Anti-Aging: A Timeless Illusion

May 6, 2017 Krista Hager

As Moms oftentimes we do not feel like “enough.”  It seems no matter how much we give to our family, to our partners, to ourselves, we are always needing more.  More money… More time… More organization… More patience… More exercise…  Even more youth (because apparently aging backwards is a “thing” now)… Just more.  I cannot recall a day when my heavy head lay on a pillow, and I did not feel like a partial failure in at least one aspect of my life.  And self-care… it always comes with a heavy hand of guilt (self-induced.  My husband is honestly completely incredible when it comes to giving me the time and space for this).


However, it’s not just as a Mom that I feel this burden, but also as a woman.  You go to a spa for a “special treat” and leave feeling like you somehow will need to figure out a way to budget in for botox, micropeels, hydrofacials, and whatever the hell else is supposed to somehow magically make me look in my prime again.  It’s true.  I want it all. But then where do I (we) draw the line?  How do we keep not only a healthy body image, but also a healthy “aging” image of ourselves?  


You hear of mommy makeovers… which is apparently no longer when someone teaches you makeup application and restyles you.  No. Now a makeover involves Frankenstein cutting magic where you suck back in those unfair tummy skin bags—an unwelcome hostess gift for growing that adorable-screaming human, and prop back up the deflated tube socks— because you can’t leave this child rearing party without this awesome party favor!  


Tempted… always tempted… My tantalizing thoughts escape to a place where experts tuck my entire body back into place, pull, scrape, and paralyze the evidence of time.  A Hail Mary pass to cover up the fact that for awhile now I have been old enough for my favorite sitcoms growing up to now dominate the nick-at-nite airwaves.


I am not dissing the practice, or anyone that chooses to get “procedures” to make them feel beautiful again.  If I did, I would be beyond hypocritical.  Because truthfully, as much as it pains me to admit it… Hypothetically, if I had trees that actually grew money in my front yard there is a solid chance a med spa and plastic surgeon would be on my speed dial (well if speed dial was even a thing anymore—of course like I mentioned before, apparently I am aging).  


Well, and on that note, if we are being honest, if I had trees that grew money, there is actually a very sad chance I would kill them before harvest, as I commit involuntary manslaughter on all that is green.  


And secondly, if I had trees that actually grew money, I do hope I would tackle homelessness, cancer, mental health, racism, any “ism,” and world hunger before calling up that re-beautifcation surgical team.  But then y’all… After solving all that…(wink) then of course, I would magically look twenty again but with the “wisdom” (cue: hysterical laughter) I have now. 


And let’s be honest… When your days are spent not so glamorously cleaning up spittle, and your hair hasn’t been washed in (hell if I know), it DOES feel nice to do something for yourself and FEEL beautiful.


However, that doesn’t mean I don’t resent it.  It doesn’t mean I don’t reject this world that is always telling me to take 10 years off my face, push my boobs back up, tuck here, nip there.  After we have exhausted all natural beautifiers such as healthy diets and exercise, still we seek more.  We chase magical unicorns and a fountain of youth.  This begs the question though… When is enough, enough?


I am not old, but I am an oldish mom (by some people’s standards) for having very young children.  And sometimes it makes me paranoid that my daughter will look at me and just see a Mom, and not a person.  I had a young Mom, and I loved it.  She was/is beautiful, fun, and energetic. I calculate the years I will be when my daughter graduates from high school, and I literally get a panic attack when I compare myself to how young my Mom was when I graduated from high school. Is this fight to chase anti-aging “miracles” an attempt to defy our own mortality?


“Reverse aging.”  This is a term I hear often in terms of cosmetic procedures.  Really?  I wasn’t aware that, that was exactly possible.  Because no matter how amazing our skin is, our internal organs will inevitably age.  Damn it.


I lose fat.  I gain muscle.  I gift my body health.  And then I kick box the shit out of body image issues left and right.  This year, I was excited (don’t shoot me. please understand this was a first for me) to go swimsuit shopping.  And then I “realized” “it.”  I am wrinkly, aging, and I have loose tummy skin no amount of sit-ups will fix.   Just learn to be happy with yourself seriously.   So I think I am there.  Enough is enough.  I am so over it world. STFU little mean voice in my head. Peace out beauty standards.  (ROAR)