Contrary to popular belief, beauty is not confined to youth, and getting older doesn't make us any 'less' of a person.
In an article in The Guardian from 2019, Millie Kendall OBE, CEO of the British Beauty Council predicted, “the future will be less about age and more about your attitude to life and how you express yourself”. We say, amen to that.
Our lived experience tells us that beauty is not confined to the young. We see beauty in those we love and in random strangers walking down the street, regardless of age. Our instincts know this to be true, we just sometimes need a little help to override the autocorrect that years of media and advertising imagery have instilled in us.
We are programmed by society to think of what certain ages look like, but that is thinking in 2D when life is gloriously 4D. A person’s attitude is much more relevant to how gorgeous they are than the date on their birth certificate.
While one person might be full of confidence and feel that they look great at 20, another might feel like that at 80. Or both, if we are lucky. But is it luck? Or attitude?
We know it’s easier said than done, but instead of worrying about lines and wrinkles and getting older, celebrate being alive and big up the bits you love. Sparkly eyes. A smile that lights up your whole face. Fabulous cheekbones. Freckles. Good teeth.
If you haven’t yet discovered the work of Denise Boomkens @and.bloom treat yourself to a scroll through her Instagram feed, which she describes as ‘a happy place for women over 40’. It’s the life-affirming opposite of doom-scrolling. Denise’s work as a photographer portrays women in mid-life and beyond, in the kind of beautiful beauty imagery that we are used to seeing as the preserve of teens and twenty-somethings. In fact, viewing the images almost feels like a trick of the eye. Something is different here. The messaging between our eyes and brain seems to be tripping. Realisation dawns that we are just not used to seeing age displayed as a vision of beauty.
Denise’s work is just one glorious example of the positive role that social media can play in changing attitudes by shifting the beauty narrative. A cause that is at the heart of our Willowberry philosophy of Age Without Apology.
Social media provides a forum for women to rewrite their own narrative when it comes to beauty. It allows us to say, hang on! We do not feel represented out there in the world. We can’t see ourselves represented, so we are just going to have to create our own narrative by ourselves, for ourselves. It has allowed women to showcase their own perspectives, to make their own media. By setting up an Instagram account, posting a few pictures, writing what they feel. It speaks to others who feel the same. The accounts grow into a community, into a movement that can reach out into other women’s lives.
It gives us a blueprint to see how we can be. How beauty looks away from the mainstream media. It gives positive attitudes the oxygen to flourish.
So, look after yourself, feel good about yourself. When you catch yourself in the mirror, smile. Go out there with shoulders back and head held high. Your beauty doesn’t have a sell-by date and your attitude is up to you.
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As seen in Vogue, Independent, The Telegraph, This Morning and more.