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The SeniorScape ™

Updated: Dec 8, 2021

The AgeLess vs AgeWell Debate

Is Ageless Living and Ageless looking what we really want? Do we want to be totally Ageless? I say no.

I recently saw an announcement for an Ageless Webinar followed by an Ageless Extravaganza. There are countless products touting an Ageless Glo, Ageless or Age Defying Look, Ageless lifestyle.

This seems to me to be counterintuitive thinking.

To be Ageless is to deny the years of experience, and wisdom, accumulated along life’s journey.

A friend recalled a story with her granddaughter who asked why she had so many wrinkles.

Her reply was that she earned those wrinkles. That they tell a story of a long life lived with lots of experiences and wisdom gained that she can now pass on to her granddaughter. This struck me as being brilliant.

But, several years earlier I had my own confrontation with the Ageless experience.

I opted for cosmetic eye surgery. I was as much of a victim of our society’s trillion-dollar cosmetic industry assertion that we should be erasing wrinkles by spending millions of dollars on creams, injecting fillers, age defying treatments, and yes, cosmetic surgery.

My mother had me at the age of 40. My recollection of her reaction to the change in her features as she aged dates from the time when I was a teenager and she was in her mid-fifties.

She would look in the mirror, put her fingers on the outer edges of her eyes, on her forehead and cheeks and push upward obviously longing for seeing her face with a more youthful look. Have you ever done that?

When I began to see the bags under my eyes, my drooping eyelids, and drooping jowls, my first thoughts were that I was looking like my mother. The image of her hands on her face, pushing everything upward, had me thinking I needed to do something to erase those signs of aging.

My first appointment was for a lower face lift. I went for the pre appointments, did all the necessary blood and prep work. I was excited at the prospect that I would no longer look like my mother with her drooping eyelids and jowls. That I would look as I did ten or fifteen years earlier.

At last, the day arrived. I was prepped and on the table for surgery. The plastic surgeon began marking my face when he took one last look at my intake form and realized I had taken a single dose of medication for a migraine just 1 week earlier. He thought better of it and cancelled the surgery. I was devastated.

Unfortunately, I didn’t dodge the cosmetic surgery bullet. The nagging desire to do something to counteract the evidence of aging was ever present. Two years later I opted for cosmetic eye surgery for my upper and lower eyelids. After I was recovered, I returned to ballroom dancing. My ballroom dance teacher, a gentleman in his early sixties who was showing the signs of his age, asked me why I didn’t want to grow old gracefully as there is beauty in aging. Being that my earliest recollection associated with signs of aging was my mother pulling back on her drooping eyelids and jowls, I had no way of identifying with graceful aging or the beauty in showing signs of age.

I felt prey, not only based on recollections of my mother, but what millions of other men and women fall prey to based on aggressive cosmetic industry marketing. The U.S. Anti-Aging Products market estimated to be worth $14.2 Billion in the year 2020. The country currently accounts for a 27.04% share and the industry is projected to be worth $83.2 Billion by the year 2027.

Isn't the root at entire notion of an anti-aging market the essence of ageism?

Should not the concern be more about Aging Well? Aging Beautifully? Aging Gracefully?