While flipping through a magazine on a lazy morning, Courteney Cox's picture caught my eye as I read the caption. It was an ad that promised “hair that acts up to 10 years younger.”
It wasn't a hair color to hide my gray (which by the way my daughter has informed me I am to let my tinsel shine). It was regular hair care products designed to add health and shine. Having our hair look nice isn't a bad thing. I get that, I really do. Why the push to look younger? Why is that so attractive?
This was yet another reminder of just how our society wants to hang on to youth. Even in this age of social media where so many people do seem to “get it,” there is a world of advertisers that make their money telling us how miserable we should be in our current age, weight, skin type and economic position.
I wonder if anyone would really be bothered by being older if we weren't told all the time that it was so highly devalued?
How about this: what if we just enjoyed today? Why not celebrate the age we are today? Let us soak in the place our children are right now. We'll celebrate where we are in life this very moment. We will face each challenge with every bit of strength we have. As we look ahead it won't be about looking better, younger or thinner. No, we will look to building the core of who we are inside.
True beauty is kind, gentle, gracious, generous, joyous, patient and loving. It isn't competitive because it isn't measured by comparing ourselves to each other. It is rooted deeply in the knowledge that our journey is unique. No one is like us and that in itself brings a texture to the lives of others. We were created for relationship with our Creator and with each other. That in itself holds a value far and above what we'll see on the outside.
A wise woman told me recently that the one regret she has had as a parent is that while her children were young, she spent more time weeding things out of their lives than she did planting. She made the point that even with a few weeds, plants can still grow. But if you don't plant, there is very little to produce fruit.
My heart is that we would understand this together. That as parents and educators our speech would plant in our children those things that would flourish. Plant fruit that can thrive as they age, as they grow and as they mature, making our world more vibrant, healthy and fresh for all ages.
Why the push to look younger? Why is that so attractive?