Getting Old Sucks, But it Beats the Alternative

I spent most of my adult life taking photographs of landscapes and people and, since semi-retiring from travelling, have concentrated more on business portraiture. I love the comments people always throw out immediately upon posing, such as, “I hate having my picture taken!”

I empathize with them, for very few of us look as good as we think we do. The biggest factor is of course, our ability to age, without grace and urbanity. I always get a kick out of people asking me to make them look younger and in many cases, thinner. I usually explain that what I can do in Photoshop (and it is a lot) only works for the photo, and does not transfer into reality.

I know, as we get older, we become less sensitive to other people’s feelings, and although I consider myself a very sensitive person, I may carry my cynicism a bit too far. All joking aside though, I am a firm believer that if you don’t like the way you look, simply, quit complaining or do something about it.

Aging is a way of life, and quite frankly I would rather age than not, as the alternative is not an attractive option. The key point, in which I truly believe, is that aging is a way of life, and not something to fear or be embarrassed about.

Sure, my body doesn’t look near as good as it did in my youth, but for the age that I am, it has held up quite well. I think we are constantly inundated with ads and commercials, telling us we should look like a 20 year old. Every time I walk into a hair salon or barber shop I see photographs of people with lots of hair, smooth skin and fantastic bodies. Do I see them out on the streets of Port Perry? I’m sure they are there; Am I just out at the wrong time?

Let’s look at this whole aging thing. General consensus is to do what you can to stay healthy. How you look is only important to you. If you are overweight and OK with it, then live with it. If not, start dieting and exercising more. It is no secret that being substantially overweight will lead to health issues. For me it’s all about quality of life. Chocolate cake and ice cream on a daily basis, apparently, are not part of the prescription.

If you are in that golden era and have wrinkly skin from too much sun and cigarettes in your youth, I’m sorry, but it’s not going away. Facelifts and Botox can’t hide the truth very well, but tell your kids and grandkids not to smoke, or bask constantly in the sun. Oh, and use face creams.

I really think that age is only a number, and would personally like to get rid of the entire concept. No matter what age you turn, it’s never easy. It may not bother you a great deal, but it will have an effect. I hate sayings like, 50 is the new 40, etc. I believe that 50 is a combination of everything you learned and experienced in your fortes, thirties, twenties, teens, and before. It is an age which should give you the benefit of having earned experience from all the years before. The same applies in your sixties, seventies and beyond.

Far too much emphasis is placed on looking younger. Instead we should concentrate on eating well, exercising regularly and being as positive as possible, so that we can enjoy the life we lead, barring any unpredictable circumstances.

I know your image is important if you are listed on EHarmony and Match, but really, do you not want people to like you for what you are instead of a pretender, which could result in emotional distress down the road?

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