"I think your whole life shows in your face
and you should be proud of that."
As women, we have been valued for our beauty and sexual appeal. What has become apparent to me as I look at my own aging image, is how much I have internalized the media's objectification of women. In other words I, too, have valued myself for my beauty and sexual appeal. How is it I can feel better than ever about myself and then glimpse in the mirror with disappointment as I glance at my naturally aging face.
How we see ourselves mirrored in the culture impacts us. I remember when African Americans were portrayed in the media as either servants or criminals. During The Sixties we began to hear “Black is Beautiful.” African Americans began wearing the magnificent colors of their African heritage and letting their hair go natural. They claimed their own beauty and the media followed.
I made this collage of photos of naturally aging women. It reminds me of the beauty that comes with age. A beauty the media chooses not to acknowledge. Vanessa Redgrave, Charlotte Rampling, Judi Dench and Maggie Smith's naturally aging faces reflect their life journeys.
Just as my face, reflects my life journey. It reflects the hard inner work I have done and continue to do on myself. It reflects my history. Each time I now glimpse in the mirror and react with disappointment, my silent and out loud mantra is: “I Wear My History Proudly!” Let us all “Wear Our Histories Proudly.”