This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging?. All opinions are my own.
Depending on products to look younger
I used to be a makeup gal. I rarely left the house without it. After I reached 40, I was sensitive about the imperfections in my skin rather than embracing my natural beauty. I saw ads of women who looked so perfect. Even though I knew these photos were retouched, I held myself to this high standard.
As an influencer, I share my image frequently and I admit that I often feel the pressure to look younger. Having a more youthful appearance seems to make a difference when I apply for campaigns, especially for health and beauty products. Marketers want us to ‘defy’ our age rather than embrace it.
When the pandemic happened, I spent months without wearing makeup. I was able to hide behind a mask when going out in public so I didn’t feel self-conscious. I really enjoyed spending time with myself and not caring about how I looked. As I spent more and more time without wearing cosmetics, I began to embrace my appearance.
Embracing the skin I’m in
When mask restrictions were lifted in my area, I thought I’d enjoy wearing makeup again. Instead, when I looked in the mirror before going out, I didn’t feel like myself. I never thought that I’d love myself more without makeup than with it.
If I could write a letter to my younger self, I’d tell her to focus more on her inner beauty and self confidence rather than covering up her skin to hide imperfections. It’s a message I tell my daughter every day and I’m proud that at age 16, she still wears no makeup.
If you’re like me, you’ve said things like “40 is the new 30” or heard things like “you look so good for your age.” What’s wrong with being 40 or 50 or looking good at any age? I hope to help change this mindset.
AARP and Disrupt Aging
I am proud to partner with AARP and Disrupt Aging® to squash the myths about getting older.
Launched in 2018 the AARP Mirror/Mirror survey gives women of all ages the means to share their thoughts about what beauty and self-care mean to us and how our views have changed over time. The study identifies the gap between how women experience aging and how media and marketing portray aging.
There have been significant changes to how women feel since the pandemic. Results of the 2021 survey show that 87% of the women said they wish beauty and personal care ads had more realistic images of women their age. Also, 66% of Latinas and 61% of Black women feel these same images reinforce outdated stereotypes.
More Survey Results
- Women of all ages are experiencing the emotional and physical effects of pandemic-related stress.
- Women are prioritizing health over beauty, focusing more on inner peace than outer beauty. The pandemic has made many women more comfortable with a relaxed appearance, including while working.
- Many women hope relaxed beauty standards will continue after the pandemic ends.
- Women are experiencing a disconnect between how they feel about themselves as they age and how age is represented in media and advertising.
- Most women feel more comfortable with themselves as they get older and wish beauty and personal grooming ads had more realistic images of women their age.
- Women of all ages want a broader array of products for their hair and skin tone as well as for perimenopause.
Together, we CAN make a difference.
I definitely agree with everything this study reveals and I’m glad that AARP and women like me are here to spread the word. The more we speak up, the more companies will listen and make changes according to our needs. Spread the word to help inspire others to do the same.