so self-conscious. I have very sensitive skin and Arbonne has the only anti-aging line I can use. I am satisfied with the product, but not with the message. 

dog pileWe are being brainwashed into thinking aging is bad, bad, BAD, and should be avoided at all costs. I think it’s inevitable. No matter what you do, the years will eventually catch up if we’re lucky enough to live that long. Pshhh! I expect to resemble a Shar pei when I’m 100-years-old!

Repeat after me: Wrinkles are beautiful. Wrinkles are beautiful. Wrinkles are beautiful. Your eyelids are getting heavy. You’re getting sleepy. When you wake up, you will be happy with your looks. Okay. You can stop repeating everything I say. It’s getting really annoying.

How I am dealing with a few of my own aging body parts:

Smile lines – I’ve always been a happy person, so I earned them in my mid-twenties.

Frown lines – The appearance of muscles between my brows are a direct result of squinting. I do want to prevent them from becoming so deep they could hold a pencil, so I wear reading glasses and massage the tissue to break them down. Good enough.Shar pei

Lip lines. I’ll take the trade off and live with a few of them instead of having an enlarged beaklike upper lip. I use Burt’s Bees lip balm before applying lipstick. Honestly, I’m lucky if I even apply lipstick before running out the door.

Age spots. They are the direct result of SIS – Shitty Irish Skin. My dermatologist couldn’t keep up with freezing my spots off during my annual exam. I have zillions of them! I think that if I had used my anti-aging face wash all over my body the last few decades, I wouldn’t have any.

Bride of FrankensteinMy Bride of Frankenstein hair – I may have more white hair than brown, so I dye it auburn. Yep. I will continue to indulge in hair color.

Losing muscle tone – I had a partial knee replacement and am waaay behind in recovery. My muscles became shrinky dinky after surgery due to swelling. I worked with my PT and even started on protein shakes, but discovered 10 CCs of fluid in a joint will prevent your muscles from working, so they remained shrinky dinky. My doctor pulled 20 cc’s of blood out of my joint last Monday and then flooded it with steroids. The good news? They kicked in over the weekend and I’m ready to hit the gym again, hard. Getting into shape holds no age boundaries. 

Saggy butt – I never look back there.

Bionic boobs – My fake boobs will always defy gravity, but I hope the scars will eventually fade.  I may consider nipple tattoos!

Aging is a given. There’s no reason to get obsessed or depressed about it. There is nothing better than life with all its ups and downs and it’s going to leave its mark.

My advice: Instead of putting so much time into improving your shell, work on your core. Confidence shines brighter than any tightened, lightened, stretched, or plumped up skin. Take care of your body. Eat healthy foods and exercise. Learn something new. Spend time doing what you love with people who care about you. Work hard on your goals and eventually you’ll accomplish a few. There is no better confidence booster.

I have adjusted to what is acceptable for my age and expect to appear older as I rack up the years. I want to celebrate my 100th birthday, so bring it on LIFE, even if it means the addition of a few more wrinkles!

I love my scars, wrinkles, and everything else that makes up this crazy person called Susie Lindau. Whoa! I talked about myself in the third person. I don’t have that big of an ego…I better put confidence back in my pocket full of holes where it belongs. 

Do you accept your wrinkles or throw your mirror against the wall? How many mirrors do you go through in a week? How far will you go to look young? 

 

This post is a part of August McLaughlin’s Beauty of a Woman Blogfest.

113 thoughts on “Beauty and the Aging Beast

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  1. Well, I must confess, I have been blessed with pretty good skin. Sure, I had acne as a kid, still get pimples today, but the bright side of that is, oily skin keeps wrinkles at bay. You can’t have both, or so they say. I am getting fine lines around my eyes and I do have frown lines because I’ve never been able to see really well, thus squinting, but I’m not going to give up smiling just to prevent parenthesis around my lips. I’m just not going to do that. I’ll keep applying the serums and creams.

