A friend of mine once mentioned this during a rather controversial conversation that we shared: “A man’s value increases as he ages. Meanwhile a woman’s value just declines as she gets older.” – Well, this is definitely debatable but somehow, I would agree with it to some extent. Look – women may just lose out to men a little in this game of ageing. Let’s lay the cards on the table: many of us prefer older men, because of maturity, intellectual levels, and of course, the undeniable aspect of opulence.
Women, on the other hand, because of that social perception that our physical appearances are our most valuable assets, we generally experience some form of degeneration, in terms of visual appeal.
No use coercing ourselves to resort to botox jabs for the fear of looking like Jocelyn Wildenstein. We end up signing up for spinning classes because we’re too scared of the heat to go outdoors and run on actual concrete ground. We lament as we realise the rising amount of liver spots that accumulated throughout the years when we were too lazy to use umbrellas to protect ourselves from UV rays. There are just so many woes women face, and so many ways in which we would spiral into a state of self-pity and remorse.
My mother often labels herself as a victim of this degradation too. She would reminisce the days where she still could fit into skirts of waist size 24. On some days she would wallow in dissatisfaction and bemoan how she should have went back to work after giving birth to my sister and me. Sometimes she would whine about how she’s totally sick of doing house chores but at the same time can’t afford to stop handling these domestic tasks because “if not her then who else?!” (think Claire Dunphy from Modern Family, where she describes herself as a”Wifebot”).
But then again, I can’t imagine doing the things my mum does:
She cooks the best fish soup in the world. And the best thing is that she actually gives us all the fish meat because we like it more than she does. Meanwhile I visualise that in future I’m going to siphon all those proteins for me, myself and I, instead of my children.
She actually wakes up at 5:30am or so daily to head to the park for some really intense brisk-walking. 8-10 km every single day almost without fail. And what will I be doing at 5:30am when I’m her age? Probably lying motionless in bed and having some wet dreams.
And where did she even gain that patience from? She has been calmly managing the amount of bullshit that I’ve created throughout these 20 years.
Most importantly, my mum has taught me, through her incessant nagging, how to love myself.
So who says that women have to be devalued after becoming a wife, or upon reaching a certain age? After all, it is women who cultivated and brought up the most powerful men in the world.
I believe that women are like fine wine – they become sweeter with age. The feminine traits of ‘nurturing’, ‘benevolent’, ‘elegant’ – they just become even more accentuated over the years. Our exceptional and admirable mothers are the paragon of all these priceless qualities.