Saturday, May 30, 2009

Is everyone ageing prematurely?

If you look around you, look at the TV ads, and at all the Indian women (and a large percentage of the men) who have gone nuts trying to stop age from showing, you would think that suddenly, everyone has begun to age prematurely. After all, much as I hate the idea of any artificial age hiding product, I can remotely imagine a 20-something with a premature ageing problem wanting to use them.

If a 23 year old starts to show a serious amount of gray hair, there is some little justification for using a hair dye, for example. But could there be anything more ridiculous than a 70 something person, hardly able to walk due to arthritis, clearly showing age in posture, skin, and nature, with completely jet-black hair?? I think not. Yet that is the road most people seem to be on! In any large gathering of Indians these days, parties, theatre, or whatever, you would be hard put to it to find a single natural salt and pepper head. Even if the average age of the gathering is above 50!! One or two of the men might be going the natural way, but chances are you won’t be able to spot a single woman, no matter what her age, with a single strand of gray.

Do these people really think they are fooling anyone? Does a 72 year old grandmother of three really expect people to take her for a 20 year old because she has dyed hair? All she is really doing is making a rich cosmetic company even richer. What on earth can be more dignified, more attractive, or more sexy, than a naturally salt and pepper head? There is nothing more horrible, to me at least than an obviously older person who has the “polyester” hair that regular dyeing gives you. Puts me in mind of Vincent Price and old silent zombie movies. It’s so inhuman! And frankly so disgusting!

Doctors, lawyers, professors, talented actors… why would you demean your position in society and the dignity of your profession in such a cheap way? Does anyone really think Shabana Azmi looks better today, with her dyed hair, overdone make-up, and over the top clothes, than she did even five years ago? I would much rather see her back in her sober, arty cotton sarees, understated make-up, and natural grace. And that goes for everyone, man woman other.

And what’s with this huge thing with anti ageing creams, lotions, slaves, gels, and what have you? Seems to be part of the whole “stay young forever” thing that average humanity is so mad after. Of course what no one seems to be telling these women (and it is largely, almost exclusively women who buy these products) is that none of them work! Any competent dermatologist will tell you that wrinkles are cause by the lower layer of skin, the dermis, shrinking and coming loose from the subcutaneous layer underneath. The slowdown in the production of collagen and elastin at the border areas of the dermis and the subcutaneous layers also adds to the effect. The same doctor would also tell you that no matter how many, and how much of, creams, oils, lotions, etc your apply, nothing can reach deep enough to get to the problem areas, or change anything.

Essentially, all you are really doing is making a lot of money for Ponds and L’Oreal, and that’s all. And what really gets to me, and makes me pity the insecure, spineless seekers after the fountain of youth, is seeing a DOCTOR buy anti ageing cream! How priceless is that!!!! As for me, I am proud of every single day and minute that I have lived here on this planet. I have lived more in my almost 34 years than many do in a lifetime. I have seen, felt, experienced, tested, tasted, been through, and done a huge lot, and every minute of that is precious to me. I am proud of how old I am.

If, 15 years from now, someone told me that I look like an elder sister to my 18-year-old daughter, I would take it as a serious insult!!!!!!! And I am sure she would not be too happy about it either. I am proud to be a mom, shall be equally as proud to be a grandmom, whenever that happy day arrives, and trying to seem younger than I am is something I JUST DON’T GET!!! Hell, I threw a party when I found the first strand of gray in my hair!

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