by DARA GOLDBERG
Anyone who knows me was not surprised by how fired up I was after reading the November 2021 Vogue article about Sarah Jessica Parker’s age-shaming experience. There was no holding me back from sharing my 55-year-old voice in a rally-ing cry so loud and clear, it would make buildings shake the whole world over.
I grabbed my notebook, and set my anger free:
This is unacceptable!
How can this have remained the norm for so long?
Something has to change!
If I do nothing, I’m part of the problem!
Then, to give my article standing beyond my own position, I turned to Google to find examples of how the beauty industry, in particular, was keeping us feeling shame about and perpetuating the fear of aging. You’re familiar with the messages I’m talking about, right?
— Beauty is only associated with youth
— Do everything in your power to stay young
— Wrinkles and age spots will make you invisible
— Beauty is only your appearance—it doesn’t
matter what the rest of the package includes.
Having come face to face with these messages for decades, I knew they were everywhere. It shouldn’t be hard to prove my point that the beauty industry wants us to think that aging is bad and to be dreaded and avoided at any cost.
And, truth be told, I did find some examples.
BUT, what I also found on those Google pages made me jump for joy:
An abundance of marketing messages, articles and initiatives from credible beauty brands – true players in the industry – that are saying ‘no’ to telling us that aging equates to a loss of beauty and that we should do everything in our power to avoid (the unavoidable).
My eyes were transfixed on the screen as I read one beauty brand after another saying no–truly no–to the fear-mongering. No longer were they promoting the bad, scary, and false messages about aging and beauty.
Instead, these positive disruptors are embracing the naturalness of aging. They are normalizing aging. They are assuming the powerful and, yes, beautiful role they can play in helping all women age in a healthy, positive manner, and with pride. They are speaking truth to the fact that beauty is endless and ageless.
When I sat down to write this article, I was ready to find the offending brands, shine a spotlight on them, and shout, “Put a full ban on these brands!”
But, after finding so many trailblazing brands that are promoting a paradigm shift to age-positivity within the beauty industry, I felt an excitement bubble up from within, and it turned my angry rant into a joy-filled, optimistic chant:
Something awesome is happening, and we have reason to celebrate, and to be grateful. A growing number of beauty brands are helping us get closer to a time when women are raised in a world that realizes that aging is natural.. AND BEAUTIFUL!