Back when my parents were young, older women were rarely able to disguise their age. Whether they liked it or not, the tell-tale ageing signs – such as grey hairs sprouting, wrinkles forming and waistlines expanding ever-so-slowly with time – were displayed for the whole world to see.
But then this sad goodbye to youthfulness was expected by women back then. It was a given that females gained weight over time, especially after bearing babies. Because that was the expectation back then -for glowing expectant mothers to eat heartily for two and not one. The more they ate the better their chances were of giving birth to a healthy bouncy baby. Or so that theory went…
So I guess it comes as no surprise to anyone that forty year olds seemed super old to teenagers and the youthful back in previous decades. This is mainly because they physically looked old. But the same cannot be said for women over forty nowadays.
Just look at the latest batch of 40 plus year old celebrities to grace the pages of our magazines and silver screens: Cate Blanchett, Michelle Pfieffer, Jennifer Aniston, Halle Berry, Eva Mendes, Catherine Zeta Jones and Winona Ryder.
But it isn’t just famous celebrities that are still showing signs of youth. Even ordinary women that you see every day in shopping centres and school playgrounds look deceptively young, as if they have all secretly discovered the secret path to the fountain of youth.
Why Is This So?
Well the answer is simple. Twenty years ago women did not have the same youth-retaining tools as they do today.
1 Anti-wrinkle treatments and fillers were yet to hit mainstream society. These non-surgical techniques were far from common practice.
2 It was still rather cool to smoke back then. There were no campaigns touting all the evils of tobacco or nicotine. Women were completely blind to the ageing effects of smoking.
3 Same goes for sun damage. Tanning at the beach or in solariums was a favourite national past-time for females back then. No one embraced 50+ SPF broad spectrum creams. To the contrary they were too busy slathering on the reef or olive oil in search of the perfect deep brown tan. If only they knew just how badly the scorching sun would age them…
4 Women also ate whatever they felt like eating because they were still oblivious to the negative effects of over-consumption. Too much trans-fat, sugar, salt and over-eating in general featured in many people’s diets. There was no awareness yet of how these foods could potentially negatively impact your skin, heart and body.
5 Men were also still the breadwinners so women often did not have their own income at their disposal. There was no indulging in facials, massages, fancy skin care products or any other pampering activity that would have encouraged a youthful glow in females.
6 Same went for fitness. Gyms were yet to gain the popularity that is evident in today’s society and rarely did women put aside an hour in their day to exercise. Not when that hour could have been better spent cooking, cleaning, ironing, doing groceries or tending to the children… And when the weight came on it rarely came off.
1 We have knowledge – of the benefits of good nutrition and exercise – and knowledge is power.
2 We recognize that we must use sunscreen daily – absolutely MUST because sun exposure is the biggest factor impacting the ageing of the skin.
3 We all know smoking is a no-no. And we are aware that if we choose to partake in this terrible habit that bad things may possibly come our way – oh and wrinkles would be the least of our problems.
4 Non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as anti-wrinkle treatments and fillers are finally cost-effective, proven to work and available to women of all ages, not just the elite or the super-rich.
So lucky us. Now that we have this power at our fingertips its up to women to take advantage of it so they can enjoy a few more years of youthfulness if they so wish…