The Crimes Against Aging Women

Just yesterday I was in my car obsessing over the dark circles under my eyes.  In reality, they aren’t that bad or so I’ve been told by co-workers and family members, but to me they are the worst feature on my face.

Later that very same day, I read a trending Facebook post about a Canadian mom who is refusing to adhere to the many anti-aging beauty treatments offered to women. 

Annick Robinson of Montreal, Quebec was approached in an airport by an overzealous beauty vendor.  He promised her free soup in hopes that she’d buy his products.  Here’s how the sales pitch began:

Man: “Your skin is so natural looking; you aren’t wearing any make-up, right?”

Robinson: “Um, nooooo?”

Man: “Let me guess your age…” [Names a number that is 12 years younger than the actual age]

 “I look my age and that’s ok actually.”

After Robinson revealed her actual age the salesman proceeded to discuss and sell the latest eye cream (eye cream that prevents dark circles and wrinkles).  Robinson then revealed that her dark circles are due to her new “miracle baby” and she is proud to wear those dark circles.  She then followed up her statement with:

I look fine now, and when I’m 45 I will look fine, and when I’m 50 I will look fine, because there is nothing wrong with a woman aging. Old age is a privilege denied to many, and I don’t appreciate you marketing youth instead of your products, and denigrating aging women as a sales tactic. Thank you, but I don’t want or need your cream.

In Robinson’s post she encourages readers to start a movement in which we end the end “predatory marketing practices that sell self-loathing to women from cradle to grave.”  Robinson’s post has been liked over 51,000 times and shared over 41,000 times on Facebook.  Not only has her post become a trending topic, but so has her hashtags: #‎flipthescript ‪#‎endselfloathing.

After reading this I realized I’m freaking 23!  I have much better things to worry about than dark circles under my eyes.

We praise men for getting older, referring to them as silver foxes, wise, and suave.  Yet we warn women never to age as if getting older is a sin.  In the media women who stray away from the typical feminine beauty are portrayed as strict, witch-like, or butch.  Women who adhere to ‘lady-like’ behaviors are considered attractive and interesting.  Just take, for example, how the media- especially the New York Times– portrayed Hilary Clinton and Sarah Palin in the 2008 presidential election.

Though this example is a bit outdated, it is still relevant.  Because Palin catered to the stereotypical standard of femininity, she was portrayed as a MILF, beautiful, and clueless.  Because Clinton strayed away from the overtop feminine stereotype she was portrayed as a nagging bitch.  The ladies were pinned against each other and constantly made fun of in the media.  They were compared and critiqued so much that their politics became irrelevant and their looks became the only thing that mattered.  Not only that, but they were considered novelty candidates due to their gender.

I could clearly go on and on about this example, but the point is: women don’t need beauty ads, salesmen, or society to define their beauty.  There is only one person who may define and judge you and that is you!


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