Oksana Freedman: Certified consulting hypnotist, translator, teacher, business woman, mother of 3. She runs a private practice in hypnotherapy. Oksana helps clients to become better versions of themselves and teaches easy ways to achieve goals.
When talking to people we naturally make an effort to avoid topics that may provoke embarrassment, disgust or fear. We mostly avoid bringing up taboo subjects unless we are a part of a close group of friends or a therapy group. We are reluctant to discuss sex, death … or the elderly. But hey, we are friends and … since this is almost therapy, I will talk about “inconvenient” things from time to time.
One of those “inconvenient” subjects is getting older. It doesn’t matter if aging is the last thought on your mind right now, sooner or later you will be faced with the unpleasant reality. Getting older is scary. Some of us may also find it embarrassing. It’s not a surprise the industry of rejuvenation is monstrously huge. From the anti-wrinkle creams and Botox injection to complex plastic surgeries, people are prepared to spend thousands of dollars in an attempt to buy eternal youth.
And let’s face it, the vast majority of the “wannabe younger” customers are women. Men don’t seem to suffer from this issue to the same extent. Historically youth and beauty were women’s assets. While a man was building his strength over time (physical, financial, social) a woman was losing her attractiveness with age. For many centuries that would mean a life threat unless she had someone strong who takes care of her. Only recently women started to learn how to compensate juvenescence advantages they loose with age. We learn that we can take care of ourselves and getting older is not dangerous any longer. Women are gaining equal rights with men in many aspects. But still, men manage to compensate physical strength lost with age with social status or financial stability with a much higher level of success than women.
Today we see all types of extremes in the attitudes towards appearance in women: radical feminists, rejecting any importance of beautification and the girly girls making sure their 20s last for decades.
Many women focus on the physical appearance aspect in an attempt to recapture their youth. Needless to say, the chances of maintaining the status quo are not in their favor. I’m not going to discuss psychological aspects of the issue at this point as the entire field of geriatric psychology is dedicated to the subject. I would like to focus on the fact that aging is inevitable and making it a taboo does not help. Dealing proactively with age changes on the other hand, is the key to longer and happier life. Holistic approach includes a balance between appearance, mindset and the overall image.
Here I would like to discuss changes of the appearance: cosmetics, fashion and body. What do women do right and where we err in our pursuit of prolonging youth.
Focusing on specific signs of aging without considering the whole image. Take the incredibly popular lip fillers for example. Although the idea behind them makes sense on some level – puffy lips are associated with younger women – it’s only one aspect and doesn’t translate into the entire image. There are many attributes that make a young woman youthful – the way she moves, the way she looks, the way she laughs. I wouldn’t advise attempting to imitate all those attributes to appear younger as it usually only makes things worse (admit it, we all know that girl). I believe the focus should be on the importance of holistic approach to aging.
Respect yourself. Respect your age and your experience. Know your body – what is good for it and what isn’t. You are never too young to start investing in your future, even if you are only 20. Take care of your skin. Take care of your physical and emotional health. The way you age will greatly depend on the choices you make today. If you are over 20, there’s good news for you as well – your life is not over. Human mind and body are unbelievably flexible and we can make amazing changes for as long as we are breathing.
It is very important to be as objective as possible and gentle as possible with yourself. You’ll look should give you confidence. Consider your strengths and weaknesses and balance them out. (Tip: if you can not get rid of the weakness – highlight it. This way you will have nothing to hide and it will give you more confidence. Think about Barbra Streisand’s nose.)
Another important thing: getting older should be getting wiser without losing flexibility and spontaneity. Rigid thoughts and body will make you appear older than you are. Develop your creativity and laugh (good sense of humor will make you younger instantly).
And now, please give me your opinion of good and bad aging strategists and please mention your age when writing.