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Stop Accusing Women of Aging Gracefully

Have you ever noticed that the phrase "aging gracefully" seems to be distributed unequally? I've seen it in women's magazines, in advertisements hawking anti-aging creams and wherever Helen Mirren shows up. I've never seen it on the cover of Men's Health, used to sell Axe Body Spray or as a descriptor for George Clooney, President Obama or the Duke of Edinburgh. Hmm...

Let it be known that the goal of womankind is NOT to age gracefully - it's actually to just. keep. aging. FULL STOP. Because the alternative, at least as far as science is concerned, is considerably bleaker.

"Aging gracefully" is really just a euphemism for "not clinging to your youth in any obvious or desperate way." That's hilarious. So while you are bombarded with messages of how much better you'd look if only you undid what nature did to you, you are to accept your role in life with the restraint and elegance of a Miss Universe runner-up. And fix your face.

Or we can all just lower our expectations from "aging gracefully," an impossible standard, to "aging chronologically," something I think is probably more doable.

So am I aging deliberately? Yes, definitely. Everyday I choose life and I don't have to; a lot of people don't. Am I trying to maintain a pleasing and attractive form as I delicately arabesque into my next birthday party? No, I'm not, and it's really annoying that you think so. I'm just trying to eat normal sized meals, smile when I can, and calm the anxiety I have about the root of my anxiety for one more year. I bet most other humans are too.

 

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