No matter how much you deny it, aging is a concern for all women. We all have that "aha moment" – that pivotal second when we admit to ourselves that we are no longer that fresh-faced hottie.
Not only are we obsessed with losing our looks, we are concerned with losing our place in the world – becoming invisible. Society, and of course, the media, have convinced us that unless we hold onto our youth we will start spiraling downward. We're warned that our jobs, our men and our voice will be usurped by younger women.
And, if that's not enough to make you want to stick your head in the oven, add a pinch of guilt for good measure. Yes, we actually feel guilty for being so self absorbed. Feminism has taught us to be above such trivial preoccupations. We were the generation raised to believe that beauty is skin deep; that we should be admired purely for our accomplishments. Unfortunately, we were given some pretty bad advice.
Role models like Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep are perfect paradigms of growing old gracefully. They have successful careers and emanate a natural joie de vivre and magnetism. That confidence comes from within, but the occasional visit to the plastic surgeon doesn't hurt either.
So don't you think it's time for a new women's manifesto that permits us to take care of our looks and also celebrate our accomplishments? Caring for how we look should not be dismissed as anti-feminist and lightweight. As long as it doesn't become an obsession there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
Discovering the right balance will initiate a change of attitude about aging. It will lead to a new kind of freedom for all women.