Where do I begin to express the beauty of age?
Why do people say "Eeerk!" when a man has a few wrinkles?
Why do we admire eroded mountains and gorges and old scarred trees and criticise humans who don't have smooth skin? The obsession with perfect youthful appearance in humans is beyond my understanding. I don't seek to conform to the cosmetic companies indoctrination of our senses with their ideal of beauty. When we take a camera or sketchbook into a forest, we chose to use them to captured a work of nature's art, the tree that shows the character of age.
I know, I've always been out of step with popular opinion. I'm granting Mick Jagger the assumption that his mature years and past has given him wisdom - wisdom to plan for a healthy child, and how he did that is none of my business. Am I the only one to see seventy-two as an age where wise decisions can be made?
Am I alone in seeing Mike Jagger's face as every bit as attractive as everyone else's face?
I find every face that expresses character attractive. But, I'm just a mad artist because I see beauty in age.
I'm about to turn seventy. I'm looking forward to it.
Must ageism be the reality of what I'll experience?
Will people younger than me judge my right to make decisions for myself, as they are judging Mick Jagger today?
Will they make rude remarks if my face has wrinkles? Those that judge people on external features are still too immature to know what beauty is. Fortunately, ageist attitudes generally dissipate along with teenage angst. Those who cling to ageist attitudes through mid-life—I can't imagine how they must suffer from their own discrimination as it turns within and stops them from finding joy in planning a positive future.
To be an ageist is to discriminate against yourself. That's an insidious force to allow into your mind.
Ageism won't hurt me. I doubt that I'll notice being treated differently when I become a Septuagenarian in two weeks time. I am looking forward to it.
Australian Rural-lit and historical fiction author and artistRyn Shell