    I do, however, indulge in hair color. I’ve been going gray since my early 20’s. I hate grey hair and it does make me feel old. I don’t want to feel old, I want to feel young and look young. So . . . yes, that is my vanity item. My husband hates that I spend the money on hair coloring, but I hate that he smokes a pipe. We’ll call that even.

    I’ve always tried to take good care of my skin (except all those years of sun bathing with baby oil – uggg), but my face looks good today because my mother started me out really young on the benefits of a good skin care regime. I use good products and use them religiously. I try to eat healthy and drink lots of water and exercise when I can and when I feel like it.

    But, most importantly, I firmly believe that beauty does come from within and that truly beautiful people are those with the biggest hearts and the most confidence. I do not color my hair so that I LOOK better, I color my hair because it makes me FEEL better. There’s a difference. I feel less confident when my grey roots are showing. It’s a weird psychological thing, and I know it defeats the purpose of this blog fest, but, I’m being honest.

    Rock on pretty mama! Keep up the hair coloring and riding the wild ride. Cyber world wouldn’t be the same without you.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Patricia! You made my day!
      I have the same kind of skin. Oily skin when you’re young has it’s benefits when you’re older! Now that I’m on Tamoxifen, I don’t get any zits, but a few lines have made an appearance. I’m going to be 57 so it’s expected.
      I agree totally about hair color. I don’t think anyone notices my roots, but it’s a huge lift when I cover them up.
      My dad was a pipe smoker when I was a little kid. Fond memories! Glad it has become leverage for you…

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  2. I truly believe that beauty comes from within. If the person within is overly concerned with what’s on the outside of themselves, it will inevitably be reflected in their appearance. That being said, I try to avoid mirrors and people who are more superficial than me.

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    1. You are the coolest 1point! It took me a while to figure out that some people were like that. I generally don’t check mirrors once I’m out which can be pretty apparent by the end of the night! 🙂

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  3. Aging with grace? My knees hurt, am out of breath need a nap and spend half my waking hours looking for my keys, my wallet and my glasses. The real pain is that you need your glasses to find everything else.

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  4. How timely your post is. I have noticed an acceleration of wrinkling and sagging and I don’t like it! That said, I’m not up for monthly expensive botox or the like.
    Guess my wild days are truly starting to show their age!
    Come on, Oil of Olay! Bring your miracles!!! 🙂

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    1. I found that Arbonne worked better than Oil of Olay. I should be a rep for them! Ha!
      I think hormones have a lot to do with aging. I went through cancer and am on Tamoxifen which suppresses estrogen. I think that’s when I noticed some changes. The battle is ON!
      Thanks for stopping by to share! 🙂

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    1. Health first! I used to get contact dermatitis from makeup until I started using Bare Minerals. The dermatologist said it was Rosacea. Pshh. It went away with Benedryl cream.
      I’m with you, Louise. Hair color gives me the biggest lift.

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  5. I love your attitude – keep doing what you are doing and I hope you get out on the slopes and start working on those muscles – it’s so sad but, our culture focuses on the outward self rather than the inward self. It is sad.

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  6. Susie, the gadfly in me wants to know if you watched any of the Oscar pre-ceremony shows last night and you saw Melanie Griffith? All of the work she has had done on her face to beat the clock only looks like the clock beat her back twice as hard and won by a TKO. Aging is not one of my preferred pastimes. In fact, I’d much rather watch cartoons. Seriously, I agree with Brigitte, “What’s the alternative?” One of the benefits of having been blessed with average looks is that I’ve never had any reason to be a vanity case. It also gave me reason to develop my stellar personality.

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    1. You rock V!!! I agree. I wasn’t aware of my looks until maybe 7th or 8th grade.
      I missed most of the Red Carpet. Dang! I thought Nichole Kidman looked like an alien, but Julianne and Meryl looked fantastic! The problem is the skin tightening and filling comes off so unnatural and inhuman. Like you, I’m relying on my stellar personality. I may have to learn a few tricks which involve smoke and mirrors too!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I knew I could count on a raw and wild entry from you! When I was in my thirties, I swore I would NEVER consider any kind of “work” (nip/tuck, facelift). I still won’t because I am opposed to being sliced open for a non-medical reason, but as the years piled on I have much more empathy for those who decide to go that route. I consider myself very lucky to be nearsighted, so I look pretty darn good in the mirror without my glasses on. I try to stay far away from mirrors when my vision is corrected and I will not look at my face in a magnifying mirror. THAT is scary!

