There is something we can learn from French women, and that is to celebrate and embrace our age. French women are not interested in getting face-lifts, Botox, covering grey hairs or obtaining 'forever youth'. French women look at ageing and getting older as a privilege. Infact, they quickly get bored if the afternoon tea conversation turns to 'the fear of looking old'.
Sadly for the rest of the Western culture long gone are the days when society revered its older members for their wisdom and experience. Today, it seems as though everyone is chasing the youth train - trying to obtain the vibrancy and freshness associated with youth. Wrinkle free skin and a perky body are prized above grey hair and cellulite; aging is fought and resisted.
Older women spend a small fortune on cosmetics products, hair colouring and plastic surgery in an attempt to mask their age. Even older men are susceptible to society’s pressure to prolong youth. Society focuses on the worst aspects of aging, rather than celebrating it as a privilege.
Aging is a natural process; it's a beautiful thing. Fighting or resisting it will only lead to disappointment. We need to take a lesson from the French and choose to embrace and celebrate getting older. Read on to find more on what we can learn about aging à la française.
"At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don't care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven't been thinking of us at all" - Ann Landers
Celebrate Your Age: Here Are Some Steps You Can Take To Age With Health And Grace.
- Accept that changes are going to happen, and expect them to happen. As your body ages your skin will wrinkle, your eyesight or hearing may diminish, your hair may thin and your body will sag. While there are steps you can take to reduce the changes, they ARE going to happen. This shouldn’t be seen as a negative thing. Your age shows that you are a survivor. The only true way to stop aging is death; a few age spots and wrinkles are far preferable.
- Adapt to the changes as they come. Don’t fight aging with young clothing and styles that don’t look appropriate on you. You’ve been there, you’ve done that and you’ve moved on to something classier. Present yourself in a way that YOU feel comfortable with instead of bowing to the latest trend.
- Adopt healthy exercise, diet and sleeping habits. The healthier you are the less susceptible you’ll be to diseases and physical ailments. This in turn leads to a decrease in depression and dependence on others as you age. The earlier you develop these healthy habits the easier your aging process will be.
- Spend time doing the things you love. Many seniors develop feelings of isolation and irrelevancy, especially after they retire. When you find yourself with lots of free time on your hands get out and get active! Volunteer at your favorite charity, spend time with your family or take a class on something that sparks your interest. Retirement can be some of the best years of your life if you choose to enjoy your old age instead of mourn your youth.
- Remember that the younger generations are looking to you as a role model. As the changes of aging come, consider how you would want your daughter, niece or granddaughter to act under the same circumstances. Undoubtedly you would prefer that she was confident and proud of herself at each stage of her life. Let these traits be reflected in your own attitude to ensure graceful aging for future generations.
- Simplify your beauty routine. To have great skin you don't need hours of preening or a $300 jar of cream to look good. Just stick to the basics. Wash your face and moisturise everyday. No exceptions. Stay with more simple and natural products such as olive oil, coconut oil, rosehip oil and apple cider vinegar. When it comes to beauty nature really does know best. As for makeup, the less-is-more philosophy definitely rings true. If women stopped trying to hide their lines by caking on the concealer and blush, they would look five years younger.
- Be confident. Looking young starts with feeling young. You need to feel young and refreshed on the inside in order to radiate that confident glow. The key is about self -acceptance and embracing where you are today - no regrets.
- Try not to fixate on aging. Forget about turning to Botox, facelifts, miracle creams and other procedures to maintain a youthful appearance. Women are very self-critical, and the fact that the media puts aging under the microscope is partly to blame. In France, staying young is not a topic of conversation. Women just know how to do it -- gradually and naturally. Stop being so fixated on your age and instead be grateful that you have had the opportunity to live a long life, something that millions never get the chance at. So stop wasting your hours worrying about how you look - get out and start living, savouring and experiencing. Life itself is the miracle.
- Embrace what makes you beautiful at the age you are. Be comfortable in your own skin. Every women is beautiful. Find something that makes you beautiful and play on that, as opposed to trying to be trendy, sexy or wanting to remain forever young [such as dress like your daughter].
- Celebrate Your Age. Our society has a tendency of portraying age rather negatively. Even when we see media images, older people are always shown with health problems, skin problems, etc. Hence, it only but natural, that we tend to worry immensely about getting older! However, aging is a process driven by nature and there is nothing ugly about it – infact it is the opposite, it is a beautiful process. So take your age in your stride and be proud to have come this far – every birthday is a blessing. Celebrate your age without feeling ashamed about it. While makeup and skin care remedies are all there to help you, nothing can make you look good unless you feel it deep within.
I gently urge you to break away from the barriers age and society tend to draw around you and enjoy the wisdom and experience age brings with it. You truly have a lot to offer the world. Never forget that.