I was at the airport, waiting to catch a flight back home from Cancun. I was relaxed. I was killing time. I was...bored. I picked up the latest copy of Elle Magazine, and began to absentmindedly flip through the pages.
I came across an article on “hyperpigmentation”-translation: spots on your face. I tanned a lot as a kid, and have freckles and little spots left over from years of exposure, so I began to read. I wasn’t really looking for more than any quick-fix ideas. Instead, what I got was a magazine’s attempt to give me one more thing to obsess about.
To be clear, no one wants to look like a freckled egg. However, I can live with that, if it’s the worst of my problems. BUT when I read the sentence, “...thanks to a well-known 2006 study...showing that an uneven complexion can impact a woman’s perceived age by up to 20 years”....cue the sound of a record scratching to a painful, abrupt stop. What?
All of a sudden, I’m not looking for a little help with this or that. No, no. Now I’m on the brink of obsessing about my “perceived age”. “How old do people really think I am?” “All this time, I thought I was doing pretty good, but now...after reading this...maybe....???”
Well, luckily, I haven’t bought into the whole shame-about-my-age thing. I’m 36 years old. 36 feels good to me. I don’t want to be 26. No, I don’t want people to think I look like I’m 56 when I’m not, but...it got me thinking.
If we didn’t have magazines and movies and television telling us what we should be worried about, where we’re lacking or what we’ve lost, how would we see ourselves? Would be quite as self-obsessed/critical as many of us (myself included) have become?
All I know is this-I read an article to get a little free advice, and put it down with another weapon in my arsenal of possible go-to insecurities. Thanks for the complex, Elle.
Photo Credit: GetBodyLase.com