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    1. Ha! Magnifying mirrors are the WORST! I wrote about my hateful relationship here- https://susielindau.com/2012/02/09/reflected-addiction-blogfest/

      The problem is that skin is going to wrinkle. Pulling it tight just produces more skin that wrinkles. I don’t want to start, because I think I would look way worse if I stopped after a year or two of plumping, filling, stretching.
      I love being near-sighted too! And my house appears so much cleaner! Ha!
      Thanks Audrey!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I am totally with you, Susie! My motto is: if I look as good as or better than most women my age, I ain’t doin’ bad! I am fortunate enough to have oily skin (the bane of my existence in my youth) so I have very few wrinkles. I do use firming cream on my neck to keep it from getting crepey (and creepy looking). And I dye my hair, but I’m starting the shift that my mother did about my age. I’m moving slowly toward a lighter red (from dark auburn). Eventually I will be strawberry blonde and then the gray won’t show so much. Probably in my 70’s I’ll just let the gray all hang out. I loved how my mother did this oh so gradually and nobody ever seemed to notice.

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    1. I love your hair color idea! BRILLIANT! Now I’m rubbing my neck! Ha!
      I don’t have many wrinkles either and have the same skin type. Tamoxifen (anti-cancer drug) threw me into a subtle form of menopause and my skin is drier, but I haven’t had a zit since!
      Thanks for stopping by Kassandra!

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    1. Right?
      With gray, silver, purple hair being the rage earlier this year, I wondered what mine would look like if I let it go white. Then I decided I feel better when it is dyed, about 5 minutes later… 🙂
      Thanks so much!

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  9. Somehow when you stop worrying about it all, you look a lot younger – even with just sunblock (which is the fountain of youth…that and never standing still – if you’re constantly in motion, like Wild Susie, they can’t get a good image to nail a year on. )
    Wrinkles means you lived. And a smile with twinkling eyes trumps wrinkles any time. Dance on, Susie

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  10. i find the less I do to my skin the more it appreciates me. I stayed away from makeup, from the sun, from smoking. And that’s allowed my skin to age gracefully. I’m starting to get forehead wrinkles and I may think about some cream at some point, but surgery is not an option. Little things to make me feel attractive are fine. I don’t think I’ll ever love my wrinkles but accepting them or working with them is my aim.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fantastic Kourtney! Sounds like you have an excellent perspective on aging.
      I actually scarred my skin in a few places from harsh skin care products. I agree that less is more and natural is everything! i use Bare Minerals for that reason too. My forehead wrinkles are just starting and have found that moisturizers help. I live in an extremely dry climate, so I keep a humidifier going 24-7!

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  11. Fabulous post Susie! I think I’m like you in this – I don’t love the fact that I’m showing signs of getting older, but I accept that it happens, I do care about my appearance and try to take care of it, but not in an obsessive way. About 7 or 8 years ago, I got back in touch with an old school friend who is my age and while we were chatting over drinks, she said “Have you had botox yet?”, yet! As if it’s a given that we would at some point! I much prefer to see someone ageing naturally than the over plastic-surgerised look. Radiating happiness is far more beautiful.

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    1. Thanks so much Vanessa! I agree! I think there is a lot that can be done naturally. Eating well. Exercising. Isn’t sex supposed to be good for the skin? Ha! I would probably be shocked at how many of my friends have gotten a shot or two by now. As much as I would hate to look “old” I would hate to look puffy and pulled even more.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. You can count me as a “core” person, too. I do like to keep in reasonable good shape, because it’s easier to have fun when you’re healthy and have the energy. And I refuse to let any age define who I am or what I should be like.

