The pain and beauty of growing old and aging gracefully: Olivia La Roche

This article was shared with permission from Lone Wolf Magazine 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.

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If you think about aging in a very basic way, stripped of its social implications, what is it about the accumulation of years and experiences that distresses so many? With every tick of the clock and turn of the calendar’s page most people can find some benefit to time’s passing. After all, sayings like you live, you learn and time heals all haven’t rooted themselves in our vernacular for nothing. And yet, we are continually bombarded with anti-aging products and tempted with youth restoring plastic surgery.

As modern women we now enjoy unparalleled freedoms; we vote, have access to higher education, hold positions of power (albeit fewer than men) and conduct ourselves sexually as we see fit. And yet, beauty and its inevitable fading is a silent inhibitor lurking around the edges of women’s progress. In her book, The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf outlines how the beauty industry and it’s booming anti-aging sector could be seen as a capitalist backlash against feminism. Though statements like that are easy to cast aside as exaggerated or unwarranted, it’s hard to deny that images of female beauty, with their impossible promise of youth and physical perfection, are the very basis of everything we buy.

Does a woman’s life experience have value if our culture tells her to be ashamed for it to show on her face? What is so great about looking young? Read on to hear more from Naomi Wolf and her thoughts on aging at Lone Wolf Magazine.

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