[F] Being Forty #AtoZChallenge

The year that went by has been my fortieth on this planet. When the birthday came, it was like all other birthdays. I didn’t feel any earth shattering change or any moment of epiphany, revealing the mysteries of life. It came and went. I turned forty. That was about it. Nothing else. Was I supposed to feel any different? Was it a kind of a milestone for me? Should I have felt any different ? Because I didn’t.

Going by numerous womens’ magazines, I should have felt panicky. The magazines and the many advertisements within the pages scream at us that forty is a big landmark in our lives, specially womens’ lives. Forty is when wrinkles start creeping in on you like scary zombies closing in you. Forty is when the skin starts to sag. Forty is when the face changes. When your physique changes. When everything that was once pert, changes, and in not a good way. In short, you are told that forty is when “YOU”start to sag! Phew! Sounds like life is over at forty. Specifically for women. Because youth, a woman’s all encompassing jewel, is gone.

If any of the men who are reading these lines is shaking his head and sneering , finding the topic frivolous; then please open any women’s magazine, and start flipping through the pages. “How to look younger” is the undercurrent that is passing through the pages. Did you feel it? The current? Well, this current electrocutes the female mind, sending it neurotic messages about desperately trying to look younger than one’s age. The current tells the female mind that she is past her prime and everything will go downhill from now on. There. The purpose of the advertisements and the articles has been achieved. It has been drilled into her mind that her boyfriend/husband will lose interest in her and start looking elsewhere if she doesn’t purchase the wonder creams and the various elixirs to look younger. The poor ol’ girl has been robbed of her happiness and joy, and has become almost obsessed with ageing. Sad.

If we look back, this enormous pressure to look younger was not there till about twenty five years ago. The economic liberalisation was initiated in 1991. Then came the onslaught of Satellite television. Almost behind it’s footsteps came the cosmetic giants, and the Indian market was swamped by foreign products. For a few consecutive years, we won the crowns for Miss Universe, Miss World, Miss Asia Pacific and many other such titles. Ever wondered why? And thereafter, gradually the emphasis on appearances and looks increased. It’s a booming “good looks” industry now, with an over emphasis on the desire to stop ageing. Unhealthy.

Coming back to my entering the roaring forties. As I said earlier, the concept of it being any kind of a life altering milestone, failed to make an impression on me. Admittedly, I have moved on to the heavier side of the scales. After all the serious talk in the paragraphs above, I want to lighten the atmosphere. You are welcome to eavesdrop on a conversation I had with my better half the other day.

Me : I look bloated.
Him : It’s because of the medicines that you are taking nowadays for the slipped disc.
Me : Right now, I am the heaviest that I have ever been.
Him : Come on! You look absolutely fine .
Me : It’s all because of you.
Him : What did I do now?
Me: You were on leave from office and we ate stuffed paranthas daily for breakfast, for twenty days.
Him : Eat and enjoy all this food till we can, in good health.
Me : But I am not used to being this “HEALTHY”.
Him : It just means there is more of you.

Awwww…On a lighter note, now you know why the entry into the forties failed to make any kind of impact on me, whatsoever.

But isn’t it about time now that we started questioning this obsession with age and looks? If one stays healthy enough to enjoy life, all stages and ages are fine. Let’s shift our collective focus from ” Looking younger ” to ” Gaining good health “.  Here’s hoping that all the forty plus women out there stop obsessing about looking younger. To the ladies out there who ask others “What’s your age? “- How about asking ” What’s your health status? ”

Author: Sapna Dhyani

I am Sapna Dhyani. I write about everything that crosses my mind. I write about life as I see it and like to infuse humour into my blogs. I belong to Dehradun but now live in a new city after every two years, being an army wife. This uprooting of base every couple of years, setting up a new home in a new place, meeting new people and forging new friendships, exploring new cities; all this ensures that I go through and am blessed with a myriad of experiences.

2 thoughts on “[F] Being Forty #AtoZChallenge”

  1. A very valid point! It really is annoying how we all fuss over irrelevant topics like age, weight, appearances, rather than health, happiness. Rather than purchase an anti-ageing cream, let;s instead opt for a moisturizer that saves skin from sun damage and dryness etc.
    I absolutely loved reading this wonderful and sensible post.

    Like

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