I listen to many young people, and what is becoming more and more evident is this constant, incessant talk of body and weight. I am seriously disturbed by this. Like so many other girls, I grew up with a weight-fixated mother and that left me with disturbed body-notions. I was – of course – always thin, no matter the price. At the time anorexia / bulimia was not spoken about, but many girls had a “light” version of one or the other…remember Twiggy? So this problem is nothing new. What has happened is that it has become a bigger issue than just weight; now it’s about eternal youth. As someone said: “Youth is wasted on the young”; so true, youth is inherently beautiful but we don’t become aware of that until we are past “the prime”, as it were.
When I was in my 20’s it was all about weight, most people were thin and obesity was hardly known – in Europe at least. Over time, almost as a protest, people got fatter – and started showing it with skin-tight clothes. This would NEVER have happened in the 70’s or 80’s. And I like it, it’s giving the finger to the starved, sad “Twiggy-look”, taking back the right to owning your body. But then it got out of proportion and it has become unhealthy. So now girls are either starving or eating themselves to death! What is going on?
Then came the Eternal Youth-thing. We can all become eternally young – well parts of us; plastic surgery has become such a common practice that many people find it completely normal. I know old women who are “eternally young” in this way; they look very scary…wouldn’t want to run into them un-prepared in a dark room….but they probably looked fine to start with? I know old women who look like old women and they are beautiful and stylish, wearing their age as a trophy, refusing to succumb to the shame of age.
There is a new look – the “surgery-look”; The corner of the lips pulled up in a perpetual half-smile, the look of surprise in the lifted eyebrows, the forever perky bosom that will point straight to the sky even when lady is lying on her back. Also; the wrinkled necks, spotted old hands, the slightly skeletal look of the face….Still, it can be oh, so tempting sometimes. I watch myself age in the mirror, the bad fit between me on the inside and me on the outside. But then I look around at all the gorgeous, proud and amazing old women that one finds it so easy to respect, and I know that I want to be one of them. I had youth and beauty for a long time, and I was too stupid to enjoy it fully, but I did enjoy it, and now it is another time. I am a woman, not a girl, and my beauty lies today in who I am, in my pride. And I shine!
(The 2 first pictures in this post come from health-related ads, the next 2 were sent to me and the last one is mine)