Thanks to Encarta 95 (oh yes) and The Internet I am impatient for knowledge and instantaneous responses. Be it regarding the answer to the question 'what was All Saints first single?' (thanks Google and 3G!) or a miracle moisturiser that promises to smooth my skin.
I KNEW IT!
I am pretty much trying to defend why I demanded the kind PR to send me the Ateronon pills she was shilling that contain the magical ingredient lycopene that promises to improve my skin, my arteries AND MY EYES.
The likelihood is I will just expel a higher quality piss over the next three months. But I don’t want to just cynically sit back and joke about selling my vitamin rich urine over the internet. Like all the creams, balms and serums I currently put on my face, some of which are not for women in their 20s as I am (in the morning 4 - Savlon [cruelly nature has bestowed on my adult acne], Olay wrinkle target cream, Soap and Glory Bright Here, Bright Now balm, P20 factor 50 all day sun spray and at night Savlon, serum, Olay wrinkle target cream, night cream) I desperately want it to work.
In Belgium, where I used to live, they call them 'rimples'. I can deal with those. That sounds like you just get gosh darn cuter with age. But over here they are not cute. It makes me feel like a bad feminist to be so afraid of age instead of embracing my maturing.
is it the fault of society that I fear ageing or the fault of feminism that I feel bad about this fear?
Not that bad, obviously, I’m still taking the Ateronon and will tell you if my arteries, skin and eyes improve...
In the meantime I asked my Squeamish team how they felt about aging:
Squeamish Louise: This may not be what you want to hear, but I have actually found that since turning 30 I am much happier in my own skin than I have been before.
I think it's partly down to the fact that I was very insecure as a teenager and in my early twenties - I hated my looks and was convinced I was hideously fat. Of course now I'm a good 2 or 3 dress sizes bigger and I look back at my photos from then and laugh/shake my head at my insecurities then. As I've got older I've learned to accept myself, enjoy my body and relax. And I think that actually makes me look better - I'm more confident and projecting that has an effect on how people see you.
That's not to say my relationship with aging is totally uncomplicated. I would be annoyed if people thought I was older than I am, and I like it when people assume I'm still in my 20s. There are definitely mornings when I look in the mirror and think 'argh, those lines weren’t there before! / why does my skin look so terrible?!' But luckily the lighting in my bathroom is quite bad, so I can live in denial that I haven't aged in the last 5 years.
I also try to do that whole 'wrinkles should be a reflection of how well you've lived' thing. I started making a concerted effort to smile more and frown less a few years ago when I noticed frown lines around my mouth. I don’t want to end up as one of those old ladies who have spent so long pulling their mouth down in contempt or disapproval that they now look like that all the time. Laughter lines I can accept much more easily.
I suppose it also helps that a lot of my friends and co-workers are older than me. And I'm not looking at women in their late 30s and early 40s thinking 'oh no, that’s what I have to look forward to' - I look at them and think 'they look fantastic. Bring it on!'
That said, I do think it's a reflection of how fucked up our society is around aging (particularly in women). You've got a group of people in their 20s/very early 30s writing about how they feel about aging... With a bit of luck we'll live for another 50 years. We’re certainly not old. Maybe it's more about the transition from being 'youthful' to being more grown up? That's probably what’s most jarring for me. Seeing the odd wrinkle is the same sensation as going to a club night and not knowing any of the music - that knowledge that time has moved on and I/ my life has changed even without me really noticing.
F1 Kate: At the moment, I don't have any issues with aging. I was something of a late bloomer, and only really started growing into my face in my late 20s. Since the age of about 27/28, I think I've been getting more attractive each year, as my face develops more character and becomes interesting to look at. The lines I do have I see as 'battle scars of all the good times' (thanks, Mark Almond!), and not anything to get overly self-conscious about. Maybe it's because the men I am closest to dismiss women under 30 as pretty but bland, and spend hours going on about how it's the imperfections that make a woman sexy, but I don't worry about my face. Yet...
Watch this face...