January 27, 2012

Aging Gracefully with Writing



This week's beauty is Kathryn Magendie who is 54 years old. Aside from being an author, and Publishing Editor of Rose & Thorn Journal, Kathryn has written four books, with her fifth due out this spring.

Kathryn also has a great blog where I found this wonderful piece of hers on aging:


"I flip through a magazine and realize it’s no longer strange to see clever ads for Botox and plastic surgery, the ones that make the decision seem a smart and savvy one for the up and coming woman of distinction. Why are we so hooked on “Beauty” and who started all this madness?


Well, let’s see. In ancient Babylon, not only the women but also the men wore eye shadow and eyeliner, darkened their lashes, curled their hair, and used henna for nail color. Ancient Grecian woman used crushed berries for blush on their cheeks, and wore fake eyebrows made of ox’s hair. The Egyptians slathered blue paint to show off their veins. Those girly Roman women made facial masks out of flowers, honey, wheat, and eggs; hey, that’s not so bad! But Medieval women applied bat’s blood to their faces (good god), while both men and women used pumice stones to rub their teeth (ouch). Beginning with the sixteenth century, women applied white lead to their faces so they could look “pale” (lord help them) and used lye to lighten their hair, which then fell out so that wigs had to be worn to cover the patchy hair/scalp results.



I study my image in the mirror and try not to be so demanding of my face and body—and yes, I’ll apply a little make-up, some moisturizers, zap a little razz-a-ma-taz to the face and hair, work out with weights and do yoga and aerobic activity, watch what I eat. But really, I’m not so bad, am I? A 54 year-old woman who takes care of herself and does not want scalpels or needles plunged into her skin in the name of what some may call Beauty and “Ever-lasting” Youth. I do see the wonders of medical/dermatological sciences so that we can feel better about ourselves, but where does it all end? How far are we willing to go to Deny what is inevitable? We are going to age. Things will happen. When we Over-Youth-a-fy, we lose something of Ourselves, don’t we? The character of ourselves? That which sets us apart and makes us uniquely us? That which makes us interesting. When I look at your faces, I am excited, for I respectfully and happily write about you, the parts of you that show me who you are and where you have been, and the life you have lived. I celebrate you and all your Self.

So when you see me, you’ll see a woman who is her age. Who takes care of herself. But what you won’t see is a woman who is ashamed of who she is at the age she is, for I’m rather tired of being told I should be ashamed and to Do Something About It"







Thank you Kathryn for being this week's beauty.

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12 comments:

  1. This is so beautiful and right on! Where does it all begin? Is it connected to some natural drive to find a mate? Are we conditioned to it? All I know is that by about high school, I think we are just trying to outshine the other girls.... When I let that go is when I became a woman. I am proud of my wrinkles and grey hairs. I made the decision not to color a long time ago because I didn't want to lock myself into a lifetime of pouring chemicals on my head just to someday look like a ridiculous old lady. I used to exercise to Jane Fonda and Jazzercise until I realized they went under the knife. Now I walk and run because it gives me energy and I want to be fit - not because I have some notion that if I do I will suddenly look like a model. What you see is what you get! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for reading, Jane!

      You know, if we suddenly turned into models, we'd then spend most our waking moments worrying about losing our "beauty" and skinniness - no thanks! I'd rather not obssseesssesss over a piece of cheesecake :-D

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  2. This whole conversation makes me wonder what other crazy things we have been doing throughout history. What women have done to their bodies and minds over time to be excepted and loved, I guess, is no more outrageous than some of the things we have done to the earth. Like take those white plastic bags from the supermarket for instance. When we finally woke-up up to the fact that we bring home a slew of unnecessary bags every time we shop that end up out in the middle of the ocean, or in some dump, everyone was suddenly like "oh right! This is really stupid." It's just about becoming more conscious about what we are doing- to the earth, to our bodies, and about the thoughts that we are feeding ourselves about beauty.

    Beauty is different at each stage of life.

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    1. The corset . . .

      Wearing shoes a size (or more) too small

      or recently something disturbing: women taking off a toe to fit into shoes -omg!

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    2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts....I have not colored my hair for 20 years, and I get compliments for it. Lian

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  3. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder who I'm looking at after seeing someone much different for at least 50 of these 64 years! However, like you I have decided to continue in my usual regimen of keeping neat, clean and light makeup for my public (which is everyone)and me. I find that respect for myself has to include an attempt to look attractive enough to not scare folks off!!

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    1. I don't see anything wrong with make up and hair color and clothing, shoes, et cetera, that make us feel good about ourselves. I just get the "ewwws" when we turn into caracatures of ourselves through surgery and plumper up'ers and such . . . lawd!

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  4. Replies
    1. *smiling warmly* thank you for reading . . .

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  5. Just wonderful. I needed this today.

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  6. Morning, Kass - *smiling* thank you!

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  7. You rarely see beautiful people age gracefully, congratulations.

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