I can totally get behind those things. But sometimes that ideal goes a bit over the line.
Does the Lord tarry and intend us to stay on this planet, we'll get old. Accident and dermatologists happen to the best of us. We can either accept that fact, and attempt to grow older with grace, or we can fight it tooth and nail.
Sometimes it seems like folks promise that if you just take really good care of yourself, you'll look like this when you're sixty:
I call that winning the genetic lottery. The odds aren't that great. For every exceptional older woman that has a young face and snow-white hair, there are 1000 women whose genetics weren't quite so kind. Botox and plastic surgery and ... and... and... well, those are kind of crap-shoots too, aren't they? Even rich and famous people - the people who can afford to buy the very best - sometimes the results are a little scary. (Per my own rules, I'm sparing you bad surgery pix).
This lady's probably 80 at a guess. She's wearing nice clothes, nice jewelry... she's doing her best. Would you be happy if she was YOUR grandma? Would it kill you if you knew that was the face going to look you in the mirror in another 30 or 40 or 50 years?
I describe myself occasionally as a young Mrs. Santa Claus, and if the dermatologists keep away with their knives, I'll probably look like this lady in another 20 years. I'm working on trimming down ... but I'm not long before menopause. I know that the weight loss stops cold at that point, sometimes reverses. (Best to get this weight off as soon as I can). So, get it all off, half comes back from 50-60, and then it goes away again at 70... on its own.
Is she that hideous that you would be ashamed to wear her skin?
Our duty to our husbands and to ourselves is to represent and do our best. Our duty is NOT to re-define best by "to look forever 25". It's not going to happen, and breaking our hearts over improbabilities is a poor use of time and energy.
NO - I'm not saying slack off. I am saying - give yourself the kindness you'd give a friend. We're all going to grow old. Let's get wrinkles we're proud of and be the kind of white-haired women that the neighborhood kids want to cuddle.
A young woman's pride is her fertility, her potential. She advertises her shining long hair and good teeth, strong arms. But as you age, you're supposed to learn and grow and become more than you started. Aren't you? Men do. Women should. Life doesn't stop at your 30th birthday. Be a woman your husband will be proud to call wife to your great-grandbabies.
There is no wall. There is only another room to walk through, another stage to own. I saw ladies at the beach the other day in the over-sixty five crowd. They were still trying for "hot'. It made me sad. I don't want you to think I'm hot when I'm 70. I want you to think I'm dignified, beautiful (for my age), and that I probably have a really excellent recipe for cookies, and can you stop by to tell me your troubles? That's what I want. But I'm not going to pour acid on my face to de-wrinkle my skin so I look young for another year or five. You don't really look young anyway, you look plastic. I never, never never want to look plastic.