I overheard some young girls the other day discussing celebrities. It was the usual tripe that you think is the world at that age and it brought a smile to my face at how innocent it all was. However that changed when they started talking about age…
The youngsters started talking about a specific celebrity, I believe it was Brad Pitt or someone like that and then they started attacking how old he looked. Not just commenting, but really digging in, almost blaming him for not being the pristine, high cheekboned heartthrob he was almost thirty years ago (which ironically was probably before most of these girls were born).
What struck me as rather shocking is that they genuinely seemed to view ageing, or visible ageing, as some sort of disease brought on by neglect or poor lifestyle, and if everybody just took care of themselves then they’d be young forever.
This stayed with me for a while as last year I ran into an old friend of mine who I hadn’t seen in almost 15 years and the first thing that came out of her mouth was “Wow, you look old!”. It was an innocent enough comment and it didn’t bother me as I’m very comfy with how I look, but I had to remind her that not only had 15 years passed and I was now in my 40s and she in her late 30s, but she was visibly older too. While I understand it can be jarring to see someone again after along period of time and how they have succumb to the ravages of age, to still be surprised after more than five seconds is worrying.
People under the age of 25 have to realise that no amount of juicing, vegetables, green tea or exercise is going to stop you getting old. It may slow things down and make you look a bit better by getting rid of a few free radicals (which incidentally, is caused by exercise and oxidation), but it’ll come regardless of what you do.
It’s easy to feel immortal when you are young – hell I was exactly the same at 21, but keeping that attitude will only lead to a life of self doubt and worry when the signs of ageing start to come along.
Just remember, you’re not ill and you’re not doing anything wrong.
You’re just getting old, sport!