We also lose some of our confidence that comes with good health and youthful beauty. While most of these are true, there are some hard myths out there, as well. Myths that can hurt us if we take them as fact.
The biggest myth of all that most women over 50 believe is the one about once you lose your youthful beauty you have lost your most valuable asset as a woman. NOT TRUE! Let me repeat that - IT IS NOT TRUE THAT ONCE YOU LOSE YOUR YOUTHFUL BEAUTY YOU ARE DONE.
When we look in the mirror on that first day of realization and see a stranger looking back, it throws us for a loop. We may have looked this way for months or even years, but on this particular day, we actually see ourselves...we face the realization that while we are still beautiful we have lost our “youthful” beauty. Are we done? Is that our value - our “youthful” beauty?
When you are young, you think the world is at your feet. Men notice you, admire you, and sometimes, pursue you. We go in for a job interview and feel confident because we know we look good. We shop and find that just about everything looks good on our youthful body. As we grow older, things start to change. The change is gradual in most cases and sometimes we don't even notice the changes until that one day that we do. That's the day when we feel old and our confidence takes a whipping. That day when we look in the mirror and ask ourselves "who is that woman?".
That's when it begins, the downward fall into invisibility...or maybe not. Are we only what we look like? If a man is only nice to young beautiful women, is he really worth our time? If the man hiring for a new marketing analyst is only looking at youthful candidates, is that where we really want to work?
We are not invisible just because a few self absorbed people don't seem to see us. The important thing is, we see us. We know who we are and we know what we are capable of. We are smart women with experience and advanced knowledge. Some people may forget this, but we shouldn't.
I did an experiment a few weeks ago and I found something out about people (men and women). On one shopping trip, I tried not to smile much and I walked looking down and I avoided much eye contact with anyone...forget talking to anyone. As a result, clerks were rude and one even ignored me over another customer. I was invisible.
Then I went the other direction. I went shopping and smiled at people, said "hi" to strangers, held my head high, presented myself as confident and friendly. Clerks were asking to help me, taking time to show me specific items they thought I might like, and being very polite. I also noticed that men and women spoke back to me and I wasn't invisible to them.
Does this mean that my attitude about myself changes my outward beauty? YES!
My mother told me when I was growing up, "smile it increases your face value." She was right. If you smile, you look better, you feel better, and people see you.
If I am going to have lines on my face, I would rather they be smile lines than frown lines. If you smile and present a confident, happy image and someone still rejects you or ignores you, it is not you...it is them. They have issues. It may be they are having a bad day, maybe they have poor self image themselves, they are envious that you are so happy, or any number of other reasons could be at work.
We should be proud to be who we are and make the most of every asset we have. If you have beautiful hair, then show it off; if you have beautiful eyes, then show them off; if you have a beautiful smile, then smile (I would say smile, regardless, because every smile is beautiful); whatever you feel is your strongest asset (your friendliness, intelligence, compassion, etc.,) show it. We all have flaws, but we all have assets, things that are beautiful.
This myth that we buy into that beauty is tied to our youth is dangerous. It causes many of us to waste precious years feeling less than beautiful, less of a woman, and invisible. When we hear a story of a man who leaves his older wife for a younger woman, it adds to our discontent with growing older. When we lose a promotion on our job to a younger woman, we feel undervalued. When we are out with our loved one (husband, boyfriend, etc.,) and he is admiring every younger woman you happen to cross paths with, it hurts.
Why? Why do these cause us to doubt ourselves? Why don't we put the doubt where it really belongs? It belongs squarely on the husband or boyfriend who does this to you. They are showing who they are, not who we are.
We have also heard these statements: (1) she is aging like a fine wine...beautifully, (2)older women know who they are, (3) Young women don't understand me, (4) real beauty is more than skin deep, and (5) beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Are these just as true? Yes.
For every negative statement about older women there is a positive statement about older women, as well. However, two problems exist (1) do we hear them? and (2) do we believe them?
For some reason we are more apt to believe the negative statements or actions and ignore the positive ones. Why is it easier to believe a negative? Why are we quick to accept our faults and slow to see our beauty? Are we trained this way from birth or are we born that way? I personally think this is a matter of conditioning. How so, you may ask?
Everywhere we look in publishing, advertising, news wires, etc., we are faced with young women. The advertisers of wines, cars, vacations venues, and such, use young women to attract the men. They also use them to draw the attention of the older woman in an effort to make the older woman think that if she drives that car, drinks that wine, or takes a vacation at that beach, then she will be perceived as young and youthful. It's all a facade, a trick they play to get us to buy stuff, read stuff, or believe the all of the news we hear the young women report on.
No, we won't be younger if we buy those cars, read those books, or believe everything we hear in the news that is presented by a young beautiful woman. All this does to an older woman is make her feel inadequate, invisible, and old. It wears on our confidence. It undermines our self esteem.
Then we look at the men. Who are they looking at? If a young woman and an older woman are walking side by side, which one will attract the eye of a man? The younger woman? Don't believe it, the older woman can draw attention from a man if she presents herself as confident and happy. Remember my experiment? Smiling got me a lot more attention than walking with my head down.
The point of this week's blog is this:
You can be as beautiful as ever at any age if you choose to be.
A smile on any woman and her self-confidence is attractive.
You smile at someone and they will almost always smile back.
There are exceptions to everything, sometimes a person won't smile back. This doesn't mean you are not beautiful or attractive. It means that person may have something else on their mind and they are not aware of their surroundings. This has happened to me and I know you have experienced it as well.
Do you feel invisible? Do you feel attractive? Do you dress like a beautiful woman or like a woman who doesn't feel attractive? Have you noticed that people treat you different based on the way you present yourself? (sad face, smiling face, dressed in attractive clothes, have an unkempt appearance, etc.) What are your thoughts on the attractiveness of an older woman.