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It’s no secret that women are held to a completely different standard than men, even when it comes to ageing. A prominent example of this can be seen in Hollywood, where actresses have spoken out for years about how difficult it is to maintain the same level of success after the ‘young and beautiful’ period of their careers have passed. 

While there are actresses who are older and successful, namely Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton, etc., they are well-regarded purely because of talent, and not necessarily because of how they present themselves. While being judged based on talent is regarded as a good thing, the men in the entertainment industry are not treated the same way.

Men who were considered ‘good-looking’ as young adults are still praised for their looks even as they age. They can remain just as successful in their careers and are usually able to maintain or even grow their fame. This can be seen with actors such as George Clooney and Brad Pitt. There is nothing wrong with being praised for ageing well either, but there should at least be a consensus about how all people are treated, regardless of gender. 

Because of this, when regular women look to Hollywood to see which women are now famous and considered “beautiful,” it’s almost always women 35 or younger. And, in the case that a woman is older and still considered beautiful, it’s often because signs of ageing haven’t really affected them yet, examples here being Beyonce or Jennifer Aniston. 

This undoubtedly adds to the already existing pressures of older women to find some method to halt or reverse ageing. This is where expensive skincare and cosmetic enhancements come in. Women are found spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars in hopes that there will be some way to delay or stop ageing altogether. There is absolutely nothing wrong with women trying to fix insecurities, or make themselves feel and look the best they can; however, the problem here is that the same pressure is not extended to men, or, that there isn’t any pressure at all. 

Cosmetic enhancements and basically all skincare is marketed exclusively toward women, with the branding almost always claiming to be ‘anti-ageing’, but why? Getting older is not something women should have to feel embarrassed about. 

It’s clear that the pressure on women to maintain a certain youthful look is very prevalent today. Non-stop bombardment by advertisements, social media, etc. creates an unhealthy and unrealistic image women are expected to maintain. So next time you catch yourself looking for wrinkles, just remember that it’s not you, it’s them. 

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Full-time student at Western University. I am currently enrolled in my second year of post-secondary education with a goal of achieving a Bachelor of Arts with an Honours Double-Major in Political Science and Philosophy.
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