There's No Shame in Being 38 Years Old

Yesterday was my 38th birthday. That's me at 11:57 p.m. last night after my third day of celebrating. No photoshop, and on three hours of sleep with no big Diddy glasses to hide my tiredness. It is what it is. Can I get a Keeping It Real award?

Conventional LA wisdom says I should be afraid of getting old. I should be celebrating my 35th birthday for the third time in a row. I should have a plastic surgeon on speed dial and botox injections at the ready.

I have wrinkles despite religiously applying sunblock every day for the past 13 years. It's called aging for a reason, and sometimes I wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and I ask myself, "When did THIS happen?"

However, I have no problems telling people how old I am. What kills me are some of the well meaning but wack replies.

"You look pretty good for 38."

Oh really now? What exactly is 38 supposed to look like?

Throw me next to the 18 year old version of myself and the modern floor model wins the match. Admittedly, the competition might be a toss up if I'm up against my 26 year-old version, because, ahem, the 26 year-old version was hot ishtar. But, today's hair is better than the flat ironed look I used to sport, so once again, Los Angelista circa 2010-11 is the version you want if you need your laptop screen burst into flames. Because, er, I'm so smokin' hot.

OK, seriously, the most important thing isn't the fine lines and wrinkles and whether I'm hot or not. I'm in a happier place mentally, spiritually and emotionally. I don't want to go back in time. I don't want to live in the past. I always believe I'm getting better so I wouldn't trade in who I am now, and what I've accomplished. Not for all the fountains of youth available at the Nordstrom's counter.

The only reason for any of us to hide our ages is discrimination. Unfortunately, our culture is still SO in the throes of believing that the most talented and most valuable people are in their twenties. I don't fit that 18-34 demographic and so some people think I'm not as hip, cool or smart. I don't have value. I'm just a mom/mommy blogger that wears mom jeans and so I don't "count".

Pfft. No doubt, young people can innovate as much as the next person, but someone needs to tell these heffas out here that my brain hasn't shut off just because I'm debating Avon under eye cream vs Dermologica vs ROC. (Note: I said I'm fine with getting older, but that doesn't mean I'm cool with calling my appearance a wrap and resorting to elastic waist pants.)

Here's to rocking 38 years old, living the next year to the fullest, and finding new ways to bring people together in pursuit of a common cause.

P.S.: For the record, I don't wear "mom jeans"!


April said…
Happy belated birthday!!
Considering I'm just a few months myself from 38, of course I totally agree with you.
Except I do wear mom jeans. 'Cuz I'm a mom and I just don't care!
Remnants of U said…
Three days of celebrating?! I wouldn't have known. I guess I'd be a dinosaur in LA. Glad you had a wonderful birthday.
nick said…
You look fabulous Liz, whatever age you happen to be right now! Screw the plastic surgeons and botoxers, why can't we all just be what we are without all this demeaning youth-chasing and age-resisting. Let's just enjoy wherever we've got to in our lives and stop being enslaved to media images of "perfection". And yes, we don't suddenly become brain-dead because we're over 30.

Hope you had a great birthday!
Anonymous said…
Happy birthday! I think you look hot! :-)
Liz Dwyer said…
I have NEVER seen you in those SNL style mom jeans!! You know you work it out, style-wise! ;)

Thanks for birthday wishes.

Yes girl, THREE days. I don't play when it comes to my birthday.

I am a dinosaur here, but it's sort of a relief. Men are starting to leave me alone. NICE!

Thanks for saying so. I agree, youth chasing is silly. It's better to be the healthiest you can and maintain a mind and spirit that's open to constant learning.

You're so kind! (Did your screen burst into flames? ;)
Jameil said…
Girl you know I was like YOU BETTA NOT BE WEARING MOM JEANS!! LOLOL! Here's to 38 more and 38 more after that! Cheers!
Happy Birthday Liz!!!

You look fab darrrhling.
Liz Dwyer said…
Whew! In 38 more years after this I hope I'm still rockin' cute jeans! I fully intend to be a fly 76 year old granny. ;)

Thank you! You know, as long as I stay EAST of La Cienega, my self esteem is much better.
Anne said…
You look beautiful - age doesn't defy beauty - your inner radiance does! And you've got enough radiance to last many lifetimes! Happy Belated Birthday to you! :)
Anne said…
Gosh, I just reread my comment and realized that I typed "defy" instead of "define" - yikes! So sorry about that :)

You look beautiful - age doesn't define beauty - your inner radiance does! And you've got enough radiance to last many lifetimes! Happy Belated Birthday to you! :)

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