As curiosity finally overcame me, I loaded a free trial of the FaceApp onto my phone. I had seen a few of my friends posts with the Age filter and wasn’t sure what to think. The thoughts start with just the novelty and amusement, and then develop into the appreciation of their boldness or rather brave public offering of what age will do to them. Then it turns inward, as my psychological mirror takes form.
I was shocked at what I was offered by the App. It was more than a photo.
Of course I chose the most promising photos of myself to test; my vanity getting the better of me - and hoping for the best results. I got them. The face staring back at me was a slight personal shock at first. How immediately ok with it I was. The crows feet and extra lines around my eyes reflected my fathers current eyes - almost exactly. But the questions and disbelief quickly built. I felt ashamed at the idea of sharing it. That it would be boasting. I’ve only recently learned to share physique progress photos and battle the fear of backlash as a braggart. I’ve had to force myself to be true to my belief that sharing progress and personal wins offers inspiration and well deserved congratulations, for everyone. That it’s ok to be openly proud of our achievements which come from our hard work.
But this photo of myself, with an additional 30-40 years wasn’t an accomplishment. I hadn’t done it yet. It was just a guess. One that I questioned the generosity and mercy of. Was this a trick? Is the app designed to be purposefully kind? Then I asked “How do I make this my actual outcome? How can I ensure that I age this well?”
So I get on pinterest. I search for beauty tips from Helen Mirren, Satchel Page, Yazmeenah Rossi, Meryl Streep, Gloria Steinam, Ellen Ector, Eveline Hall; the list goes on. But mixed in with the classic ‘moisturize, drink water, get sleep, don’t wear make-up to bed, protect your skin from the sun,’ are quotes about being a woman in the classification of senior citizen. They speak to the empowerment of their age. How they learned to stop giving a shit, enjoy life, not worry so much about fitting in or what other people think beauty is. They speak of being bold, brave, passionate, loud, unapologetic and finding inner strength.
And that’s where true beauty comes from in a woman. It has always come from the inside. I know plenty of young women with insecurity, self hate, and pathetic attitudes that ‘show their ugly,’ no matter how smooth their skin, how flawless their body, how much they preen and primp. And I know the old women with laugh lines that have been earned, only to find further improvement with use.
So I look again at my own photo and see the fierce self that I’ve worked so hard to become today, shine through the App filter. I still classify myself as a late bloomer. I look at old photos and can still see the insecurity; the internal damage I once struggled with and held inside. Being raised by a toxic mother, I feel I was late to the game of learning how to have healthy relationships, how to love myself, how to be healthy, inside and out. These lessons often passed down from mother to daughter. It has provoked my obsession to finding the life hacks. As though I’m trying to play ‘catch up.’ I’ve been obsessed with the Tim Ferris model of 4-hour everything - 4-Hour Work Week, 4-Hour Body, 4-Hour Chef.
So I think: Can we have 4-Hour Abuse Recovery? 4-Hour Neofeminism? 4-Hour Parenting? 4-Hour Wisdom? Can we condense and effectively share the life style lessons from gorgeous women over 50 and delivery them to younger women? Can we teach young women how to take on the mentality sooner, before the lines begin to develop? Or can we help MORE women age well, by offering them the tips and daily routine for their internal beauty? For the young women who don’t have a Crone in their life. Can we condense the lessons on how to stop giving a shit sooner. How to be passionate sooner. How to love yourself, unapologetically - sooner. How to be brave and bold - sooner.
Or does it take the experience? Must we earn these things? If we learn to laugh harder, earlier in life, will the lines simply show up sooner? A woman earns the status of Crone. But can we help the Maiden and Mother become more powerful in each of their current & respective cycles? Only to prepare them as even more powerful Crones when their time comes; and offering the following generations access to an even broader evolution?
There is clearly an internal beauty routine that needs to implemented, for us to age well. One that needs to be nourished, tended too and handled with care. Can we lay this out for young women to find, use, and explore? Our external beauty of youth can’t stay with us. But unlike our looks that deteriorate with age - our internal beauty has the miraculous potential to develop at any age - and to be enjoyed until the very end. All of us have so much potential to either become or stay beautiful.
Could this app be a Crone in disguise, teaching us a lesson? Is that the life hack it offers? A peek into my current level of internal beauty? If I keep approaching life with passion - is that the key to being beautiful in my old age?