Aging is not a crime.

I recently saw before-and-after photos of Madonna from a Dolce & Gabbana ad campaign. The photoshop work was obvious…no surprise there. In a culture that idolizes youth and beauty, both model and client are usually eager to express both. What disturbed me was the glut of comments ridiculing Madonna for the “before” shots. Excuse me? Is is now a sign of failure…of some dreadful infraction…to grow older?

I wish that all the teens and 20-somethings who criticize aging celebrities could be whisked into the body of a 50-something just for a day. Surprise, all you Ashleys, Jessicas, Amandas, and Brittanys. It wasn’t planned, was it? It’s kind of a shock, isn’t it? All the things you took for granted are different now: the body, the skin, the hair. You’re trying to adjust to the changes, and then some cute young thing walks by and says, “Wow! You’re really old! You look like hell.”

Losing your looks is never pleasant, but it’s not like you have a choice. (Okay, there’s cosmetic surgery, but that’s another post entirely.) You have two primary options regarding aging: do it or die. If you choose the former, you can either accept the process gracefully or explore the treatments that purport to keep wrinkling and sagging at bay. Unfortunately, neither option will give you the radiant beauty of your youth. And unless you are taken from this world at a tragically young age, it will happen to you, too.

Do I need to say that again? It will happen to you, too.

Aging is not a crime…a defect…a downfall. It is a natural process…a fact of life…an inevitability. So back off just a tad…please.