Why I’ll Never Use The Words “Anti-Aging”

By on November 2, 2017

by Dena Dyer

After a commenter on Rachel Farnsworth’s Stay at Home Chef food blog told the chef she should dye her hair because her grey strands made her look like an “old hag,” Rachel filmed a video response.

Rachel says, “Growing older is not something to be ashamed of. It’s not something we should be forced to hide and cover up.”

In the video, Rachel says, “My husband likes my grey hair and has asked that I don’t dye it because he wants us to ‘go’ old together. How cute is that? For me, having grey hair means I’m still alive. A lot of people don’t have the privilege to ever live to be old.” Her honesty and passion struck a chord: at this writing, the video has been viewed over 12 million times (and shared over 200,000 times).

I feel much the same way Rachel does about getting older and turning grey. In fact, I cringe every time I hear the phrase “anti-aging.”  The words hint at denial and desperation–and neither one of those qualities make for an attractive, confident woman.

Since surviving a car wreck in college, I’ve suffered chronic pain and headaches, and I underwent neck surgery in 2012. However, one day as I was whining about the wreck’s after-effects, I heard God whisper to my spirit, “I let you live.”

Convicting and true. Also, since that fateful day, I’ve had a knowledge of the fragility of life. When my sons were small, though it was a tough season, I tried to cherish each moment…even the hard ones.

So, yes. I’m thankful not for the pain, but for the fact that I’m ALIVE. I’ve been here, for twenty-plus years. I get to wake up in the morning and drink coffee, listen to the birds sing, and read my Bible. I’m able to walk without a cane.  I can participate do yoga, swim, walk, and dance.

I’m still here.

And if you’re reading this, you are too.

How I wish women would stop trying to shame ourselves and each another for the natural ways our bodies change as we grow older!  Why can’t we be “pro-aging” instead of “anti-aging”?

I’m not saying we need to throw our hands up in surrender. On the contrary, we should try to take care of ourselves so we can enjoy longer life. It’s good stewardship of what God has given to eat healthy foods, splurge only in moderation, and get regular exercise.

I am advocating for a change in attitude. A few years ago, I was commissioned to write a book on growing old with humor and grace. During the project, I interviewed 40 women over 40–and learned a great deal.  All the women who had joyful spirits shared a common trait: gratitude. They felt thankful for their blessings, and they viewed their problems through a big-picture perspective. Like Rachel, they knew life is too short to complain about or criticize themselves–or others.

I want to be like them when I “grow up.” For now, I’m following Rachel into the #greyhairdontcare movement.

Won’t you join us?

Editor’s Note: If you use the link below to order Dena’s delightful pro-aging book entitled Let The Crows Feet and Laugh Lines Come, your purchase will benefit this website. 

 

 

 
This piece first appeared at Aletia/For Her
Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

 

1 Comment

Michele Morin

November 3, 2017 @ 18:15

Reply

I love this, Dena. I, too, have resisted the “peer pressure” to do anything about my gray hair because to me, it would seem like a life sentence. And, at what point do I finally say, “OK, now I’m old enough to be gray”?
Thanks for pointing out that gratitude is key for living well.
Now it’s up to us to live up to our gray hair and its promising appearance of wisdom . . .

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