Am I still pretty? As I reflect on aging, this is a question I try not to ask.

I have felt pretty & not so pretty during other life transitions but somehow this feels different.

More grey hair, more wrinkles…the list goes on & on!

I recently watched a video about a model who was “released” from modeling for a cosmetic company at age 42 because she “no longer represented women’s dreams” & then rehired 20 years later. The new woman CEO had expressed that many women felt excluded & rejected, and their new goal was to represent beauty of all ages.

I love this. Acceptance of all types of beauty. Sizes & ages.

I also have read numerous articles stating that we should not comment on women’s bodies, rather only on abilities. I agree in theory, but in reality, we see & hear images/messages telling us our physical appearance matters most as women. I refuse to deny the impact of these messages on the self-esteem of women, especially as we age.

There are few negative stereotypes about older men “grumpy old man” vs women “old bag, hag, witch, cougar, spinster”.

I strive to accept aging with self-compassion & confidence. So why do I need to ask myself “Am I still pretty?” Is there something broken in need of repair? Is there a need for acceptance from others that I am unable to provide for myself? Maybe I’m just tired of everyone assuming I don’t need the reassurance of my external appearance. I want others to respond first & foremost to my intellect & insight; however, that does not discount that “I kinda want people to admire my physical appearance too”. Maybe it just comes down to really really loving yourself from the inside out & maybe there’s work yet to do.