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  13. Great message, Susie. I work on my physical core and my inner core, but have to admit, the inner confidence is much harder to build than the ab muscles. I want to be healthy and live a very long time. Life is good and staying young at heart essential to being happy. Confidence is a tougher goal. Fake it till you make it!

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    1. Thank you! I think confidence is a tenuous thing. My confidence goes up and down given the situation and who I’m with. I reinvented myself 4 years ago when I started writing. I had some set backs with people who didn’t want to hear about it or support me. I’ve moved on from those friends and feel a lot more confident. Blogging, writing books and screenplays make me feel better about myself.
      My focus is on getting my body back in shape after knee surgery, so I’ll keep on working on my core, figuratively and literally!
      Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. I don’t really think about aging that much. Well, wait a minute, that is until recently. First of all He-
    who is ten years older than me so I always feel young compared to him. Of all my sisters I have the least wrinkles. This I have attributed to fat filling in all my wrinkles. My husband has been partially blind for some time due to cataracts and had one eye fixed Dec. 11th and one fixed Feb. 5th. All of a sudden he notices everything.
    “I thought you had highlights in your hair but I see now it is grey.”
    “Is that an age spot on your hand? When did that start happening.”
    This is not going to end well for him. 😉

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    1. That’s the right attitude!
      In the last few years, my few white hairs have become a wash of white. I think the three surgeries have something to do with it. That and my Irish heritage!

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  15. This reminds me of a Danish television program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bUItwlk1I8 I realize you don’t understand it but try skipping through it and see how four ageing women get up on small stages to be rated by men. The thinnest of them was told she had a good body but her face was too old. The others were too fat.
    The show was about how there aren’t enough women over forty in the medias. Under 2% or something like that. It’s ridiculous how scared we are of age.
    I’m 20 and my mouth lines/smile lines are already starting to show. (Particularly since I gained some healthy weight) What am I gonna do? Stop smiling? Lose weight again and be unhealthy?
    Bah. We can’t win on everything and removing the consequences of taking a choice would make that choice less valid.

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    1. Thanks so much for joining the discussion!
      Okay. That show sounds horrible. It is so demeaning! In the US, there are many 40 and 50-year-old stars. But I know what you are saying. The majority of the media surrounds youth. I’m fine with that as long as I still feel valid.
      Did you see Birdman? It explored this topic along with many others.

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      1. Never saw birdman, might give it a go.
        Actually the program was made BY those women. It was their idea to do it to show how judgmental people are, but also to face their own fears about their body images. Very interesting documentary.

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  16. Me? Aging just as I am. I’m not much on fussing with my appearance, ever, and I like my aging face and body more than I have at any other point in my life.

    I love the pomegranate Burt’s Bees lip balm. =)

    A lovely post, Susie, and befitting your spirit! ❤

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    1. Awww!Thanks so much!
      I’m so glad to hear you are at peace with yourself over the whole aging thing. You rock!!!
      I spend some time on my appearance, but don’t obsess over it. It would be great to suddenly look younger and I do plan to do a three month 3x a week challenge to get my whole body back in shape. We’ll see how it goes!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think appearance is a personal thing. I love to watch my daughter primp and fuss; I’m just not made that way. I like to say that she’s the fancy daughter of a plain mom. =)

        It works out well, because my disinterest in the trappings means that we can afford her more of them, to her delight.

        Wishing you well with the challenge – although I’m guessing you’re gonna kick butt! =D

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  17. I’m so glad your knee is doing better, Susie. I’m not going to stop coloring my hair either. I didn’t know the doctor could burn the age spots off! The Arbonne Revelage has helped mine fade, and you can use it in combination with the anti-aging line. I wish I’d started using it a decade ago, too, but at least we have it now. Better late than never! My favorite line in this whole post? “Saggy butt – I never look back there.” Too funny!

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    1. Hey Lynn!
      Dermatologists use liquid nitrogen to freeze them off. I love Arbonne and will continue to use product, but the idea of shooting my face up with fillers, makes me cringe. I don’t like the idea of not knowing what I’d look like.
      Thanks so much for stopping by! It’s always great to “see” you!!!

      Like

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