Don’t be afraid of your age

Animals are known to live longer in captivity. Humans are known to live longer in a captivity known as civilization. You would think making it to an old enough age where you have lived a full life would be great. But it isn’t enough because many of us want to look younger longer, too. Life expectancy continues to rise. More people are living to an age where death is welcome. Our bodies will age and wear out. It is natural and inevitable, but that doesn’t mean many of us will go down without a fight.

Women especially will go to great lengths to keep themselves looking young and pretty. The beauty industry is huge, and I am sure a large amount of its profit comes from selling products to keep women’s wrinkles from showing and their skin from sagging. It doesn’t matter if it costs a couple hundred dollars for a cream that likely doesn’t do much, if anything, because that cream might get rid of those creases around the eyes.

I know I am a bit on the young side to complain about women obsessed with keeping ourselves looking young, but mine is the age where all those looks-conscious women say we need to start with the lotions. It is important to take care of your skin while you’re young if you want to ward off those betrayers of age, the dreaded wrinkles. Gasp! Forbid someone should ever see that we not only live longer but look like we do. Aging women drop loads of money into the beauty industry on age-defying, wrinkle-reducing creams and other magic potions. Injecting a toxin into our facial muscles is acceptable in today’s society because it paralyzes them, so they relax. When the muscles relax, the wrinkles soften and aren’t as noticeable, which makes it all right to put toxins in our bodies. Why did they recall all those toys from China, again?

Young is supposedly more beautiful than old, and women will start the battle when our 30th birthday looms to keep ourselves looking younger than we are. We must not let our titles as the young and attractive slip away because of some trivial thing like age. No one can ever know our true age. If we are under 21, we must pretend to be older to be accepted, and once we reach that coveted number, we need to start saying we are younger.

I think it is sad to lie about your age. It says you aren’t happy with who you are. You think you aren’t good enough the way you are. That’s never a good sign, and it is also what people are saying who get plastic surgery. You have come to dislike some feature of yourself so much, you are going to have surgery to change it. I am not convinced a surgery will ever make you happy.

How are we ever going to be happy in life when we aren’t even happy with who we are? That is the goal of life, to enjoy this amazing ride and be happy as often as we can.

Growing from a 20-inch long baby to 5′ 8″ adult is as much of a right of passage in this life as shrinking back down a couple inches when gravity and time get the better of your back.

Those wrinkles and scars we earn through living this life are proof we have lived. They are beautiful.

The lines around our eyes that stand out best when we laugh show we have known joy. They are a mark of pride. They should not be erased. While most people reading this are probably in their early 20s and wrinkles are not an issue, we must remember that we will get them if we are lucky. One day, a face with more lines on it that a metropolitan road map is going to be looking back at us in the mirror. Welcome seeing that person because he or she will know far more than the less wrinkled one we look at today.

Ranajo Dezanett writes for The Independent Collegian, the student newspaper at the University of Toledo.