Received this in my inbox recently:
Late night of work? Don’t worry. Write Off Wrinkles with (insert product). Divine serum boasts the highest concentration of Immortelle and Myrtle essential oils for visibly younger-looking skin – a necessary step to your anti-aging routine.
Serums and creams and lotions with mysteriously-named ingredients that give us the illusion it is worth the price tag.
And the illusion we need it.
My forty-year-old skin, its lines with traces of the life I’ve led.
It shows the remnants of my smiles, the moments of joy.
Laughter with friends. Laughter with my husband.
It shows the fine lines on my forehead. The moments of worry.
I see the lines in the mirror. I don’t remember what I was worried about. But because I can’t remember, I know it turned out okay. And I survived. And I’m stronger.
The small patch of brown near my hairline and freckles on my forehead. Days spent in the sun, playing, working. Days spent breathing the fresh air, sweating, running, gardening, using this God-given body.
I see the women who inspire me. The women who radiate beauty, regardless of age, because they love life. They love who they are. They love themselves. The woman at the farmers’ market, bringing her gorgeous flowers for the rest of town to enjoy.*
Her beauty glows from within, the time spent in the garden producing something she loves. Something that makes the world more beautiful.
My mother. In her gorgeous, I-don’t-have -time-or-care-for-your-products, aura.
She doesn’t need your anti-aging creams, your wrinkle-reducers, your Immortelle essential oil.
Her beauty comes from within. As does mine. As does yours.
Or Manda Beslac, who was probably too concerned with escaping Nazi Europe to think about her skin care regimen.
Or my grandmother, Madeline, who was busy making a life on a farm, raising a daughter, keeping property. Do you think she gave two seconds to think about wrinkle cream? Nope.
The life lived.
I don’t look like I’m 19 anymore.
But I am not her anymore.
I am stronger, I am wiser, I have grown into myself. And everyday, when I look in the mirror, I want to see her.
I want to see you, too. I want to see the life on your face, the joy you’ve experienced, the heartache, too.
So let’s not erase it.
Let’s not buy the cream, the lotion, the story they are telling us that we need it.
Let’s shout it at the advertisements, at the billboards, in the make-up aisle at Target. (Okay, we don’t people to think we are crazy…maybe whisper it to ourselves at Target.)
WE DON’T NEED YOUR PRODUCT!!!
We are gorgeous. Our lines, our spots, our memories, they make us who we are and remind us of who we were.
And we are too busy living our lives to worry about removing it from our face.
*Thank you to my mom for raising me to believe I was beautiful just as I was.
*And a HUGE thank you to Linda Chapman, who inspires me to follow what I love and to live a life in the sun. Please stop by Harvest Moon flowers and pick up one of her gorgeous bouquets at a farmers’ market near you.