Okay so I crack myself up. Yes…me, myself and I.
This past Sunday, I decide to watch a little TV while I’m paying some bills.
Now mind you, I’m not a TV watcher. We have it, but the majority of folks…that would be actually everybody in this household…lean toward Netflix, listening to music and well…that thing we don’t hear much about anymore…silence.
I’m flipping though the 1,234,563rd channel.
Oh hi there one-woman-pulling-out-the-hair-of-another-woman while other women stand around drinking cocktails.
Oh hello, mister-man-in-a-suit yelling at another mister-man-in-a-suit.
Ah…now here’s something…two women (one of them is a famous actress) discussing something that is apparently very important because there is a large audience of women happily clapping at nearly every other word.
I settle in.
Now, let me state for the record…I am almost 55. Yes, I can hardly believe the words coming out of my mouth, or rather from the tips of my fingers, myself. I’ve never been happier. Never felt wholer. (When you are 55 you can make up words.) I’ve never actually felt more beautiful. Now I know that sounds weird to some of my younger sisters, but the truth is…once you get to a certain age the stuff that used to matter, at least as far as bodies go (and all that damn advertising that would suggest otherwise) just doesn’t anymore.
Cellulite? Ha! Makes me a woman. Small breasts? It appears they are “fashionably popular” again. Straight, curly, frizzy hair…it’s all good.
But as I became increasingly more mesmerized by the-famous-actress and her lovely interviewer, I realized that I have something that OH MY GOD I DIDN’T KNOW I SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT BUT APPARENTLY ITS JUST TERRIBLE TO HAVE…crepey skin.
No…I didn’t say creepy skin. I said crepey skin.
Now people. I know and am very grateful that years without tobacco, alcohol and unhealthy foods coupled with exercise and a positive outlook, have made me look younger than some would expect. But suddenly while watching this ad, I began to realize that I am old.
Why? Because I have what is now being marketed by a slew of people as something I should apparently be very ashamed of…crepey skin. I hadn’t ever really noticed my crepey skin. I just thought it was skin that had been around a while…skin that had covered an otherwise healthy 55 year old body for 55 years…skin that enjoyed the wind, a child’s touch…a lover’s touch. 🙂 Skin that turned brown in the sun and skin that protected the organs, blood vessels and muscles underneath. Skin that stretched across my belly when I was pregnant with my kids…skin that itched, got freckles and turned red when I ran.
I watched that whole damn infomercial and by the time it was over I actually went to the website that touted erasing the wrinkly crepey skin.
Since that ad, I’ve talked with a few of my 40 plus sisters and it seems that everyone else knew about the dreaded crepey skin. They knew the word, the dread, the products associated with removing it.
I’m not sure why I’m sharing all this except here I sit on Thursday morning and I’m still thinking about the impact this silly little infomercial had on me. I’m thinking about the ads that constantly bombard our girls about their beauty. I’m thinking about the industries that make millions and millions of dollars suggesting that what we look like…just isn’t pretty enough. I’m thinking about how beautiful I felt Sunday morning on my long run…with nothing on but a jog bra, shorts and running shoes…apparently unaware of just how awful and offensive my crepey skin looked to every one around me.
And now, I’m thinking about my mother…and how she touched the soul of everyone she knew…how people still tell me about how she changed their life…about some of my friends who are sixty five and older and how they are wise, courageous, peaceful and strong…the women who impact me with their presence, their power, their gentle prodding to keep on in the work that I do.