Dear Beauty Industry: A New Perspective on Aging

Dear Beauty Industry: A New Perspective on Aging…

Dear Beauty Industry,

I know you’ve been around for thousands of years, since the Egyptians wore kohl as eyeliner back in 4000 B.C.

I know many female entrepreneurs have made many sacrifices to successfully influence and create beauty, without many of the resources that we have today, like Helena Rubenstein, Madame CJ Walker, Elizabeth Arden, and Estée Lauder.

You’re a 400 billion dollar industry that is growing and evolving by the minute.

You may not know me, but I have chosen to dedicate my life to working, representing and creating healthy contributions to shape the present and future of how you are perceived and interpreted. You see, I have clients, family, friends, colleagues, partners and children I care very much about and most of the messages they have received about beauty have been divisive, degrading and deprecating.

I think there are a lot of players responsible here – from magazine publications, retailers, modeling agencies, plastic surgeons, supplement companies, social media channels, celebrities, you name it.

I just ask for a moment of your time to hear a voice from a bi-racial mom in her mid-40s who owns a business as an esthetician and acupuncturist. I’ll cut to the chase – I have 5 main points to bring to your attention to flip the script.

Number 1. Can we talk about a more positive term for “anti-aging”?

Can we talk about the term “anti-aging”? I know so many companies highlight this word for marketing purposes. The “fountain of youth” is a concept that seems magical…to turn back the hands of time and reverse all of the signs that we are getting older would be in complete alignment with what we see as the gold standard in all of the magazines. But that’s not reality. We inevitably will get older. I believe we are so critical of what we see in the mirror or in our photos because we resist the idea of getting older. 

I propose a different perspective. I propose we get proactive about aging instead of being reactive. I invite the notion that we embrace aging and use the marketing term  “healthy aging”.

If we looked at aging from this perspective, imagine how much longer we would live. How much more we could enjoy our memories we create with our families and friends. Instead of resisting aging, why not accept the inevitable and make healthy choices to grow into gracefully?

Number 2. We can learn from our elder’s experiences so we can improve our own.

We value chasing youth so much that we not only reject getting older but we literally eject our elders out of our lives. In most other cultures, elders are revered as wise and to be honored. In our culture, we look at elders as death. I know that sounds direct and harsh, but unfortunately, it’s true. One of the things in coaching that I’ve learned is that if you want to get from point A to point B quickly and efficiently, the best way to do so is to follow someone who has already been there, done that. Well, guess who falls in that category typically? Yup, that’s right – our elders. It’s time that we start respecting our elders as a significant part of our culture and embracing their wisdom, their stories, their contributions and their experiences through the aging process. We can learn from their experiences so we can improve our own.

Number 3. Frozen Face, Frozen Heart.

We are obsessed with being wrinkle-free. So much so that I literally met a 25 year old man who was pining over getting Botox because of the line on his forehead. When I asked him what that line represented to him, he said “getting older”. Now, 20 year olds are having this toxin injected into their tissues as a “preventative measure”. Did you know that the FDA has only approved the use of Botox for cosmetic reasons since 2002? Only twenty years have passed since using this as temporary solution to freeze facial expression – do we really understand the repercussions of long-term use? Like muscle atrophy, suppression of expression, how are kids are reading our facial expressions or the lack of them and how it affects their understanding? Or like freezing our ability to express empathy? We are literally telling our mirror neurons in our pre-frontal cortex to stop emoting, even if you best friend is telling you a tragic story. Literally freezing the expression of our hearts on our faces.

Here’s another example – imagine injecting toxins into a leaf so it wouldn’t turn brown and fall from the tree because we wanted to preserve its youth? It just wouldn’t align with the changes of the season. And that’s what we are doing when we obsess about freezing our faces.

Number 4. What we eat affects our appearance – from cells to surface.

Did you know that we are made of vitamins and minerals? That’s right. We literally are what we eat. There is not enough focus on how our diets affect our organs, tissues and cells or even our psyche.  We need more conversation about how nutrition does a beauty good. Stay tuned 😉

Number 5. Who you are being, as in your essence, energy and spirit, is your own special compilation and expression of beauty.

There is so much focus on our external presentation – “buy this cream and you will look 10 years younger”. “Be hairless, skinny, lighter, tighter, brighter”, you name it. Why are we taught to ignore the idea that you can be the voted the most aesthetically pleasing person on the planet, but if you treat people poorly, take more than you give, cause hurt and harm purposefully or participate in any other behaviors that are dehumanizing, then nothing on the surface matters. Who you are being, as in your essence, energy and spirit, is your own special compilation and expression of beauty.

So my dear Beauty Industry, I know this is a lot to unpack. I know it’s a total shift from what the conversation has been. I invite you, implore you to consider these perspectives so together we can help every human being love who they are – wrinkles, pounds, spirit and all. And if you can’t hear me or won’t hear me, I pray that someone will. Comment below if it’s you.