At what age do we stop caring about other people’s opinions and value our own choices? This article on hitting 60 has a lot to say about hitting 20 as well.
“One day recently I emptied out an old trunk. It had been locked for years; I had lost the key and forgotten what was in there. But, curiosity getting the best of me on a rainy afternoon, I managed to pry it open with a screwdriver.
It was full of photographs. There I was, ages 4 to 40. And I saw for the first time that even when I was in the depths of despair about my looks, I had been beautiful.
And there were all my friends; girls and women with whom I had commiserated countless times about hair, weight, all of it, doling out sympathy and praise, just as I expected it heaped upon me: beautiful, too. We were, we are, all beautiful. Just like our mothers told us, or should have. (Ahem.)
Those smiles, radiant with youth, twinkled out of the past, reminding me of the smiles I know today, radiant with strength.
Young(er) women, take this to heart: Why waste time and energy on insecurity? I have no doubt that when I’m 80 I’ll look at pictures of myself when I was 60 and think how young I was then, how filled with joy and beauty.