Many women, myself included, have dedicated our time to loving and supporting husbands, children, and even grandchildren. Often the life of a wife and mother is accompanied by a career, church, volunteering and at some point caring for elderly parents. It is a life we choose, a life we love BUT…
As we, women, get older our body transitions releasing a new dimension of self. This transition is triggered by menopause. It is not until a woman is post-menopausal, which usually coincides with children moving out and parents moving in, that there is time for introspection and lifestyle adjustments.
As we evaluate where we have been, where we are and where we are going we become very critical of self. Women struggle with personal beauty but not the way the advertisers think but based on how we thought we had cared for ourselves. Baby Boomers know that menopause is coming so we do those things to prepare: eat right, exercise, and have regular medical check-ups but post- menopause still seems to bring unplanned issues.
I have very short hair, I struggle to keep it styled nice so I wear wigs. Having short hair is not the issue the problem is dealing with a receding hairline with short hair. Suddenly, I have begun to notice other women who have short hair and receding hairlines, particularly Black women; these women look beautiful to me however I don’t know what their personal struggle may be. My struggle with beauty is my hair: I do not want to look masculine wearing short natural hairstyles and I don’t always remember to put on make up and wear earrings when I go out.
I have a friend who is over the age of 60 and is naturally a size 3, she has been desperately trying to gain weight, yes gain for a few years now. Most people would say she is the perfect size but to her she is to skinny; that is her struggle with beauty.
I know quite a few women, post-menopausal of course, who once bought clothes to match a new pair of stilettos. These women can still fit the clothing but because of back problems, knee pains or other medical issue cannot wear the high heals. Though they know shoes do not make a person look good they had built a reputation over the years of being fashionable thus after all these years they now have to rethink how they dress.
The struggle with beauty is personal, unique to each individual.
I have noticed that there are women who just let what will be be. There are women who are loosing their hair and they don’t try to hide it. They have problems with bladder leakage and they buy panty-liners and keep on going. There are women who have problems with arthritis, bad backs, to much weight and now choose to wear comfortable shoes and have given away their high heals. These beautiful women have developed a sense of self that has allowed them to redefine what beauty is.
And this is what happens when a woman makes the transition and allows that dormant dimension of self to come forth. She is now free to stop being all things to all people and be all she can be for herself.