We all know that aging is bad the same way we know fat is bad. ⁣
It is just unattractive. ⁣
Looking older is a bad thing. ⁣

But is it?⁣

Or is it that our culture does not value old people? That we never heard older women or wrinkles or spots talked about as beautiful?⁣

People age and they become irrelevant, we shut them away. ⁣
Especially our old women. ⁣

Even in the words we use, old women. Old people. ⁣
Not elders. ⁣

The hag is not beautiful, crones are not beautiful, so we must pump our faces full of filler in order to look young. ⁣

This is the same as starving ourselves or trying to change our bodies to look thin. ⁣

We just don’t want to look that way. ⁣
But why?⁣

I will turn 30 this year and I have many more wrinkles than a lot of people my age. ⁣
There are many factors to this – awful breakouts as a teenager, genetics, and also the fact that I have never cared about making my face look younger. ⁣

I will continue to spend lots of time in the sun without sunscreen or a hat⁣
I will continue to crinkle my eyes and furrow my brow when I read⁣
I will continue to squish the side of my face on my pillow⁣
I will continue to laugh, a lot⁣
I will continue to barely wash my face and not buy any anti-aging cream ⁣

My body is covered in marks and lines and scars⁣
Acne scars everywhere. The scar on my chest from a cyst that they had to stitch and I did not listen when they said stay out of the sun, I just let it heal in its angry red shape. Stretch marks everywhere, now. The chicken pox scar from when I just had to scratch one. The knee scar from falling rollerblading as a child. Deep lines on my forehead and increasing crinkles around my eyes. ⁣

What is beauty? ⁣

It will always be to me the equivalent of rolling around on the earth. ⁣
The dirt and the running rivers and the lines and bumps of trees. ⁣
The weathered skin of someone who has spent so much of their life outside. ⁣
Who has spent their life living, unafraid. ⁣
Bright eyes shining through storied skin. ⁣
Natural hair climbing, changing colors as it pleases.

Wanting to fix our bodies, change our bodies is like taking a storm and trying to calm it down, make it more orderly. ⁣
It is like when they groom trees into lollipop shapes⁣

If I could snap my fingers and give myself smooth skin, I wouldn’t⁣
If I could make my lips bigger or fill in the lines on my forehead or straighten my nose, I wouldn’t ⁣
I think I look more fascinating every year ⁣
I look older every year⁣
Because I am in fact getting older ⁣

The biggest question I sit with around these things is not what is wrong with doing something. ⁣
But it is instead – what do we lose? ⁣
When we choose this, what are we missing out on? What are we not having? ⁣
And there is real magic in that ⁣
Real connection in that⁣

How can our kids learn expression if our faces don’t move?⁣
What do you not get to feel if you choose to look different?⁣
What depth of love for your body do you not get to experience if you bypass it to change it instead?⁣
What does this mean about our relationship to our bodies, to the earth, about the way we value women and beauty and our elders?⁣

In every way our world is changing⁣
Our digital world, fake faces world, manufactured foods world, isolated world⁣
It is not what is wrong ⁣
The biggest question is what do I lose when I choose this ⁣

I have a new podcast episode coming out today around this topic – The Demetra Gray Show anywhere you listen. ⁣(That is the Spotify link – Apple link is here)

If you’re on my email list (subscribe below) you’ll get notified when it goes up. Along with other things I don’t share elsewhere!

xo

 

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