The ‘Anti-ageing: the Determination to Freeze Time’ article is one of our online ISSUE segments, head to THE GLACIAL ISSUE for the complete editorial and the complete set of images
A collective fixation on preventing ageing has evolved into a boundless obsession, especially when it comes to appearance. Anti-ageing has been a concept fueling sales in the beauty industry since the 1980s. The list of brands implicitly creating shameful connotations surrounding the term is endless, as they passionately promote anti-ageing skincare and makeup designed to ‘erase’ wrinkles. The industry feeds this perpetual cycle by instilling fear in the consumer, in the implication there’s something innately wrong with ageing and treating it as if it requires fixing. We spend our time relentlessly attempting to freeze time and hold on to slivers of our youth—but at what cost?
Αn Attempt to Prevent
As we are fed this information, both implicitly and explicitly, we inevitably begin to struggle appreciating our body changing. The precise moment that we witness fine lines appearing, grey hair shining, and skin losing tightness, a mode of panic engulfs us. We turn to the beauty industry to save us and freeze the process. A saga that ageing marks a period of decline is fostered, with the beauty industry promising to combat this through products vouching to turn back time. Society advocates for this, telling us that the surface is all that matters; that beauty comes from the outside rather than vice versa. Thanks to social media and face-editing apps, tweaking our features and perfecting the youthful look are digital tools we have easy access to.
Beauty is equated to youth, yet both terms are far from reaching common ground in their rooted definitions. This underlines the ageist ideologies obscured in our society, ones declaring ageing and beauty cannot co-exist. It’s time we ditch the prefix and release the negativity; to focus on self-love, rather than resist age and treat it like a battle.
The truth is that ageing is inevitable but how you embrace this change is entirely up to you. Considering the beauty industry’s long-standing fixation with youthfulness, it’s easy to get caught up in this cycle. It’s easy to forget to love your body; to appreciate all it does for you as well as applaud yourself for your profound resilience throughout this journey.
Part of the struggle to accept ageing stems from the fact that representation is narrow and representation matters. Although limited in number, age-positive brands are gradually making their way to the surface, in an attempt to change our perception on the matter. Skin-care brand Ayuna avidly supports the process of ageing, replacing the prefix of ‘Anti Aging’ with ‘Well Aging’. The brand exercises what it calls ‘mindful beauty’, emphasising the positive correlation between mind and body in achieving self-love and ameliorating our relationship of beauty and ageing. The brand encourages us to embrace this process as a natural part of one’s journey, rather than focus on mitigating signs of growing old.
It’s time that we begin to let go of our tenacious efforts to hold on to our younger selves as age-positive brands such as Ayuna gain momentum. Fixating our energy on freezing time is a fruitless effort, when there’s so much more to life than the wrinkle on our forehead or the fine line under our chin.
It’s time we practice self-love and let life unfold on its own.
Written by Stella Georghiou
Visit the THE GLACIAL ISSUE for the complete editorial and images