Several months ago, I saw the movie, “Mamma Mia”. It starred Meryl Streep. I was simply amazed at how good Meryl looked. She was flawless and looking 30 something. Of course, Meryl isn't the only one who is staving off the aging process. With the advent of cosmetic procedures, anyone can look amazing (or amazingly frightening). Getting a facelift is as easy as applying for a credit card (and in most cases, better interest rates and payments terms). However, as a woman with the personal mantra of, “No matter how bad life gets, there is ALWAYS time for a facial,” I have noticed something more about the way people are approaching aging and health.
Admittedly, there are women getting cosmetic procedures to re-duce, nip, tuck, lift, and enhance. I believe I read somewhere on the internet that last year, cosmetic surgery was a 12 billion dollar industry. So clearly, there are a whole lot of people addressing this issue with a surgeon. However, there are others of us who have taken a different approach and indulge in less invasive (and I believe, equally as effective) beauty treatments such as drinking water, eating right, stress-management, positive thought, meditation, and enjoying life.
Granted, there is a genetic component to some of this aging business. The thing is that now, people aren’t surrendering to their health, age, or genetic predisposition. In the last ten years, I have seen people take a more proactive approach to their health and well-being. Many of us no longer take what the doctors have to as the “word”. We get our own “second opinion” on the internet or with an alternative health care practitioner. People are finding different ways to deal with their health challenges. Many people are making more conscientious choices about their food, skin care products, and overall lifestyles.
This new attitude about aging can certainly be contributed to all of the options and treatments available to keep ourselves in our prime. But I believe the real key to aging is posed as a question that was asked of me recently. “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” This question highlights the idea that our thoughts about aging are one of the biggest determining factors in actual physiological process. We are learning more and more through science and quantum physics that our thoughts, brain wave patterns, and neuorsynaptic connections are significant contributing factors in our overall health and well-being.
It wasn't that long ago when some women had the idea that their 50s were reserved for grieving the past and recounting a long list of “I should haves” all while resigning themselves to their “fate.” This ideology is clearly on its way out as women today are more active, health conscious, and vibrant. In general, we are adopting more of an Eastern philosophy about the idea of “old”. Age is becoming more synonymous with wisdom and beauty. As a result, we are seeing more and more 40 and 50 somethings putting themselves out there as strong contenders in the dating arena, work force, college classrooms, etc. Instead of becoming an old bat, some women are finding themselves turning into frisky cougars. Old negative stigmas of women dating younger men are being replaced. No longer is it only socially appropriate for men to “have all the fun”.
Text: Milan Hollister