Why Are We So Afraid of Getting Older?

Last Updated: June 11, 2024By

Why Do We Fear Aging?

Hey there! Ever caught yourself staring in the mirror, poking at those eye bags or pulling at some loose skin, thinking, “Am I looking a bit rough?” Don’t worry, you’re not alone. We all have this little fear of getting older. But it seems like for millennials and Gen Z, this anxiety is on another level. Unlike our parents, we’re way more open about getting fillers and Botox.

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Is It Just Like a Haircut?

Back in 2019, the BBC did a survey and found out that almost half of millennial women felt that getting a cosmetic procedure was as casual as getting a haircut. From personal experience, I can tell you it’s not that simple. Like many others, I fell into the trap of anti-aging panic. After months of staring at my tired face on Zoom during lockdown, I felt like my best years were slipping away. So, once the world started to reopen, I decided to get 1ml of filler under my eyes to “restore” my youthful look. Mind you, I was only 28 at the time.

My Filler Fiasco

I spent £700 on two rounds of filler with a top-notch doctor. They put it in my upper cheek instead of directly under my eye to minimize risks. But guess what? Even though I went to the famous Harley Street, the second round didn’t go as planned. It left a noticeable dent under one of my eyes, and now I can’t stop obsessing over it in photos.

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Despite this, I’ve still thought about getting more treatments. After a particularly stressful period, I was convinced it was showing on my face. “I’m getting Botox,” I told my friends, sure that I was developing forehead lines. But I didn’t go through with it, and I’m glad because once I started taking care of myself again, the lines vanished.

The Popularity of Beauty Tweaks

More and more young people are opting for beauty tweaks like dermal fillers and Botox. In 2022, about 27% of Botox patients in the US were 34 or younger, up from 21% in 2015, according to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Some people call it “baby Botox” or “prejuvenation,” aiming to stop wrinkles before they start. On TikTok, young folks are praised for making these treatments part of their skincare routine, often equating it with self-care. Anecdotally, about a third of my female friends, all in our late 20s, have jumped on the trend. One even got Botox for her wedding, and another has been getting lip and cheek fillers since her late 20s.

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Why Are We So Scared of Aging?

So, why are we all so desperate to hide our age? There’s a collective fear of getting older. For our generation, being constantly online and scrolling through others’ lives makes us compare ourselves endlessly. Plus, all the bad news about wars and the climate crisis makes us anxious and worried about dying. And with economic uncertainty, many millennials and Gen Z folks can’t achieve traditional adulthood milestones, so changing our appearance to feel youthful makes sense. For women, looks are like currency—being beautiful can open social and professional doors.

The Risks of Cosmetic Treatments

But, these treatments often don’t come with clear warnings; it’s up to us to research the risks. There’s a rise in botched cosmetic procedures among young people, especially in unregulated beauty salons with unqualified practitioners. Recently, three women in the US got HIV from “vampire facials” at an unlicensed clinic that reused needles. This incident caused global alarm as it was the first known case of HIV transmission via a needle during cosmetic surgery.

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Embracing Natural Aging

The quest for youth keeps many of us in a chokehold. While I’m all for women choosing cosmetic treatments, looking young isn’t a cure-all for life’s problems. A friend of mine who loves fillers said, “I can’t stay 28 forever, but the aim is to look 28 forever.” I’m trying to reject the idea that it’s wrong for women to show their real age. It’s hard to ignore the noise, but otherwise, we might end up with a future full of self-doubt, costly treatments, or regret. Honestly, I think I’ll just stick with my eye bags.

Why We Should Embrace Aging

Aging is a natural part of life, and there’s beauty in every stage. Instead of fighting it, maybe we should celebrate the wisdom and experiences that come with age. Our worth isn’t defined by how young we look but by who we are. So, let’s embrace our true selves, eye bags and all.

How to Age Gracefully

  • Take care of your skin: Moisturize, use sunscreen, and stay hydrated.
  • Stay active: Exercise regularly to keep your body and mind healthy.
  • Eat well: A balanced diet can do wonders for your skin and overall health.
  • Sleep: Get enough rest to help your body repair and rejuvenate.
  • Stay positive: A positive outlook can make you feel and look younger.

Remember, aging is a privilege not everyone gets to enjoy. Let’s cherish it and live our best lives, wrinkles and all.

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Why Are We So Afraid of Getting Older?

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