Fountain of Youth FOMO
Last week a lady at the mall tried to sell me an exfoliator for $435 -- she had quite the nerve 😂
Thank you for writing this! Botox has become ubiquitous, which is scary considering there is some research associating it with reduction in empathy.
This reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from psychologist and author Harriet Lerner:
"Our society doesn't promote self-acceptance and it never will. First of all, self-acceptance doesn't sell products. Capitalism would fall if we liked ourselves the way we are now."
Unexpectedly being gifted a lifetime supply of moisturizer in the desert sounds like you found a fountain of something!
I really enjoyed reading this, Michelle! I remember when I lived in LA years ago, I was surprised when I started hearing some of my girlfriends attending "Botox parties." Considering I wasn't 25 years old yet, I wasn't invited. But the idea that looking youthful being associated with brunches began to feel like if I don't do it eventually, I won't be part of the group. Then when I started working at Sephora HQ, I'd get free luxury skincare products frequently, but was hesitant about using them for fear of being dependent on a 5oz moisturizer that costs $150 a bottle.
Now I just get the pure non-brand ingredients that aren't branded, but amazing for my skin. It helps looking past the marketing and the cult.
Intersting reflection. I liked the Fountain of Youth FOMO coined term!
Also, your writing is becoming more lyrical:
“If everyone around me was not obsessed with the lines and creases that come with aging, I don’t think it would have occurred to me to care.”
When I first moved to London, you would’ve thought I’d moved to the desert! My skin was so dry from the hard water. My Aussie roommate even threw out all her make up thinking that was the problem. But it was the water. And after numerous face creams, I finally found one that helped—it turned out to be a jelly like cream that was ironically produced in Canada! Here’s the link (you could prob get it on Amazon in the US): https://www.boots.com/indeed-labs-hydraluron-moisture-jelly-10177191.
Great message though! As someone who hates needles, I don’t see Botox etc in my future so I just hope I age gracefully.
"My acceptance of aging must have put some crazy manifestation into the world. Soon after I came to this conclusion, I was unexpectedly gifted a lifetime supply of cleanser and lotion." -- well put, Michelle! Sometimes the whole universe conspires to make sure we get what we need, when we need it. But this time it seems like the opposite. Your "playing hard to get" with aging awareness has played its magic lol! Very nice essay, I really enjoyed it. And the underlying message is powerful.
What a great reminder to focus on what matters and the rest will take care of itself (life receiving that lifetime supply 🤣). All with you on this pro-aging movement and embracing the wrinkles!
Yuss!! Ageing/old age is a natural process, why to bother it? In early buddhist teachings, monks/nuns used to recollect "we are subject to ageing and not exempt from ageing", it helps them to NOT to intoxicate with youth. Thanks for the reminder, I'll probably end up saving a few bucks now.
I have been thinking so much about pro-aging. This is a great honest piece. Sometimes I wonder if I am pro-aging because, in conventional standards, I am aging well. I'm from filipino descent and wrinkles don't tend come as quickly as others. I also have a thin body, thanks to genetics. I often ask myself, would I feel the same way if my body naturally went "south" with aging?
Really thoughtful perspective here Michelle. Thanks for sharing it! My generation is hitting 40 now, and so many people I know are obsessed with skin care. I think your take and reasoning are offer a refreshing alternative. I personally like the way aging well looks. I shock of grey hair and smile lines that suggest a generally happy disposition, reveal the wisdom and and experience we accumulate over time :)
Fountain of Youth FOMO - LOLL
Also - being suddenly gifted a lifetime supply of cleanser is pretty wild. The older I get the more I kinda believe in a weird sort of karmic mysticism - or like coincidences that are perfectly rational, but are better experienced as like "mystic wonder" - enjoyed ya piece!
Hi Michelle, I wrote a piece on aging and mentioned your piece in it! I believe I'm a bit older than you and I also have a daughter. It's a different perspective but I think it could resonate. https://stephaniecooley.substack.com/p/i-dont-want-to-grow-old
Great piece, Michelle! A really good execution on taking your personal perspective to make a social observation.
A reframe I have about gray hairs and other signs of aging: we should be so lucky for each of those gray hairs; not everyone lives long enough to enjoy them.
I was wondering if you were going to mention the elixir that creates beautiful, healthy, elastic, youthful skin. There were some glimmers, some potential avenues, but I couldn't see it in the end!