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The Ageing Paradox - What does it mean to age gracefully?

What does ageing gracefully actually mean? This term is often thrown about, rather flippantly one might say, by those who feel compelled to tell us what we should and shouldn't do with our faces.


Ageing gracefully is often used as an euphemism for 'looking old' or 'one's age' - or even ' showing the signs of ageing, but perhaps not caring'???

Ageing gracefully is a strange concept, especially when it comes to women. Society generally requires us to look at least 3 to 5 years younger than we actually are - all whilst not appearing to have done anything to get that way!

We are expected to walk the tightrope between a youth-obsessed society, which tells us that our worth declines as we age, and a culture that says nothing is as un-chic as desperation... that burning desire for eternal youth!


Society has led us to believe that youthfulness is the ticket to remaining relevant, but then on the flip side, the Karen's (and Kens) of the world shame us for our efforts?

Simply put, the person who ages without thought to their appearance is written off as 'having given up' and yet the one who's face remains 35 forever, thanks to an aesthetic physician, is considered a joke. It would seem that the only acceptable way to look good is to have incredible genes... or to disguise our tweaks with a mastered smile

Its all so exhausting - there has to be a happy medium!

Ageing gracefully does not have to mean accepting wrinkles and grey hair and learning to love them (...gasp!) Ageing gracefully should mean 'paying attention to looking and feeling the best that we can, at any given age' - And this will mean different things for different people!

Ageing gracefully could easily mean....

  • Simply being healthy and feeling happy

  • Being confident with our appearance - rocking our look in whatever form that may take.

  • Feeling like our outside appearance is harmonious with how we feel on the inside.

Everyone is different!

Ok, ageing is a fact of life, we cannot avoid it and nor should we try to, and there are loads of things that we do to make ourselves look (and feel) our best - such as dyeing our har, putting on make up... and having cosmetic injectables! These are all just examples of self care, or, as my sister likes to put it "maintenance'.

The aim of ageing gracefully should be looking and feeling the best version of you at any given age, whilst still looking natural and identifiable as YOU - and if this means tweaks to your appearance, so be it!

Dr Sophie Gaskell

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