I just finished reading a book my friend shared with me called "How to Not Look Old" by Charla Krupp. At first I thought, "Wow....I must really be looking old for my friend to offer this book to me!" But when I started reading the book, my eyes were opened to simple, realistic, not-cost-prohibitive ways to not looking, feeling, and dressing like an OL (Old Lady) and instead look, feel and dress Y & H (Young and Hip). Those are the terms the author uses in her book.
Now, I'm realistic in the fact that we are "maturing". The wrinkles, age spots, crow's feet, gray hair, spider veins....need I say more....are evidence that our bodies are changing with the years. I know those little things are part of the process, but most certainly they don't define who we are....we're optimistic, full-of-life, strong and creative women who have much to accomplish in our lives. My dear sweet mother, at age 94, was still enthusiastic about her life and knew she was on a mission to brighten her world until she crossed over to the "other side"!
Anyway, back to the book.....I want to pass along to you some of the very easy, simple, and realistic ways to combat that OL image. I know you know what I mean. I remember my dear aunt at age 55 (when I was just 8 years old), looked so OL -- dressed OL -- acted OL. So when I turned 55, I was determined to not only look Y & H, but I wanted to act and be Y & H. I've got 6 grandchildren that I expect to be the youngest and hippest Nana to them!!! So, here's some great tips that I've added to my arsenal. Maybe you can apply some of them to your Y & H life! Despite all our good intentions, there are little things we all do that can betray our best efforts and scream OL to the outside world. Right now, for instance, are you ...
• In dark lipstick?
• Wearing an eyeglass chain around your neck?
• Covering your face with a mask of foundation?
• Wearing granny pants? Mommy jeans?
• Wearing a bra that doesn’t boost the girls up halfway between your shoulders and your elbow?
• Too-long hair that’s parted down the middle
• A solid block of hair color
• Gray or white brow hairs
• Obvious lip liner
• Too-white teeth
• Dragon-lady nails
I heard Joel Osteen say today, "Look in the mirror and tell yourself how good you look today!" Many of us don't even like to look in the mirror because we don't like what we see. First of all, know you have been fearfully and wonderfully made by God, so never dislike what you see.....just do the "natural" things to help create that beautiful image you want reflected back to you and the world.
The author of "How to Not Look Old", Charla Grupp says, "You know that the benefits of looking younger and better are not superficial at all. I hate to use this word because it is so overused, but it is “empowering” to pass a mirror and think, “Wow, I look great!” It gives you a lift. Every time I walk out of the hair salon blown-out and blonder, I swear, I feel like I could conquer the world! Our looks and our self-esteem are inextricably wired. You need to invest time and money and interest in you, because if you don’t look good, you don’t feel good about yourself. And if you don’t look and feel good on a daily basis, no one close to you is going to feel good either! If you have any doubts about the “Look Good, Feel Better” connection, volunteer at a women’s organization such as Bottomless Closet or Dress for Success and see how a new outfit can make a down-and-out woman suddenly feel optimistic and hopeful about her future."
“How Not to Look Old” is about looking Y&H, but to truly be Y&H, you need to embrace a youthful attitude. You need to jump into life and wrap your arms around change. Whether it’s beauty or fashion or life in general, what is truly OL? Being so invested in the status quo. I hate it when people say, “That’s not the way it’s done.” So? Are you saying that you can’t ever change the way that it’s done? Why not? Only OL people make a Big Deal about change. That’s not going to be you!
What is truly great about coming of age at this particular point in time, is that unlike our mothers, we have so many things we can do to look Y&H before resorting to extreme measures and joining the Women Who Have Had Too Much Work Done club. What follows is The To-Do List to end all To-Do Lists. Here’s to looking younger, feeling better — and winning the battle. If I can do it, so can you."
All the best to you, Y & H Ladies out there!