When we are young, we find it hard to imagine that we will ever age. Young people see old people differently to the way old people see themselves.
For me, as a sixty four year old woman who is proud of all that she has accomplished, I don't feel the need to look young. I celebrate my longevity and I am daily grateful for all that I have learned.
Skin care is self care. It's not about trying to be something I am not. So 'anti-aging' doesn't make sense to me as an approach to skin care.
At Founder's Formula, we call our products 'pro-aging' meaning, these are the products that support us to age well. That means plenty of hydration and repair, nourishment and support. Skin that is clear and fresh and healthy.
As a girl growing up in the 1970s, I was well and truly immersed in the women's movement. We had our phases - wearing baggy overalls to hide the shape of our bodies from men as a rejection of their definition of what a woman should look like, not wearing make up to show our disdain for the patriarchy and its expectations (that was hard).
But in the end we went back to sexy clothes and great make up - because we realised that in truth we did these things for ourselves, not for men. And we enjoyed them!
We began also to realise that our rejection of spending time and money on skin care, clothes and make up was because these interests were trivialised by society precisely because they were women's interests! If it had been men who spent time and money on hair and make up and fashion, then these activities and pleasures would not have been so dismissed and trivialised but would instead be seen as valuable and worthwhile.
My biggest 'ahha' moment through my women's studies and my participation in the feminist movement in the 1970s and since, is captured by Eleanor Roosevelt's famous words 'No one can make you feel inferior without your consent'.
When it comes to skin care, we do it for ourselves. It's not a competition; it's not a chore (well, mostly it's not a chore); it's just for us to make our skin feel good.
There is however, another layer to this issue of aging that I do want to mention because it is a little more unsettling than the more straightforward question of how we women spend our time and our money and how we express ourselves creatively.
Over the years, I have heard other older women speak about feeling 'not seen' when we reach a certain age. I was never aware of this myself and I was not particularly concerned since I thought that 'not being seen' would mean not being noticed for being beautiful or young. And I figured, I wasn't concerned about that. I am happy with who I am and how I look.
But when I did have the experience of 'not being seen' it was a very different experience to what I expected it would be. I was at a large party and people were mixing and chatting. Over the course of the evening not one man came up to me to speak to me, not one addressed me when they approached a small group I might be in, and not one man seemed in any way interested in me or interested in finding out anything about me. I tried to make chit chat at the food table and at the bar, but not one man had the time of day for me. There were plenty of beautiful young women around and these men (young and old) seemed to have no difficulty mingling and striking up conversations with these other younger women.
Since I had gone to the party with friends I wasn't really able to leave and so I had plenty of time to reflect. I realised that it was not just that I was being ignored because I was not a potential sexual partner - that did not bother me in the least - what disturbed me was that it appeared that I was also considered uninteresting and unworthy and therefore not even worth speaking to. I was shocked to realise that it was my very humanity that was being ignored and overlooked.
So, this is the back story to why we at Founder's Formula don't use the word 'anti-aging', not because aging sucks, but because some sectors of our society do not value those who age as much as they value the young and beautiful - and that is what sucks.
We at Founder's Formula want to be part of redefining aging as a positive experience and as a stage in life where women grow even more interesting, not less so.
All women are interesting, young and old, and all women are worthy, no matter what we look like, where we live, what we stand for or how we party.
Author note: Dr Annie Holden is an anthropologist and the founder of Founder's Formula. Annie lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia - (and she is a VERY interesting person.)