Aging with Style

Posted: August 22, 2011 in aging, beauty, style

Someone has managed to put a dollar figure to the vanity of the Baby Boomers, says the NYTimes today:

The market research firm Global Industry Analysts projects that a boomer-fueled consumer base, “seeking to keep the dreaded signs of aging at bay,” will push the U.S. market for anti-aging products from about $80 billion now to more than $114 billion by 2015.

That’s a chunk of change, especially if it gets spent on of snake-oil — and there’s LOTS of snake oil out there, as anyone who watches cable television advertisements can attest. Fortunately, the experts quoted by the Times extol the old basics:

“Our culture places great value on staying young, but aging is normal,” the [National Institute on Aging] says. “Despite claims about pills or treatments that lead to endless youth, no treatments have been proven to slow or reverse the aging process.”

Its advice for aging well is basic: Eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, don’t smoke.

“If someone is promising you today that you can slow, stop or reverse aging, they’re likely trying hard to separate you from your money,” said S. Jay Olshansky, a professor at the University of Illinois-Chicago’s School of Public Health who has written extensively about aging.

“It’s always the same message: ‘Aging is your fault and we’ve got the cure,'” Olshansky said. “Invest in yourself, in the simple things we know work. Get a good pair of running or walking shoes and a health club membership, and eat more fruits and vegetables.”

I reject the notion that aging is a pathology that can somehow be cured. It’s okay to use hormone therapy or even a little botox if it really makes us feel better, but we have to get over the idea that growing older makes us less. Less useful, less admirable, less human. What about wisdom, experience, life skills, friendships? They all grow stronger and deeper with time. I feel richer every day.

Come on, Boomers! Let’s show ’em how it’s done! Let’s be nothing but fabulous, regardless of our condition!

  1. Mizz D says:

    Yes. Yes. And Hell, yes! Let’s not dig in our heels and refuse to embrace what we should really be celebrating: gettin’ older, wiser, more confident, peaceful, happier!!!!

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