Recently a friend was telling me what a great candidate I am for botox. I smiled and said “yes, I know.”
And I do know, because ten years ago, I heard the same words from a local plastic surgeon, right before he injected it into my face. What made me a great candidate, though, has change. What made me a great candidate was that then, in my ten years younger and many sizes smaller skin, I felt uncomfortable. I felt like some gift that I had carried in my pocket always, my youth I suppose, was escaping and I wanted to catch it and appreciate it after always taking it for granted. I tried to catch it, bottle it, and inject it into my forehead wrinkles and it just wasn’t for me. What I saw reflected back at me wasn’t a fresher version of myself, it was a woman who felt like she wasn’t enough.
In the years since, I’ve grown in both my love for myself and physical size. I am softer in parts that used to be firm, and wrinklier in places that used to be smooth. My forehead could use a touch up and so could my silver hair, but it remains decidedly not for me. My husband has softened, too, and the beard he grew has silver strands that remind me of the stories we share. To me, this is the perk of growing old together.
I am in no way saying that there is anything wrong with botox, or hair dye, or anything that makes women feel beautiful. I also firmly believe that many confident women that love themselves use the asset that is cosmetics and as a woman that loves lipstick and mascara, I feel it’s all the same. It just wasn’t the same for me and for today, I see a forehead lined from late nights worrying over my babies, a nose with permanent laugh lines, and crows feet from smiling more than any woman deserves in the ten years since I first attempted to erase all traces of age. I see skin losing it’s elasticity as it’s owner gains knowledge and experience. I see stretch marks left behind by children both here in my arms, and that never breathed here on Earth. I see so much beauty and pain and joy and blessings in my aging body.
Here’s to all women. Who age seamlessly, who age gracefully and who age with tinsel in their hair and lines on their face. Let us lift one another in honor of those denied the privilege of aging, however we choose to do so ourselves.