The beauty of ageing

Hi there everyone,

I have been thinking about ageing, a common preoccupation.
I wonder if we are actually as accepting as we think we are. Or if fashion has changed as much as we imagine.
Being on the older side (although there is always someone who is older who would dispute that), I feel able to comment.

Take the phenomenon of older models springing off the success of blogs like Advanced Style.
I notice they all seem to be an extension of our current obsessions. Yes, these people have grey hair and wrinkles, but they also have small waists and abundant locks as well as firm jawlines.
Where are the models with thinning hair, thicker waists and sagging necks?
I am currently post menopause, and all these are my current reality.
Wouldn't we do ourselves a favour if we gave ourselves role models with these realities as well?

Celebrating our differences by playing dressups at Halloween
I also have a beef with the way we speak about ageing.
Many times I hear being a grandma used negatively. Recently for example, I read a blogpost discussing why we should support craft, and not use disparaging terms to describe it. They mentioned someone saying they looked like a grandma when they knitted. Their argument being we should support craft more and stop using negative comments such as this around it. While I take their point about craft, my gut reaction to that is,
Why is being described as a grandma seen as negative? 
Surely we can be grateful to reach Grandma status and longevity? What is wrong with being seen as a grandma? Does it mean we have given up in caring for ourselves? Or do we just care in another way? Do we care more for relationships than looks?


I feel our acceptance has only scratched the surface and is just a subtle extension of our current mindset. Maybe we can try a little to examine our own thoughts and realise the reality of ageing.
Sometimes these days, although I struggle with all this as much as the next, I find myself being grateful for the saggy skin and the grey hairs appearing because it helps me viscerally realise my mortality. The response to which has to be not depression, but joy in the moment. Because we are not guaranteed the next. Anyone who has had sudden disasters befall them would attest to this.


How grateful we are for our wrinkly fingers when we hear of someone who has arthritic joints and can't use them.
How grateful we are for our thinning hair when we hear of someone who has had brain surgery. 
I know this seems drastic but it really can change your mindset when we realise how privileged we really are, even in our golden years.


Have you ever seen those photos of old people with multiple wrinkles in their cheeks? Like their life is written on their face? They are often the ones chosen by photographers. Aren't they fascinating?
I for one hope to be ageing on the outside but not the inside. To have a smile and a genuine love for life and those around me. To be the person others want to spend time with.
So lets hop out there into the world and celebrate our ageing and fragility. It really is a beautiful thing.

Lots of love,
Jazzy Jack


10 comments:

  1. first - LOOOVVEEEEE your photos!
    they radiate fun, happiness and family love <3 <3 <3

    and i totally agree with you!!!
    since the "best ager" models appeared in the media i had this thinking: where are the ones with all the things a common older woman has - round belly, big breasts, saggy chin, fuzzy hair etc..... but as you say - this models are still models. exactly like the young ones - their looks are so rare that it can not be expressed in % of the whole mankind....
    we humans admire whats very rare or seem impossible. called idols.
    and we are stamped with our own experiences. my own grandmas always looked like "grandmas" in my memory - no "youthful" clothes like jeans/tees/short skirts - not even sweaters! (except for winter sports or camping - both were young inside!) always "done" hair. never makeup. a hat.....
    for me my grannies were beautiful - with their softness and the smell of 4711.
    and i still think so. not that i do not admire the artsy looks at AS - but if i could choose i want to look like my own grandmas when i´m grown up. and if nobody else beside of hubby will like my look - i will not care!!!
    (as i do already)
    much love! xxxxx

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    1. Oh yes! 4711 I forgot about that. I love your term "when I'm grown up"! Of course I love AS too.
      xo Jazzy Jack

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  2. I thought the definition of ”old” was my age plus 5 years, and “inexperienced” was my age minus 5 years :)

    Love your story here - well done.

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  3. When I was really sick and couldn't do anything I enjoyed including basic bodily functions it was painfully enlightening and humiliating. Although I have tried my best to push those memories into the furthest corners of my mind I sometimes think I need to go back there to remember what is really important in life. I find myself getting caught up in banalities.

    I'm glad I'm not the only one that noticed all the "old models" still look like the young models, just with grey hair. Like everything in life people don't want to look at what is real. They want the fantasy.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

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    1. We sure do want fantasy, and there is a place for that too. But maybe we get a little lopsided sometimes, as you said. I probably err on the reality side and need people around me to help me stay lighthearted!
      xo Jazzy Jack

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  4. As very much Oldies, we welcome you to a wonderful time of life!!! We love your writing and feel sure many people would do well to read it and think about their own worries about staying young looking. The photos are fun!!
    As for being Grandparents, it's a gift beyond measure especially as not only is there much loving involved, but also we learn so much from them. Grandchildren sure keep us moving when they are very young! What would we do when our computers go wrong without them or their mum & Dad? We need each other no matter what the age! Love D&M xxxx

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    1. This is why you stay young, because you still have a learning mindset.
      You are such wonderful role models and we are privileged to have you in our lives.
      Love you! xo Jazzy Jack

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  5. I am totally in agreement about this. Someone used the word 'Granny' in quite a derogatory way recently and I called them on it and said that they shouldn't use 'Granny' in this way. I am probably guilty of having done it in the past but that doesn't mean it is right. It is very true we should be grateful for those functions which work as well as they should rather than looking pristine and not being able to use anything! Like Botox users who can't smile!

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  6. I often feel the same even when women of my own age only recognize and praise thin bodies as attractive ones. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... and ageing is no different. I find my mother beautiful no matter her age, but I know she struggles with accepting herself - maybe it is more difficult for someone who used to be really striking and attract all the attention when they were young, and after kids, years, worries etc. their appearance change so much that it is hard to just love themselves and also others the way they are? and therefore all this idealization of youth and youthful looking women?..

    I guess we are complex creatures, and we both accept and don't accept, love and hate, going there and back in our mind about pretty much every question that we ask ourselves, maybe it's just what it is being human?

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