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  • Writer's pictureLeah Lair Conner

You are MORE

I didn't watch the Grammys, but I'd have to be literally hiding under a rock, I think, to not know that (as usual) there were some controversial moments throughout the show! One of the "highlights" that's been really sticking with me (and getting TO me, truth be told) is the whole new face that was brought to the party by Madonna. She's been known, since the very start of her career, to do things very differently (understatement), and often simply to GET a strong reaction or make waves. "If they call you shocking, scandalous, problematic, provocative, or dangerous, you are definitely onto something," is a direct quote from her from Sunday's show.

So, I'm now sort of trying to decide if I think her "new face" was even real, or if it was just another in a long line of marketing stunts, at which she has proven herself quite successful and effective (like her or not, she has kept herself STRONG in the entertainment industry game for over four decades, and is still the best-selling female recording artist of all time). Regardless, though, there's something much deeper to look at here. As a society, we are just about as brutal on the AGING female as we are on the "FAT" female. It used to be that aging females were not only seen as beautiful and wise, but they were heralded as light-bearers and way-makers for everyone (children, other women, and even <gasp!> men). These days, though, it seems like older women have to fight even harder than when they were younger to prove themselves "worthy" in a sometimes cruel world that caters to youth and "beauty" above all else. Chances are, even the skincare products that you pay god knows how much for are screaming at you every time you reach for them - ANTI-AGING, WRINKLE DEFENSE, etc. DON'T GET OLD! It's awful and you should do whatever to avoid it, put it off, hide from it! Honestly, I have fallen into the whole game quite nicely. For years (many, many years), I have claimed to be having my 29th birthday (AGAIN!) with a big smile and chuckle. God forbid I embrace being 49 - even though it's just so. much. better. than being 29 was for me. For real. I have been absolutely GIDDY when people tell me I don't look my age. I have spent ridiculous amounts of money on creams and masks and treatments and botox to try to stop the hands of time from marching across my outer shell. Why? I can promise you that it has had much more to do with how I want to be seen by others than it does how I see myself. In the process, though, I'm telling myself that what my body is doing naturally, and has been doing since the day I was born, is unacceptable and ugly. For me, my struggle was always with my weight and wanting to look a certain way to be considered beautiful, sexy, thin, etc. Fast forward to finally starting to accept my physical body as the miraculous vessel it is (only in the last handful of years), and boom! Now I look in that mirror and see the turkey neck, the laugh lines, the forehead lines, the sagging skin from years of losing and gaining so. much. weight. Quick! Fix it! Get botox every couple of months. Buy more products for "aging, sagging" skin. Find the right undergarments to hold in all that ugly. Y'all. Seriously. I can't do it any more. And none of us should do it, period. It's all a racket, and the more we succumb to society's idea of how and what a woman should be by constantly dishing out cash to each and every new "fix" for something not broken? Well, we're simply being part of the problem. Be gentle with yourselves, ladies. YOU are the only one who has to live with your body every single day of your life. Yours is the only opinion that matters, truly, and when you're telling yourself how you "should" look, who are you doing it for? If it's for you - if you're wanting to be healthier for better living or smoother longevity - that's great. If it's to meet the demands of a world that screams at you to remind you that you're not good enough, just stop. Jump off the merry-go-round and scream back that you're MORE. #lovealwayswins

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