A modern society comes with modern pressures, not least of all the pressure to stay youthful. It’s not a modern concept, people have always endeavoured to remain young as they grow old. The difference is that in an age of social media, celebrity and filters, the pressures of ageing are that much greater.
Last week the much awaited Barbie film was released and as expected, it seems to have divided the internet. There have been many discussions had, not least of all the unrealistic beauty standards in today’s society.
The Pressures of Ageing
Barbie recently turned 83 and has been a doll that little girls across the world aspired to have and be like. She looks pretty good for 83 , right? But even asking that question shows that as a woman who grew up in the 80s and 90s, it’s been driven home to me, that the younger you look, the better.
We don’t have the time to deep dive into the topic and unpack why society pushes this message, but we all know it’s there. Filters, perfect social media posts, celebrities who never age, mainstream media, it all contributes to reinforcing this message. As adults this is detrimental to our mental health, let alone to the children growing up seeing and hearing this message.
It’s unrealistic to think that at 83 years old, anyone would retain that youthful, dewy, fresh faced appearance. I really want to know why looking your age is such a bad thing? Every line is a memory of countless hours laughing, of a life that has been lived. Yes, some will be painful and perhaps rather forgotten, but we are the sum of our experiences. We are the result of a story that is years in the making, and that is beautiful whether it is etched in our skin, painted on our hair or sat on our hips.
Growing old should not be a stigma, it happens to everyone, it is actually unavoidable and this relentless pressure to drink from the fountain of youth just gives our confidence, self-esteem and self-worth knock after knock.
Showing Your Age
Looking your age and embracing it can never be a bad thing. In fact learning to love who you are is vital to having a healthy mind. Self awareness is not just about understanding the real you, but being happy with that person, loving every facet.
With this comes incredible confidence, knowing our self-worth and boosting our self-esteem. Ditching the filters and just being us not only benefits us, it benefits younger generations in demonstrating that beauty is not about looking perfect, being thin and youthful. Beauty is whole heartedly loving who you are and embracing them.
Lottie is a company that was born out of frustration when brothers Chris and Will Donnelly were searching for a care home for their grandmother. We will be talking more with Chris in the coming weeks about mental health as we grow older and the challenges that impact that, keep an eye on our Wellness & Self-Care section for that.. However, Lottie have some rather sage advice regarding growing old gracefully and Barbie plays a part!
Lottie thought that despite Barbie being 83 years old, she wasn’t representing her generation fully, and so with a little technological magic, they gave her and Ken a make over and we are smitten!
What Showing Our Age Can Do
Lottie put together the top 5 ways in which representing older generations can have a positive impact on our society. In turn, benefiting the mental health of everyone, reducing those pressures, reinforcing connections and being inclusive of everyone!
1. Timeless Beauty
Lottie’s age-friendly Barbie highlights the beauty of growing old. The lines on one’s face or the grey hairs that start to show are a testament to the wisdom gained, memories created, and the laughter shared from a fulfilled life as we age.
2. Life’s Wisdom
As we age, we gather a wealth of wisdom and knowledge, gained through life diverse experiences and challenges. Embracing age means embracing the lessons learned and the growth achieved and the plenty of life lessons to be shared with younger generations.
3. Resilience and Adaptability
Each of us follows a path unique to us and learns to navigate life’s ups and downs, becoming more resilient and adaptable. Aging empowers individuals to face challenges with grace and strength.
Having greater representation of older generations in the media shows younger generations there’s plenty to look forward to as you grow older.
4. The Importance of Relationships
Throughout our lives we all develop meaningful relationships, from connections with family, friends, and your local community. An age-friendly Barbie can encourage intergenerational friendship and encourage connections to form across different generations.
5. Varied Representation of Age
Society plays a vital role in shaping perceptions, attitudes, and cultural norms. Younger generations need to witness the beauty and strength that comes with ageing, breaking away from the stereotypes that have long confined older individuals to limited roles in narratives. By embracing age-positive initiatives like Lottie’s age-friendly Barbie, we can create a more compassionate, inclusive, and age-friendly society.