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How to Bravely Face the Stranger in the Mirror

By Cindy Boatman November 12, 2021 Mindset

I think someone must have replaced my mirror with one of those funhouse mirrors. You know, the ones that distort your reflection into all sorts of odd configurations? The only problem is that it’s not that funny! Some days I find myself struggling to recognize the lady with the aging face and body staring back at me. Who is she? Why did she kidnap my youth and how much is the ransom for her return?

As Bette Davis Once Said, “Old Age Is Not for Sissies”

Turns out not only is it not for sissies, it is also not easy for many of the rest of us. I’d like to believe I’ve done enough inner work to slay my little vanity dragon and embrace “aging gracefully” as it were. The truth is that dragon is still breathing some fire.

I’m becoming more and more aware of those not so fine lines coupled with the increase in skin laxity (and crepiness) that accompany aging. Not to mention all the little aches and pains. And while some of us are luckier than others, most of us in the 60+ camp are dealing with one or more physical aspects of aging. Well, that is with the exception of Cher!

The Bar

Is it just me or does anyone else feel like the bar on maintaining one’s youth continues to rise? Do we ever have permission to relax and accept the natural aging process? The truth is, there’s a lot of money to be made by convincing us we need to fight the natural aging process and strive for the images presented to us by marketers and the media.

The global beauty industry is a multi-billion-dollar one. Beauty products like Botox, fillers, and plastic surgery are mainstream. Conveniently, our egos and hard-wired instinct to conform make us easy targets in a culture where the standard of beauty is becoming more and more unattainable for young and older alike.

How Do We Better Navigate?

Luckily, some prominent individuals and businesses are slowly changing the definition of what beauty looks like at all ages, including many campaigns that feature older women and also embrace broader ideals of beauty. Hopefully, that trend will continue, and more and more women will adopt a kinder, more realistic attitude towards aging and the image staring back at them in the mirror.

For those that opt to visit the plastic surgeon or use other means to slow down or alter the aging process, no shame or judgment here, that is a personal choice. That said, I think we would all benefit from being mindful of the reasons behind the choices we are making to ensure they are in alignment with our personal values and not because we feel pressure to keep up our looks.

The Foundation Upon Which We Build

As I transition into my 60s, I’m finding that the little aches and pains I’m experiencing, together with the cumulative impact of stress and burnout on my body, now serve as my motivators in adopting a healthier lifestyle.

It is one that includes the positive habits of eating healthy, maintaining hydration, getting plenty of exercise and sleep, and embracing a spiritual practice that aligns with my personal values and beliefs. These are truly the pillars of good health that serve as the foundation for looking our best at any age.

The Pledge

While I know I will continue to purchase beauty products and services that support my personal beauty goals as I age, I also pledge to do my best to shift the focus to a healthier, kinder and more realistic attitude towards aging.

To that end, the following is an offering of mindset and practice that may assist all of us in the Sixty and Me family as we navigate the intersection of health, beauty and aging:

The Inside Job

  • Gratitude. Practicing gratitude helps shed perspective on all things, including aging.
  • Wisdom. This is a cornerstone of the value we add, not just a consolation prize.
  • Humility. Time has a way of smoothing out our rough edges.
  • Engagement. We are freer to fully engage in life without caring what others think.
  • Time/Opportunity. We now have more time to focus on the things of interest to us.
  • Intention/Positive Attitude: Thoughts matter. Be mindful of them.

The Physical Aspects

What beauty products do you swear by? What would you say are your top three practices that contribute to a positive aging experience? Please join in the conversation and share your thoughts and attitudes on beauty and aging.

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The Author

Cindy Boatman is excited to share her research and personal insights, hoping to help others live their best lives as they age. She is retired, pursing her dream to write, enjoying nature, travel, and her grandkids. She completed a 200-hour yoga teacher training certification program in 2020.

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