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What is the #1 Fear About Aging?

What do we think of when we hear the word “aging?” In other words, what is the #1 Fear about aging? The list comes easily and is long: Wrinkles. Gray hair. Saggy breasts. Post-menopausal belly fat. Crepey neck. Dry skin. Random facial hairs. OK, enough, we got it!

A 12-country study revealed the top fears women have about aging – the #1 Fear? Losing Attractiveness/Becoming “Invisible.” Wow!

“Women are always, unfortunately, more concerned about whether they appear old,” says geriatrician Laurie Jacobs of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. “Your sense of appearance is associated with your functional status.”

We’ve been talking a lot about this with experts and our TLWL community, which has been a really interesting (and unexpected) part of my own journey. I believe this top fear about aging has to do with — let’s face it — ageism and sexism.

Fear About Aging

My Little White Lie is Showing!


So, I say it’s time to throw out those ageist and sexist standards we’ve been fed, beautiful woman by beautiful woman, of all ages! Are you in?  I know I am!

Here are some tips on how to go about it:

Honor those feelings and fear about aging that you’re having.

Vivian Diller, psychologist and coauthor of “Face It: What Women Really Feel as Their Looks Change,” says this: “I tell women that when they see their looks changing, it’s helpful not to dismiss their feelings as irrelevant, silly or superficial. It’s an experience that hits us at the core of who we are…”

I’ve felt a lot of support from this TLWL community – thank you, everyone! – from sharing some of these feelings and fears. Please use this community for this if you want to, and also talk about your feelings with your friends, family, peers rather than ignoring or burying them.

Take a long, loving look in the mirror.

A running theme through my conversations with  David Royer and my panel of image and styling pros is to find your own personal style, what’s “honest and organic” to you, what you feel great in because, as one expert said, “What you see in the mirror will influence who and how you are every day.” As one of our Little White Liars commented: “Beauty comes from the heart” – powerful!

It’s also important because, if you’re anything like me, you ‘forget’ how you look today (of course, my look is changing every day as my hair comes in white!), and might still think of yourself as you were in your 30s. Look at yourself as you are now, in terms of the parts you want to enhance and the parts you want to de-emphasize or change.

Liberate your look – your way.

That long look in the mirror helps you get clear about what your look is. Then you can make choices that will help you feel better, so you’ll look better. A run through your closet may help – are you dressing for your best self, or just following styles? Can you play down the thickening waist and play up your killer legs? What colors will bring out your eyes, without washing out your skin tone?

If you want to grow out your natural hair color, do it! If not, continue to dye it. Or, tint your white hair with lavender streaks – it’s your choice, your expression of yourself! Whatever your Little White Lie is, it’s yours to keep or reveal. It’s about following your own drumbeat as my mom did and still does.

In upcoming broadcasts and blogs, I’ll be sharing more specifics about products and techniques to leverage your look, particularly transitioning to natural hair color.