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Mirror, mirror on the wall … do we have to look young to be happy?

denise grey hair imageArticle by Denise O’Neill

What is happening to the human species?

Is there a human disease or illness called ‘aging’ – a condition that must be eradicated at all costs? How do we cure this horrible disease/illness? Never fear – we have been informed that there are many treatments available to eliminate and prevent it happening to us: face/neck lift, brow lift, eye bag removal, fillers, Botox injections, micro dermabrasion, laser treatment, chemical peel, lip plumping and, not forgetting, lotions and creams. So we are OK, all is well with the world.

But, wait a minute … isn’t aging a normal and natural process? We all get wrinkles, jowls, laughter lines, baggy eyes, etc, as time goes on. We all age differently depending on our genes, sun or cold weather exposure, lack of sleep, cigarette smoking, drinking alcohol, stress and illness. But, we all age – fact.

Looking at faces and how we perceive ourselves

Let’s look at faces and how we perceive ourselves. When we study ourselves in the mirror or look at photographs what we see are two-dimensional images. And, we tend to judge ourselves quite harshly. All we see are the lines, blemishes and loose and saggy skin. But, we don’t see ourselves the way others see us. In real life, and in the visual sense, we are three-dimensional. But, really, we are more than that. There is another dimension to us that is seen in our faces when we communicate. We use our voices to speak and our faces to demonstrate what we want to say and feel – displaying our emotions. We communicate with our faces more than we ever realise. When we fill the lines and wrinkles and tighten up the sagging skin, we take away the facial communication. Faces become puffed, frozen, expressionless, alien-like and that special factor unique to each one of us, known as character, disappears.

So, we have a situation now in society where we have been brainwashed into thinking that we must strive to look young in order to be happy and successful. We are bombarded with images in all forms of media that have been ‘photoshopped’ to the max. What we see are not real images of real people. This is leading to many opting for the ‘cures’ stated above which is a growing and, in my view, a worrying trend.And, what is more worrying is the fact that younger people are having ‘work’ done.

What angers me is that many in the booming cosmetic procedures industry are making mega bucks from people falling for their promises that life will be wonderful if they were to look 10 years younger. We also don’t know, from a medical and psychological point of view, what the long-term effects of these procedures are.

What we really need is a revolution that says aging is positive, a change of mind-set to get back to celebrating the beauty of getting older. Let’s see images of real people, with real wrinkles, jowls and laughter lines. Our faces belong to each of us and the characteristics we have developed are evidence that we have lived, that we are wiser, and that life is good to the very end.

Talking of getting older, I am passionate about women and grey hair … but that is another story …http://greyisok.blogspot.co.uk/


Denise O’Neill

Age: 50 (with wrinkles, lines and jowls)



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  1. Jo Carroll

    July 19, 2013

    Bodies are designed to change as they age – it’s neither a good thing, nor a bad thing, it’s just how it is. So what is the problem with celebrating our beauty at any age?

    Young people have fresh shin, and shining eyes, and are beautiful. Older people have wrinkles and faces that tell stories, and they are beautiful, too.

    • Denise

      July 20, 2013

      Absolutely right Jo! 🙂

  2. Jaki Scarcello

    July 20, 2013

    We will continue to believe that live 50+ is a second class stage of life until we see those years as a stage of human development and not a stage of decline. We need to fully inhabit the 50+ years to experience the deep and expansive growth that is available to us there. This development is not about the body because it is not at its peak 50+ but our growth in these years is intellectual, emotional and spiritual and as long as we cling to our believe that we are only our bodies we will waste the time available to us 50+ to explore amazing new horizons

    • Denise

      July 20, 2013

      Well said Jaki – 100% agree! 🙂

    • Kama

      October 2, 2013

      Beautifully said Jaki 🙂

  3. Kama

    October 2, 2013

    Fabulous post Denise! Great question. There is a beauty and wisdom in getting older isn’t there. Beauty comes from our attitudes, our beliefs, our compassion, our experiences and our mindset.

    • Denise

      October 20, 2013

      You are so right Kama 🙂

  4. Alessandra Smith

    October 2, 2013

    What I also find quite ironic is that when faces become puffed, frozen, expressionless, alien-like due to all those treatments, they DON’T look younger, which defeats the purpose in the first place!

    • Denise

      October 20, 2013

      Yes Alessandra – plus we don’t know the long-term side effects of all these treatments! 🙂

  5. Irene Brankin

    February 3, 2014

    Denise, I am fully with you in what you say here and I know that the media is brainwashing younger and younger women to feel they must have something ‘done’ even when they don’t need it. Unfortunately this is being colluded with by them. What we can do is to take care of ourselves as well as we can, keep smiling and be visible.
    Irene x

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