I Am Not Getting More Beautiful With Age–I’m Getting More Anti-Patriarchal

There is a piece floating around on Facebook saying women get more beautiful with age. The woman shown–old and naked–is indeed beautiful. Also white, skinny, and long-haired. I’m sure she was quite beautiful when young, too.
I understand the urge to go against the convention of youth and beauty. However, this continues to annoy me, because once again women are judged by, exhorted about, and limited to…beauty.
I’m not beautiful if we are talking about societal standards. And what other standards can there possibly be? There is no abstract notion of beauty (if you believe there is you just aren’t seeing your own cultural bias.) Women–people–may get wiser with age, or more tolerant, or more creative–but trust me, this is not a given. I’ve cared for parents, in-laws, hospice patients, and friends. None of them seemed automatically improved by age.
And if we are talking about inner beauty (which frankly age might improve or diminish, no guarantees) then why am I looking at a naked woman?
Well, the one thing increasing age has brought me: a stronger desire to not be objectified. To not be reduced to my body or “beauty.” To fight patriarchy wherever I encounter it.
I know this can’t go on forever. Eventually age–and its compatriot, death–will get me. And although I hope it is true, I’m not creating a meme that says “Women get more feminist with age.” At least not one with me naked.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Miriam Sagan. Bookmark the permalink.

About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well (https://miriamswell.wordpress.com). The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

3 thoughts on “I Am Not Getting More Beautiful With Age–I’m Getting More Anti-Patriarchal

  1. Miriam, I have always thought of myself as a feminist, but the last few years have truly awakened me. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to channel this productively, so I’m mostly just a bubbling pot of rage.

  2. I appreciate the way you write about a wide variety of topics and provide alternative perspectives. I look forward to seeing what you will come up with next.

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