Recently, I came across a video by SK-II called the ” The Expiry Date” and it definitely hit home. As a woman whose left her twenties and as in the midst of her early thirties, the concept of being an aging woman is a constant topic.
Age is nothing but a number, right? Typically, yes. But for some, age is a clock that keeps on ticking. Faster and faster every day. Louder and louder. It’s not easily tuned out as it is a constant reminder of what you have to do in that moment, in the moment after, a day later, a month later, a year later…
It’s so easy to get caught up in the cycle that is life, but it’s even easier to get caught up with the details of your life. Living in the moment and letting go seems to be two characteristics that have diminished over the years. With social media, culture, and other variables, there are so many more distractions and ways to feel less than than ever before.
I recall being about ten years old when I told my parents I want to be married and have my own babies at eighteen. Sure, I didn’t know what eighteen meant or how unprepared I would feel at that time, but that number was when I would become an “adult”. And to me, an adult was being married with children, like my parents. As I got to eighteen, things changed…as it did when I turned 21. I always gave myself the “I have until 25 to figure it out”.
Then I turned 25.
I had almost nothing substantial regarding family, love, work, or anything figured out by then. Social media was relatively new, and being from Turkish family had it’s own obstacles. Now I’m 31, turning 32 in January and to say that I’ve figured out life would be a lie. Everyday is a new challenge, a new obstacle and a new discovery whether it’s of myself, someone or something. The pressures are different, but the same.
In my culture, 25 is “expired” for a woman. Not so much anymore, but it’s still unsaid even if it’s not pushed onto young women. At 29, the pressure of getting married, or at least dating was held over me like a dark cloud. I was beginning to feel really old (and let’s be honest, 29 is NOT old!). I was studying, working, and just trying to navigate life. Finding my own path has always been a struggle because of the constant pressure around me. With social media really gaining fire, I was seeing things in a completely different way than I did at 25, and as I do now.
The concept of beauty for one is a universal concern. Perfection is something so desirable yet nobody can define it, see it, feel it or attain it. Why? Because it doesn’t exist. This may sound crazy, but I feel it’s the truth. The only form of perfection is when you’re just happy with whatever you have. But, when do you have enough? Keeping up the Joneses is the new way of life it seems. We see mostly the positive on social media, and even as a blogger, I filter so much of my life. My Instagram, and let’s face it, no influencer, blogger, or model’s life on Instagram is what it seems.
Did I wake up with flawless skin in the morning? Absolutely not. But you probably can’t tell because I used an app to smooth it all. Why? Because it’s the norm. Because it’s what I feel is best so that my photo looks perfect. So that I feel content with it. Do my readers? Probably not. They’d be okay seeing with me the giant pimple that’s growing on my cheek. The pressure to create the perfect picture is just one example how we lose track of what’s real, lose the moment, and not let go.
This brings me to the topic of today’s blog post. I recently watched this wonderful short video from SK-II that really shed some light about aging and the pressures of aging. There are so many different forms of pressure out there and today I’d like to talk about the insecurities I feel with aging in relation to my skin.
I was a very lucky teenager who rarely broke out, but I had oily skin. I was a bit insecure about it, but thank god for powder right? I never understood much about skincare as I thought oily skin didn’t need to be moisturized. WRONG! By not being hydrated and moisturizing your skin, your skin produces even more oil to make up for the dryness. Who knew right? Maybe you did, but I learned this late.
Now, I’ve been taking much better care of my skin, but am facing major issues I never had to deal with and I am beginning to see some signs of Body Dysmorphic Disorder, in regards to my face.
When you’re constantly editing and taking pictures like I am, you notice everything! I mean, everything! But there is also the benefit of all these wonderful editing tools to help you achieve what you think looks best for you. This can cause, and has caused me, severe disillusionment. I look at a picture of myself on my Instagram, edited to perfection, and then look in the mirror. It feels like a different person, but it’s not. All I did was smooth the problem areas on my skin. It’s like wearing foundation, except even with foundation, you can see where you are breaking out. It’s such a small tweak, but it makes one hell of a difference.
The pressure of looking in the mirror and not seeing perfection sometimes goes deep to your core. It brings out emotions that you didn’t even know were there. Seeing the cracks, the flaws, the things that actually make us beautiful, but having negativity toward them. Feeling older, when we shouldn’t because the perception of beauty has been so mixed. The societal and cultural bounds of beauty make you feel like you’re “expiring” so speak.
Aging is the worst way to feel “expired” but once you realize that when you let go, enjoy the moment, and do what you can to maintain your mental and physical health, the rest follows. A lot of signs of aging are accelerated by factors such as stress, depression, unhealthy eating habits, and so on. It’s so essential to nourish yourself and let go of the pressures of what the world is putting on you and just enjoy being you.
Finally, the lack of support from women for women has been so disheartening to see. In this blogging industry, it’s easy to see the backhanded compliments, competition, and desire to see each other fall. This to me breaks my heart as I feel the world can only work if people work together. Pushing one another away adds even more pressure to yourself, and others. I know for me, helping others succeed as well is the best kind of success. It’s beautiful, it’s magical, it’s pure and it’s really special to see those you love grow with you.
SK-II really opened up the doors to bring this subject to life. The philosophy that SK-11 has embraced is to #changedestiny and to take away the stigma attached to aging. To live live on our terms and to create our own standards that work for us, so we embrace life better. Watch the short clip and hopefully you’ll get inspired to truly stop defining yourself based on expectations of things and those around you and to embrace who you are and own your confidence. I am a thirty-one year old woman who loves life and #IWillNeverExpire.
*This post is in partnership with SK-II. #InPartnershipWithSKII