Happy 50th birthday to me: Sally Bjornsen

This essay was written as part of an empowerment campaign, “Wear Yourself In,” led by eco-luxe skin care company Kari Gran. In response to the beauty industry pushing an impossible idea of flawless youth for years, the campaign encourages women to be kind to themselves, and their skin, as they reflect on beauty, aging, wisdom and self-acceptance.

Sally Bjornsen spent more than twenty years at a variety of advertising agencies and consumer product companies. Realizing her love for photography and the creative process, Sally started Sally Bjornsen Represents in 2002 and has since grown to include several photographers specializing in lifestyle, food, fashion, and more, as well as photo stylists and creative directors. Sally is also a mother, published author and outdoor enthusiast. When she is not pitching the work of one of her photographers, she can be found making up silly stories with her son, writing humor essays or on an outdoor adventure.

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Last week I had my 50th Birthday. Shhhhh don’t tell anyone. I have always thought myself as a young person. Even in a room full of ten-year old kids I feel like I’m the youngest. I suspect it’s because in my family of six I was the baby and that role is familiar to me. But now that my body is 50 I feel like I should probably grow up a bit. Right? Whatever that means. I do think that 50 is a marker, unlike 40 or 30. It’s mid-life, no arguing that point.

So what does 50 look like I ask as I stare in the mirror and count the crows feet that line my face.  It looks the same to me.  The same as it did at 20, 30, 40.  It’s the same person, the same soul and if I didn’t have the pictures to prove me wrong I would say the same exact face.  Getting older is a gradual process something you don’t notice until you renew your driver’s license or suffer your first colonoscopy or heaven forbid..turn 50.

Friends have asked in the past week, “How does it feel to be 50?”  Well, now that the question has been asked I guess I need to think about it.  It feels fine.  It’s not really me who has turned 50 it’s my body—but me? I’m still ten.  Yes my skin is a little wrinkly (though very soft thanks to Kari Gran), and my backside isn’t as firm as it used to be but I’m still me, the same person I have always been and will always be.  Cheers!  to being 50!

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