Not all aging is bad. Not in the slightest.
Check this out: It’s called 11 Yearbook Photos that Musicians Wish We’d Never Seen. It’ll take a few minutes. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Wasn’t that something? Of course, it’s perfectly acceptable—funny, but in a alls-well-that-ends-well kind of way—to have been a major dorkasaurous in high school, as long as you put that phase squarely behind you and emerged, if not Prince or Tina Turner, at least a semi-presentable person who can walk from her car to the Dunkin’ Donuts without getting teased by a pack of snarky middle school kids. These celebrities only got better with age, puberty, money, fame and personal stylists.
So why is it assumed that from the Formerly years that it’s all downhill? Isn’t it possible that like the celebrities in these school pictures, the Formerly years are merely an awkward phase that we will grow out of, and come out of even more content and appealing than before? The idea that what’s on the other side of phase of life is to be feared, dreaded or “defied,” if you use Olay, really sticks in my craw, not that I’m sure what a craw is.
[Meanwhile, I do use all kinds of lotions and potions to defy at least the appearance of aging, even as it pisses me off that I feel I have to do this. Olay makes some good stuff, as do a few others. I’m both irked and grateful, and I hate feeling both of those things at the same time.]
Thinking that way, that what comes next is none too fun, puts at least half the population of the planet in a truly untenable position. Since getting older is inevitable (unless you’re on the die young, stay pretty plan, which always seemed like a raw deal to me), and there’s no compellingly pleasant way to think about the prospect of getting older, or at least not one that is convincingly presenting itself to a wide audience of Formerlies, it’s no wonder some (especially female) Formerlies get a little panicky about what comes next.
Of course, there are plenty of happy older folks out there who have found their balance, so rationally Formerlies know that we’re not just taking a step of a precipice into nothingness. Still, it would just be really nice, if a photo taken today were the “before” picture, we knew that we’d be smiling in the “after” shot.