Last week, I had the honor of having an amazing and super inspiring conversation with Judith Ann Warren – an American photographer, actress and model, who lives in Los Angeles - about her experience of being on the cover of Vogue Singapore last February, at a mature age. To check out this chat, click here.
This conversation was so inspiring that it aroused my curiosity about how mature women see beauty. I don't know about you, but I have completely changed my perspective about it. My definition of beauty at the age of 20 was totally focused on physical appearance. To be beautiful, it should fit the standard of beauty, created by I don't know who and followed, without question, by a society (this one I don't know who is a huge influencer!). For almost 50 years, I have found myself thinking about this subject and I realize that people's behavior influences a lot in the way we see them.
The most curious thing is that I just realized that all these patterns fit only in the female universe. As women, we are much more generous to men than to ourselves! In general, we are looking for interesting men. Physical attributes are not a barrier. If the guy has a nice smile and good conversation, he is already qualified for the 2nd phase.
However, when it comes to female beauty, the conversation changes courses. It seems that we have a built-in scanner that, when looking at another women, whatever it is, it is triggered immediately and, without her even opening her mouth, we do a thorough examination of who she is and give a verdict without “ the poor thing ”(adj. Worthy of pity, compassion; unfortunate, unhappy) at least open your mouth. Yes, as women, we are experts in the art of judging! And our ego is so big that nobody else can say that our sixth feeling is wrong.
Where is the empathy that we love to fill our mouths with? Do what I say, but don't do what I do. How many times have we missed the opportunity to know interesting stories behind that face! Do you know when it changed for me? When I moved to another country! We get used to living life in a way and when we need to get out of our comfort zone we often need to deconstruct ourselves, and to undress our convictions, our judgments ... And this is wonderful (at the beginning it sucks!)!
I had to give people a second chance when I didn't have a good first impression. And yes, it is necessary to make an effort! Sometimes I wondered: why am I wasting my time? But I decided to insist and I thank God! How many cool people I have met and approached in the past 7 years! Women I would never think of exchanging phone numbers with. And I won it! Because in fact when we empathize with each other, we are giving ourselves the chance, not only to understand their feelings and emotions, but to recognize ourselves in them.
And when I heard Judith say in our chat that the most incredible moment in the whole experience of making the cover for Vogue was when all the women involved in the production (2 younger models, photographer, and hairdresser and makeup artist) were encouraging each other, I decided it was time to do something. I'm just a little ant, but I want to do my part. We need to let go of judgment and lack of empathy. We live asking for equality, but we forget to do our part.
How can we help other women? A conversation, an advice, a professional help, a tip that can make her life easier in any area, a ride, a book, a connection with other people, support with the children, a recipe, an app suggestion or even a virtual note. It is very easy to know how to help; the answer is within each one of us. After all, we are also women and have the same needs.
We have a long way to go on the road to equality, but if we start by doing our part and coming together and encouraging, the walk will be much lighter.
Returning to the title of this text, I was so thoughtful about the concept of Beauty that I decided to take a survey with mature women of different nationalities. The result was incredible and you can check it out by clicking on the video below.
Do you know what my conclusion was? Beauty is in opening up to the world, it is in the diversity, in the respect, in recognizing oneself in the other, giving oneself, in making the lives of the people around us better and the world around us more enlightened. And so we radiate what we have within us. Is there anything more beautiful than an enlightened soul?
And if our vanity does us good, it's good too! If you like what you see in the mirror when you’re wearing makeup, when you dye your hair, when you realize that the extra pounds you’ve gained were the result of good conversations with good food and good wine, when you get ready to go out, when you come back from the gym, when you see your gray hair leaving you free, when you can lose 2 kg, when your wrinkles remind you of the good laughs you already gave, when you just had an aesthetic procedure, when you remember that your scars were the proof that you won , when you manage to achieve something ... go ahead! Only you know what makes you happy! Happiness and Beauty go side by side.