The Student Media Site of William Clarke College

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The Student Media Site of William Clarke College

We Are

The Student Media Site of William Clarke College

We Are

Society Hates Ageing

Taken from Unsplash by Rod Long

The current world that you and I live in is obsessed with this superficial ideology of beauty, youth and a ‘wrinkle-free face’. Cosmetic procedures are carried out to reverse the ‘curse’ of ageing, due to the horrifying revelation of your natural body processes. So much so, that a multi-billion-dollar industry was built upon this notion of disdain and removal of maturing.

Evidently, I see this in my mother who constantly drags her own appearance and comments on any slight sign of age – due to the suppressive standards of beauty that women and men are held to. I imagine you’ve noticed this in your own mothers, fathers and maybe even grandparents; a constant drag on their personal perceptions and what they are conditioned to believe is beautiful. Don’t get me wrong, I love my youth, feeling alive and fit- able to conquer the world, but it comes with ignorance and lack of general knowledge. Sometimes I think I’m too oblivious and clueless to the ‘real world’. I mean- I’m not perfect, I ‘fear’ ageing and my bones weakening just as much as the next insecure person, but I will never stop talking about this utterly stupid repulsion to age and the glorification of youth.

To me, ageing is beautiful, it’s a way of showing where you have been, what you’ve accomplished, and the number of times you’ve smiled, cried, laughed, and yelled. It’s a portrayal of an experience and a story, that is both emotive and inspiring. Yet the media continues to convey a negative connotation around the beauty of life and living it. I don’t know if you’ve come across the TikTok trend of the ‘ageing’ filter, which shows what you would look like in 50-ish years when your face is worn and ‘ugly’; many people have made it very clear that they never want to age and they are afraid of it. They are afraid of gaining wisdom and experience through life. Crazy.

I was talking to my driving instructor, who is a lovely old man- and I heard him talk about the wrinkles on his face in such a negative way- he despises the way his eyes glint when he smiles or the way his mouth widens when he laughs- well in reality, he hates the lines that linger afterwards (but it’s the same thing to me) and I couldn’t believe it. This man is the nicest, funniest guy I have ever met- he has years of experience in the wonders of life- he’s a brilliant artist and loves his wife very much, the idea that he could detest the life he lived based upon its physical manifestation is baffling. But this awe comes from yet again the ignorance of my youth, I know it will be different once I’ve lost the ageless aspect of my face, and I know can’t really speak on this because I haven’t lived through it. But I will, one day, and I hope when the day comes, I can find the beauty in myself, the way I find it in my mother, father, driving instructor and everyone I’ve met. This topic has irked me for a while, it’s something I’m passionate about. When it comes to the self-deprecation of some of the most loving, beautiful people in my life, I simply can’t stand idly by and allow them to see themselves in such a way. I think it’s my job (or our job) to try and deconstruct this conformity that is beauty and push past the physical aspects of a person because that isn’t the sum of who they are. A person is defined by their opinions, experiences, and challenges they have overcome- NOT by the sum of their parts.


Ageing should be celebrated as a monument to a well-lived life, a journey full of experiences, lessons, and personal development. With age comes wisdom, a depth of knowledge that no amount of youthful energy can match. Those who have lived for a longer period of time, have had the opportunity to learn from their mistakes, adjust to change, and build a deep awareness of the world. I want to let every single person who has never felt like they aren’t beautiful or wished they didn’t have smile lines reflect on what it means to have those. To have laughed and lived in a carefree manner, even if it was just for a moment. I want to reach out to my mother and all mothers ever and tell them they are beautiful- not because they meet the standard laws of beauty in society, but because they have lived a life and raised a life. I want to let my father and all the fathers know that their grey hairs and wrinkled eyes are not a measure to them as people or the lives they have lived, and nothing should be able to tear down the strength of their experience (because they can lift heavier than all the guys in my grade- dad strength isn’t a joke). Or even those who have just lived their own life- that what they have achieved is an incredible demonstration of the beauty of existence and not something to hate. The wise elders of our society have weathered storms, navigated adversity, and emerged stronger on the other side. Their stories of persistence and triumph should serve as a source of inspiration and motivation for younger generations to break the conventional idealised notions of beauty.


So, go out to the ones you love the most and tell them they are beautiful, not superficially, but for the person they have built themselves to be.

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About the Contributor
Susannah E (Year 11)
Susannah E (Year 11), Chief Designer

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  • Ava MSep 7, 2023 at 6:52 am

    amazing view susannah, keep up the good work