Bien dans sa peau, translates as being ‘well in her skin’.
This popular French expression relates to women, not to health and describes a general state of being rather than anyone specific female feature.
Ageing is a privilege, it is about so much more than how we look and while official channels, magazines, press and much of the online world, focus on ways we can look “younger” it is simply not the answer. It never was and never will be.
Women who get it right, who understand beauty is not about age, are comfortable with their own image and oftentimes blessed with self-confidence. We can recognise and accept beauty should come from within, we really do know beauty is about so much more, but it is sometimes challenging.
Will the people who don’t know me recognize that I have beauty within?
Will they judge my slightly flabby middle, those extra pounds that won’t disappear? And the soft jawline? That’s a giveaway.
So what is the answer? How can we find our inner confidence and become the woman we want to be?
There are the obvious ways – cosmetic surgery, beauty treatments and all the aids in between.
So many new machines and techniques have been developed in the last few years that promise to rejuvenate, re-texture, re-surface, tighten and tweak the face and the body. I don’t know if all these treatments live up to their promises and I don’t know if having these surgeries or procedures does provide you with the coveted beauty that we yearn for.
This interests me – I call it, ‘the fork in the road’ years. It is a time in my life where suddenly I don’t look the same as I did before and I need to re-define my style. The face in the mirror looking back at me is a stranger and it is time to rethink the wardrobe, the hair and in reality, the whole package. It’s that same day when your daughter walks out the door in your best pair of heels or your favourite bracelet and you realize that the pleasure is all in the giving not in the wearing.
How far to go? Which road to take?
I haven’t chosen my path and I think in a way that is a choice in itself. To follow a schedule of appointments in my quest for beauty makes me nervous. I am not yet convinced that invasive treatments will make me “younger”, prettier or even happier. They most likely will help but cannot be the sole solution because even the most ‘beautiful’ and most ‘perfect’ women can often time be without magic.
And then there are the less obvious ways to face the onslaught of age.
We could find ourselves a younger, much younger lover. This is not for every woman but maybe the point is this – happy in love is happy in mind and happy radiates through, whatever the age. I like to think there is a reason so many younger men are seeking the company of older women; experience and wisdom must be the new aphrodisiac. More and more frequently in a youth-obsessed world, the advantages of age are being revered rather than rejected. This should put a smile on our ageing faces.
Or we could focus on our personal style, our unique signature. Why categorise ourselves? ‘I am a grandmother, therefore, I should dress like a grandmother‘ kind of mentality. Women are women first – then they are girlfriends, partners, mothers or grandmothers afterwards. Let’s stay true to us.
It is very simple if we want it to be.
The ultimate beauty secret, regardless of age, is contentment. Contentment comes from within.
Feeling fabulous requires a mix of ingredients – a healthy body, a stimulated mind, a spiritual peace and an emotional well being – and all of this must start with us; we cannot buy it and nor can someone else do the work for us. Self-confidence is what the outside world sees. Physical imperfections disappear with the confident woman; her inner beauty and intelligence shine through.
How to traverse the coming years?
Equal parts self-confidence and happiness, a generous splash of love, more lavish underwear and a dash of beauty technology/ therapy thrown in.
We are in this together, xv.