This summer I was in a department store looking for moisturizer. I was in London, in search of Boots No. 7, which came highly recommended. Standing in front over an overwhelming product assortment I asked the well made up sales clerk for help. She explained the brand came in 3 versions (I paraphrase):
1. Dewey new skin ages up to 25
2. Slightly older skin that needs some TLC from 25-35
3. Mature skin which encompasses everyone over 35
I fell into the last category. As do many, if not most women. I wondered how the vast majority of woman of women, from 35 to as long as someone is willing and able to purchase moisturizer, could possibly be clumped together.
The reality is because we don't really count. Not to project developers. Not to advertisers. Not to marketers.
Instead of feeling comfortable in our normally aging skin we're made to both regret that we're not young anymore while trying our damnedest to look like we are.
We're sold goods that claim to be age defying! wrinkle reducing! fine line erasing! as if those superficial effects could wipe out where we are in our lives. By categorizing all women over 35 together we're not so subtly being told that we're not important enough to address individually. Only by mimicking youth will we be acknowledged and provided for.
While at first glance this doesn't relate directly to menopause (my writing topic of the moment), it sort of does. Menopause is about aging. It's about changing bodies, hormones, even skin. By being sold the message that we should retain youth at all costs, our very aging process is being negated.
I bet if someone came out with menopausal moisturizer, they'd make a fortune. Once we ditch the aging stigma that's so thoroughly ingrained in all of us.