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Why Are We So Obsessed with Anti-Aging?

Everywhere you turn you’re bombarded with ads for anti aging products; some to make you look younger, some to make you feel younger. They all promise to ‘rejuvenate’, ‘return your glow’, ‘wind back the clock’, etc. It’s understandable that we all want to look our best… but can’t we do that as we age? Why do we always want to seem younger than we are?

 

    The amount of anti aging beauty products is unbelievable. Every woman is trying to fight time and turn back the clock to days before. By why? When did age become a bad thing? In certain cultures the elderly are highly revered and aging is a natural part of life. In contrast, Western culture spends their time trying to reverse this process. I advocate for always wanting to look your best, but aging is not something to try to hide or cover up. Every wrinkle, every sunspot, and every scar is a memory of the long life you have lived. From this need to look younger a question arises for me: If we want to reverse the appearance of age so badly, why are people wanting to live longer as well?

 

    There is a Netflix series called “Explained” where they take a topic and explain it over the episode. One of them is titled “Can we live forever?”. It explains that scientists are trying to prevent the effects of aging, rather than patching the effects already present, in order to live longer. My question is, why? Are we that afraid of getting old and dying?

 

    The maximum human life span may be 120 years. The average is about 80 years. For me, scientists trying to lengthen our life span raises a lot of red flags. First, money. If we have more people living longer they’re going to need more money, otherwise they’ll run out. Which means people either need to work longer, or taxes will need to be raised to pay for more pension money.  I don’t think many people want to work longer, so higher taxes it is. Unsurprisingly, the number one concern many people interviewed for this show had was, “Am I going to outlive my money?” Not only would this mean pension money and life savings needing to last longer, but more is needed.

 

    The second concern is that with a growing elderly population it means more people doing less; fewer things will be accomplished because everybody will be too old to do it. Less social change and less people in the working world are just two facets of this problem.

 

    So if we could live until 120 would we even want to? With all the anti aging beauty products available it doesn’t seem like it to me. There’s a lot of problems associated with the idea of living that long and I think we’re just getting plain greedy. There was once a time where people were lucky to live until 40. Many people actually live longer than 80 years so I think we're doing pretty good! There’s nothing wrong with aging and getting old.. It’s a natural part of life. Own it!

Meghan is a second year English Major at the University of Windsor. She is minoring in Environmental Science. Meghan loves fashion, reading and writing, and nature/the environment. She hopes to enter the world of Editing or Journalism after University. Meghan is excited to share her ideas and opinions with the Her Campus followers!
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