As women have we ever been non-transparent about our age?
I have never liked telling others my age, not because I feel old, but because I do not live under the control of how the world tells me I have to be, or look, at a certain age. For example, I once had a phone conversation with a lady, and whilst we had never met, she knew a bit about my background.
Another time I travelled to Vietnam for my vacation and I was asked about my age by the local women. When I honestly replied, the women would exclaim, “Wow! You look so youthful.” They would touch my face (very cute) and ask me what I eat and how I care for my skin.
It is a very uncomfortable feeling to not be able to be honest about my age. And it is even worse if age controls how I live my life as in "Am I living my life, or a life that someone else is asking me to live?”
When I do not shape myself to fit in to society’s expectations, I accept whatever age I am, and am not concerned if others react. For example, I may receive comments such as “You are not young anymore” which translates to “Don’t you even know that?” or “Act your age!” I realise this attitude comes from social conditioning, and that the important point is that I live fully and be true to myself, whatever my age, and not according to any external idea of who or what I should be.
Other times I have been told I am old, and I also ponder – If I rely solely on my external appearances, I will always get hurt. But if I can embrace my wrinkles, there is then really nothing about my ageing appearance that can make me unhappy.
I like being simple and direct – to honestly, naturally and in openness express my age. Nine out of ten times the responses received are positive, and if there is a reaction it cannot affect me, so why should I be bothered about my age? Everyone will experience this age one day, and kidding ourselves that we are 25 forever may be cute, but our bodies can never lie, and isn’t it true that any non-acceptance or conflict brought about by dishonesty, ages us even more?
I find all the imperfections I could not accept of myself to be deeply inspiring as every such opportunity is an opportunity to repeatedly discover and rediscover that as human beings we are so much more than our physical appearance.
And yet our physical appearance is a powerful reflection of everything we are within us, and it absolutely deserves to be expressed in deep care and honesty.
And in this acceptance and appreciation of myself I live my life in joy and freedom, how about you?
Adele L., Hong Kong