Age is Just a Number and Hegemony is Just a Word

All around us we are constantly bombarded with ads, commercials and billboards advertising a variety of products to help women look and feel younger. Countless creams, soaps and lotions litter the counters of most American women’s bathrooms, who at one point or another, all find themselves to be more wrinkled than they want to be. Smooth youthful skin has become a central pillar of the standards of beauty, just another piece of the hegemonic superstructure that is the Beauty Industry. Historically, aging has been viewed as a natural process, a record of a persons life and evidence of the fact that they are full of wisdom and knowledge. But with the advent of anti aging serums and cosmetic surgery, beauty standards have shifted to marginalize the wizened and weathered natural woman in favor of artificial youth. Everywhere a middle age woman looks, the standards of the Beauty Industry tell her that her laugh lines and crows feet are signs of ugliness, not experience; they tell her that she must slather her skin in lotions and potions to maintain an acceptable appearance, else she risks, dare I say, getting old. Instead of a beautiful celebration of a life well lived, wrinkles have become a sign of ugliness and worthlessness, instilling fear of aging in the hearts of women of all ages. This is the fear that lines the pockets of cosmetics companies. The Beauty Industry is by all accounts a hegemonic device used in an attempt to keep women within the narrow isles of beauty, so they will continue to buy the products that keep them “beautiful”.

Should youthfulness be an important factor in beauty, or can age be beautiful? What dictates change in standards of beauty?


6 thoughts on “Age is Just a Number and Hegemony is Just a Word

  1. I agree that the beauty industry is a perfect example of hegemony in today’s American culture. Every commercial, billboard, and many fellow woman vouch for products that maintain youthfulness. The idea of looking young through the use of such products has become a new standard. This pressures woman into feeling that they must maintain the ideal image and buy the products. Age can definitely be beautiful. To me smile lines and worn skin show the normal aging of someone who has lived a full life. However, current standards of beauty are set by society. Right now people are embracing new beauty technologies and setting high expectations for appearance.


  2. I personally don’t believe that youthfulness should be an important factor in beauty. Age is beautiful to me, and elderly people fascinate me. I worked at an old folks’ home for the summer, and the wisdom and stories that these people had were nothing short of beautiful. It is obvious that Americans are trained to fear getting old. But why does a number have to define beauty? We never see middle aged or older women in advertising, and if we do, it’s advertising for anti-aging products or ways to cover up wrinkles and gray hair. These woman are not considered beautiful if they embrace their aging skin and the wonderful years of life it represents.


  3. Recently, the issue of sign of age becomes every woman’s concern when gets to the pivot point of 25. It is a crucial, fundamental anxiety to women whoever can not concour the threaten from being old. Asking about weather age makes them look uncharming becomes a daily question for every beauty keeper including my mom. I guess my dad faces this question more than decades really leads him a indifferent neutral attitude. He talks lies and circumbendibus sometimes. However, one saying from him really inspired me. He said “age makes a girl into a woman and age keeps a woman’s beauty forever”. I started to think why people can not treat this natural process in a more relaxing and optimist attitude. When a woman getting old, she definitely receives elegance, knowledge and experience as gifts return back. The beauty of age has nothing to do with outfit and makeup. It is more immortal and glorious. People should treasure this beauty and being proud of holding it.


  4. The issue of sign of age becomes every woman’s alarm clock when become after age of 25. They easily get upset, hopeless and anxious when see the trace of winkle and dullness of skin. It is obvious youth makes people feel energetic and confident. However, age is not an evil. It is unavoidable, irreplaceable and fatal. Usually, it is amazing and fascinating with countless possibilities. Women experience different lives and they share various stories. That are the crucial importances to change their look and build their elegance. That is the reason why age makes a girl into a woman and holds the beauty forever. Since women getting old, they should sustain their beauty in a way other than outfit and makeup. Time builds stories and destroy legend. What is left creates the immoral beauty and that is the most crucial and glorious part every beauty keeper should trace for. Trusting the look in your elder time makes you look perfect because that’s what defeat demage from ages.


  5. Youthfulness shouldn’t be an important factor in beauty but the truth is that society perceives it as beauty. There is no doubt that an aged woman can be beautiful but society’s perspective of beauty hasn’t really changed. Even before the wave of ads in our contemporary society, people had the idea that youth meant beauty. I think some good question to ask would be when did youthfulness begin to define beauty? Are there some other factors that contribute to this belief?


  6. I really enjoyed reading your blog post, as it raised some interesting points. Like others who commented on this post, I do not believe that youthfulness should determine or define beauty. Aging is a natural process that everyone goes through, thus it’s strange that such an emphasis is put on obstructing it. I find it peculiarly interesting, yet not at all surprising, that these standards of maintaining youth are greatly targeted towards women. Not to say that men do not receive pressures to uphold a more youthful appearance as well, but society seems more invested in ensuring that women stay beautiful—that women stay young. I think that this can be attributed to what we have learned about the majority in power dictating what a society should value.


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