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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

Aging is a beautiful thing

Beauty standards throughout the past decades.

I used to wonder why women constantly feel the need to contort themselves.

I grew up with women around me who idolized the ideas of cosmetic surgeries and achieving the perfect body, and while I never condoned them, I would secretly wonder where the desire for the look came from. Of course, these were the thoughts of a naive little girl who knew nothing of the selfish world of beauty standards. 

As I grew up and became exposed to social media, I began to hate how I looked. I hated my large nose, my doe-like eyes, and how, especially with glasses, my face didn’t make sense when I looked in the mirror. I’d compare myself to crude paintings I found, wishing I could look like the clinically gorgeous models I’d see in magazines.

Eventually, I came across one of these beautiful women whom I wanted to look like about a year ago. I decided to watch a video on Vogue Magazine’s YouTube channel. It was part of their Beauty Secrets series, where various celebrities would showcase their skincare and makeup routines. This particular video was of Ariana Grande, a world-famous singer known for her stellar soprano vocals. 

I had made a routine of watching these Beauty Secrets videos and mentally taking notes for the next product to purchase that could make me look better. So, of course, I clicked on this one, waiting to see Grande’s secret to the perfect cat-eye eyeliner.

What I wasn’t expecting from this video was for her to open up about her journey with Botox—a toxin used to smooth wrinkles—and lip fillers. She emotionally explained how she stopped physically changing her appearance in 2018, which made all the difference. She now wants to grow old naturally and see evidence of a life lived when she dies. 

Watching this video made me get a funny feeling in my chest that I couldn’t quite decipher. All my life, I had been conditioned to believe that women should always look the best they possibly could, especially in public. Whether that meant signing up for a spa service that would magically remove wrinkles or applying excessive makeup to cover up imperfections, I always attempted to maintain the beauty standards that society had taught me.

As I grow and learn, I hope my wrinkles become more prominent, and I laugh more and more.

Before high school, I had never been called pretty, gorgeous, stunning, or any other synonym for beauty. Therefore, I didn’t believe I was beautiful as if I needed validation from someone else for it to be true. I thought I needed to maintain my youthful looks to achieve any type of success in the real world.

However, seeing a gorgeous woman like Grande admit to her beauty faults changed my perspective on beauty. 

I finally learned the truth on a lonesome fourteenth birthday: beauty is incredibly subjective.

As women, we are taught from a young age that being “girly” is embarrassing and subject to the great deeds of men. Running “like a girl” is seen as childishly skipping away from a situation, while screaming “like a girl” is apparently the highest-pitched sound human vocal cords can make. Beauty is supposedly a white-skinned girl with glass skin and a perfectly rounded face. The ideal girl has no pimples, glasses, or imperfections. And she’s expected to stay that way.

Even with all the “negative” aspects of my appearance, I know one thing: I look like my parents, and I love that deeply. My looks have traversed down a long line of people who once loved each other. My appearance is a mosaic of laughter and glances shared in a world where no one else existed, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

With time, I learned to love my looks exactly as they are, and I found myself excited for the day I’d achieve smile lines, eye bags, and profound wrinkles across the canvas that is my complexion. As I grow and learn, I hope my wrinkles become more prominent, and I laugh more and more. I want to smile over freckles, sunburns, and all the beautiful aspects that come with aging. I want to see evidence of a woman who lived her life freely without conformity.

I hope that with my last breath, I’ll suppress a grin from my crazy white hair and sagging jawline, and I’ll die knowing that I lived and everyone I knew could see the joyous memories etched across my face in a tapestry of ecstasy. 

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About the Contributor
Maylee Ohlman
Maylee Ohlman, Staff Writer
Maylee Ohlman is a sophomore going on to her first year on The Central Trend.  She spontaneously decided to join Writing for Publication this year and is now excited to keep writing for the rest of her time in high school. She dances on the FHCVDT in the winter. In her free time, she loves to read, swim at the beach, and try new bubble tea spots across Michigan. Maylee loves to feel like a tourist anywhere she goes and aspires to travel as much as she can in her lifetime. Besides reading and traveling, she's always loved movies and good food, and hopes to eventually combine her passions into a journalism career. Favorite book: I Hope This Doesn't Find You by Ann Liang Favorite TV show: The Last of Us Current favorite song: No One Knows by Stephen Sanchez and Laufey Go-to bubble tea order: A peach milk tea with lychee jelly and tapioca pearls

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