Aging in the Age of the Ten Year Challenge

The ten-year challenge meme has hit viral status! Besides thinking about this Wired article about how it’s actually a plot to help facial recognition technology account for age; I keep going back to how awesome all  my friends look!

Seriously, I look at all the pictures (filters and all, haters) and think, wow everyone is really on that glow up! I hope they all see how much they’ve grown as people emotionally and not just physically.

Then I kinda, sorta, posted my own? Looking at this not-quite-ten-year-old-image all I could see was some young kids who drank too much and had no idea how awesome their life together would become. Then I looked at a recent picture of us and I think, man we are looking good, good and happy! And I know and acknowledge how fortunate I am to feel that way.

Growing up my mom ritually colored her hair and rarely left the house without make up on and while I definitely went through a heavy make up phase of my own I don’t remember using it because I felt expected to but rather to say, hey y’all I am feeling myself today, take a look!

I don’t color my hair, or have a skin care regimen a la, Mrs. Maisel either. It’s just what feels good to me, not feeling like I have more on my plate feels nice when I’ve got like 45 plates in the air at any given time. I am looking forward to rocking a salt and pepper pixie in my not so distant future.

                                                           Yea this is more my speed.

I am just ok with aging, which I guess feels unexpected? From as far back as I can remember there were ads, commercials, and expectations about how aging is so terrible you need to spend hundreds of dollars a year on this moisturizer or this mascara to make sure you look like a runway model every moment of every day. It’s a miracle any of us grow up with a lick of self worth! My aging aunt continues to claim to be 39 despite being a bad ass lady not just for someone of her age, but at any age! The woman goes to bootcamp with people who are literally half her age! But she grew up not feeling that her age was an empowering thing, not feeling like she could just age and let that be a thing that would just happen.

Sure I am only 34 but I am also, 34 and getting to the age where 40 is just on the horizon.  Cue Meg Ryan in Harry Met Sally, sobbing to Harry saying, “And I’m gonna be 40”. Sure it’s 5 years away but going towards it feeling like it’s arbitrary feels good and in our lords dumpster fire year of 2019 I take whatever good feelings I can get.

I ultimately share this in hopes that those who aren’t feeling so great about their ten-year challenge can maybe take a gander from a different perspective. I mean seriously ten years ago you couldn’t say you look this good despite the dystopian tragedy that is our current society could you?!

Finally, ask yourself who benefits from you feeling bad about yourself and refuse, because you are all awesome.


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