The first time that I had a problem with the natural process of aging was when I had to start wearing reading glasses. Suddenly I could no longer follow a recipe or even shop for the ingredients without having spectacles. It took me a couple of years to accept and embrace them – possibly aided by the realisation that the frames hid the ever increasing bags under my eyes.
Why is it that women have such a difficult time accepting aging? Sure, in ancient times our life opportunities could be determined by looks and child bearing capabilities; but those times are long gone and yet society still seems unable to value women over the age of 40. Numerous surveys show that women become ‘invisible’ as they age vanishing from our screens and billboards and the workplace in general. So what choice did Snow White’s stepmother really have? Losing her looks quite literally meant losing her power and influence. She certainly had no handy Botox on her local high street or miracle anti-aging cream.
With the number of women having Botox each year in Britain breaking the million mark, I began to wonder if there was a different way to celebrate rather than deny signs of experience. Maybe the Japanese art of Kintsugi, the art of precious scars could be the way forwards. This philosophy emphasises rather than hides damage; showing the cracks and wear/tear as an important part of history. Kintsugi draws attention to life, rather than the look. Instead of being something to hide or erase, wrinkles can make us something more precious than before.