I’m no witch you see, I’m an over-50 BEAUTY

June 15, 2020.

I’ve had beauty on the brain a lot lately and am spending arguably way too much time mulling over aesthetics for the after 50 set. But, I’ve recently turned 50, you see, and am still largely in quarantine and have, arguably, way too much time to google best skincare products for “aging skin.” So, here we are.

Recently I talked about this on IG because while scrolling one morning I read two seemingly opposing posts, one encouraging age acceptance and the very next encouraging that I turn back the clock. I thought, “Well, which is it?! You want me to fight or flight?”

Look, the more things change the more they stay the same. For women, concepts and constructs of beauty have always loomed large.

It’s stupid and we all know it, but, there it is. I thought that when I reached “middle age” I’d be free of concerns about societal constraints of beauty and instead I would be out picking wild herbs for my at-home skin care concoctions in a misty meadow, hair unkempt but thick and lustrous, no signs of perimeno hair loss, grey but more of a silver really, and decked out in my best bohemian get up.

I’d still be fresh faced and rosy-cheeked, because well, insomnia is never a thing here in misty meadows. And actually neither is my peri-meno freaking acne, and those dark circles and fine lines? Nope, I don’t have those.

I’m no witch you see, I’m an over-50 BEAUTY!

Oh, I’m full of energy too, because, like I said, sleep is sound. No insomnia and no night sweats. I know, the whole thing is ridiculous, but it’s my fantasy, okay?! Seriously though, I thought I’d ACCEPT what the hell I looked like, grey hair, crow’s feet and all. But in reality, well, lemme be honest, I’m fighting the good fight.
I started turning grey in my 20s.

But I dealt with that just fine and I have no trouble spending a relaxed afternoon in the chair of my colorist. But since entering perimenopause, I now have a nice collection of lines and wrinkles and I’m likely to develop a break out that’s beyond my comprehension and since Covid quarantine I see just how much grey I actually DO have.

It’s a lot, ladies. A lot. My skin isn’t as supple, my cheeks not as full, my eyes not as wide, you get the picture.

It’s hardly bleak but it’s not what it once was and although I THOUGHT it would be a non-issue, now that I’m here, I’m thinking about where we women may stand on addressing our beauty: cosmetic intervention or no?

Since entering perimenopause my aesthetics really have changed and if I’m really being honest, I’m kinda not that into all of it! I’m actually super annoyed that my hair is thinning and I have the beginnings of age spots and, if one more person asks me if I’m angry because of that crease between my brows, I’m gonna..…!

Yes, I’m angry but I don’t want you to know about it, damnit! Looking in the mirror just isn’t what it used to be and it’s funny, part of me kind of wants to witness the live stream transformation and the other part thinks, “ummm…let’s stop that right there, shall we?” Truthfully, it’s a little weird to feel youthful and then look in the mirror and see someone, well, not as youthful as she feels. Sigh…

Do I nip? Do I tuck? Do I fill in the seams?

Let me just say here, there is no judgement coming from me! None. I truly believe that where women land on this is as varied as who we are and wherever you find yourself is a good place for you to be. Who is anyone to judge?

I do suspect however, that women feel that they need to “pick a side” and I don’t think this is necessary. The tone I’ve gotten from some is, if you ARE nipping, tucking and filling you’re somehow negating the natural beauty that is YOU! On the flip, if you DON’T nip, tuck or fill, you’re not taking good care of yourself.

I’m not convinced there need be such opposition here, you know? If it makes you feel better to know that those lines around your plumped lips are no longer there, that’s just fine!

And if you utilize nothing but organic oils and tinctures to smooth your skin, well, then, more power to you. Perhaps you’re a combo beauty and while you get botox on occasion you still swear by an organic avocado oil salt scrub you made right in your kitchen! Age acceptance, as a rule, need not mean you reject a little chemical assistance. And having a little session at the medical spa need not mean you’re denying who you are.

I’m all about the benefits and wisdom and power of growing older and god knows I would never want to return to my 20s. So, it’s not about not accepting my age. It’s more, do I mind being asked repeatedly if I’m angry when I know damn good and well I’m in a perfectly good mood?! The answer is yes. Yes, I mind.

Our beauty is deep. From the surface of our skin to the depths of our souls, we women are stunning. And whether we choose to lift or chemically smooth or touch nary a head on our heads, we’re still a bunch of babes!

We’re not on opposing sides, we’re two sides of the same coin and we’re ever shiny and worthy.

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Rachel Hughes
Rachel is a CNC, wife and empty-nesting mother with a sincere heart to create safe spaces where peri- and menopausal women can help each other navigate these particular years together with honesty, thoughtfulness and a lot of laughter. After finding that her own perimenopausal symptoms were disruptive to her life, Rachel sought out meaningful help and information and felt that there were not enough resources for mid-life women where they could learn from each other and express themselves with plenty of compassion and without judgement. Check out her amazing blog at https://www.themenomemos.com/

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