Are you aging gratefully?

MEAx Australia | Are you aging gratefully? | 10th November 2021

Mixed messages about aging abound. Take aging gracefully versus anti-aging. As a society we are simultaneously bombarded with advertising of anti-aging products while being covertly reminded of the merits of aging gracefully. Hypocrisy abounds. Growing old is a universal human experience. It’s also the one thing we all aspire to: no one wants to die young. Perhaps aging gratefully should replace aging gracefully in our cultural lexicon.

Aging IS living … It’s impossible to have one without the other, so why don’t we embrace the natural and beautiful side effects of both? We are far more forgiving of a piece of furniture, seeing beauty and value in its history and signs of wear, than we are of our own bodies, masking perceived imperfections and hiding the signs of aging that society has conditioned us to believe aren’t beautiful. Mid-century design and furniture is revered more than mid-century humans! If only we would all acknowledge and celebrate the beauty in our own imperfections. Or better still, not see them as imperfections at all, but rather as beautiful reminders of the passing of time and the gift of life.

It’s slow progress, but over the last few years more brands and retailers have started to visibly embrace more inclusive age narratives, by representing their customers at all stages of life. Take H&M, who recently announced a collaboration with style icon and centenarian Iris Apfel or Australia’s own Camilla and Marc who have appointed 56-year-old Paulina Porizkova as the muse for their most recent Resort 22 campaign. Hopefully other brands will follow their lead and as Camilla Freeman-Topper (Creative Director of Camilla and Marc) said, “to create opportunities for women to feel represented whatever their age may be.”

I see the distinct lack of visibility of women my age looking their age, proudly and beautifully. And this is the gap I’m stepping into: not to shame women who refuse to age, but to offer an alternative. Self-acceptance is, after all, the one thing age has over youth.”
– Paulina Porizkova

Aging gratefully,
The MEAx Team

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