Back in 2017 Allure magazine decided to ban the term “anti-aging”. The belief was that the term sent a negative message about getting older. That using this term in the magazine reinforced the idea that they were against aging and readers were supposed to freeze frame thelmselves at around age 25. Allure suggested we start using the term “pro-aging” instead. Well, I’ll probably get some pushback on this… but really?
Even though Allure stopped using this term the messaging throughout the media remains the same.
Brands are still selling the idea of trying to look younger — they’ve just changed the vocabulary. Back in the day (I think I was in my late forties) I was seeking out articles that featured women that were more mature. At the time all you could find in fashion magazine's were anti-aging ads where they chose twenty year old models and celbrities. I wanted something different. So I started reading the now defunct "More" magazine that claimed to focus on articles about the mature woman. The only problem was, you were hard pressed to find an article featuring any personality over fifty. This was exceedingly frustrating. Today, I am happy to say, with actresses like Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren the prejudice against mature women has softened… a bit.
Some of the big companies have made the revolutionary claim, “We're not using the term "anti-aging.” But then you read the rest of the message: “We’re anti-wrinkles.” And you look more closely at the women smiling next to these words — flawless celebrities with not a wrinkle in sight.
Suddenly it doesn’t seem so revolutionary anymore.
I’m not “anti-aging” with the belief that aging is a bad thing, As I roll towards approaching seventy I do feel some of the negative effects of getting older, particularly when it comes to aches and pains and my self imposed ban on all yummy foods that turn into sugar in my body. Since bread is my favorite food, this is truly unfortunate.
But aging has many upsides. I’m lucky to be reasonably healthy and life is good. In many ways life is a whole lot better than when I was younger. I have a much better sense now of who I am. I’ve surrounded myself with incredible people I love. I’ve let go of negative relationships that were not good for my psyche. I’m in a wonderful relationship with an incredible man who encourages me to be more of… myself. I spend more time doing things that I’m passionate about and that brings me joy: Researching the science of skincare; Delving into the art of interior design; Taking comfortably paced daily walks in a pretty environment near water or on a nicely wooded trail; Enjoying the company of friends and family; Dancing - with or without a partner; Dining out with friends I have a history with; Sharing a slightly dry bottle of Cabernet; Listening to and telling stories that involve a lot of laughter.
"Pro-aging" just doesn’t sound right to me. Again, I’m not against aging but I am against resigning myself to being a quieter, more reserved version of myself. I am against not striving to be my best self at any age. I am against giving up and missing out on all the fun and laughter and new experiences that still lay ahead. If you fall into this trap you might be missing a truly rewarding chapter of your life.
Instead, I choose “Longevity” as our website is aptly named. Longevity lifestyles focus on keeping oneself looking and feeling as healthy and radiant as possible at any age. It’s not about looking twenty five, or changing your looks to something less than what’s optimal for you, or what society seems to expect. It's about feeling good with enduring vitality. It’s the whole picture, not just skincare. It’s about adopting healthy habits in regards to diet, exercise, sleep, stress reduction and positive social connections.
Maybe we could say “pro-longevity” to get the right message across.
Thus “anti-aging” is a term I will try to refrain from in the future. Please forgive me if I occasionally slip up and include it in posts and product descriptions. I’ve been in the skincare industry for almost fifty years, and old habits die hard.