With Generation Z embracing body positivity and breaking the mould of beauty standards, they have also helped combat the Millennial’s fear of growing old. Movements have been popping up all over the world to demolish the idea that aging is something to fear or fight, therefore dropping “anti-aging” from skincare products as it promotes the idea that aging should not be embraced. Brands are swapping the negative word for uplifting ones such as “radiance”, “regeneration” and even “renewal”. Hopeful ideas that allow customers to feel better about themselves.
While anti wrinkle injections and other procedures to keep the skin youthful (for instance, laser or face lifts) are still common nowadays, there are revolutionaries in the fashion and beauty industry that wants to see the masses embrace growing old the same way we’ve embraced acne and bodies of all shapes and sizes.
Anti-aging is a derogatory word for a natural process
According to Allure editor, Michelle Lee, the phrase implies ageism much like how “throws like a girl” implies sexism. She believes that it is time for a change in the landscape, seeing how the world has finally shifted into a world view of being accepting of everyone’s imperfections, from physical ones to mental ones. She continues to explain that “anti-aging” sounds like “diet”. It suggests that only youth is beautiful, much like how you’re only beautiful if your body fits a certain standard. This word has to go because it is hurting the maturing generation. Nobody needs to feel ashamed of their own bodies because we are all constantly changing. To bolster her words and to give them weight, Lee has banned the word “anti-aging” for the magazine Allure, penning, “changing the way we think about aging starts with changing the way we talk about aging.”
It’s more about happiness than it is about materials or aesthetics
Interestingly enough, despite the fact that the world is currently being obsessed with social media and the aesthetics of their online life, Millennials and Generation Z-ers are more concerned about living a real and authentic life. On the world, they are disregarding the values of their predecessors that uphold beauty, wealth, class and social status to the highest degree. The younger generation believes that life is meaningless if you aren’t happy and taking words from Fight Club as their bible. The 1999 drama featuring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton talks about society and how “you are not your job, you're not how much money you have in the bank. You are not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet.”
Somehow this mentality has resonated with the young generation and while they do care about appearances, they know it is not everything and that a life lived under the pressure of conforming to an idea of what you should be is not a life worth living. Therefore, they aren’t so concerned about aging so much as fearing that they are missing out on life. Contrary to popular belief, Millennials aren’t afraid of looking old, they just don’t want to grow old.