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Growing old gracefully, has the definition changed?

Just ‘grow old gracefully’ is a sentence many of our patients have relayed back to us. Their friends, spouse, or children have thrown that comment in their direction because they have discovered they’re having aesthetic treatments. It causes a constant battle for patients, should I grow old gracefully to end the judgement I will receive if I don’t? Even if it’s against what I want to do? We often discuss how aesthetic medicine shouldn’t alter our natural anatomy, but our natural anatomy is constantly changing with ageing. So, the question is – do we accept that our anatomy is changing with the ageing process or do we augment our natural appearance to help prevent those visible signs? Or, do we alter our natural anatomy purely because we don’t find it aesthetically pleasing? Who holds the moral compass to decide what is right or wrong? Ultimately, we are all responsible for our own actions and thoughts. If we want to alter something or prevent ageing then we are within our rights to do so. No one can make us feel what we do not identify with – for example, we cannot be shamed if we are not feeling ashamed. Resilience to today’s pressures or unkind words is what we all strive for, and nobody should be judged for what or how they decide to manage this. As for ‘growing old gracefully’, surely it is about confidence? If we are confident within our appearance – regardless of wrinkles or age – no one should judge that. However, if we want to correct what nature or time has altered (which in turn helps restore our inner/outer confidence) then this should be celebrated as a decision we are empowered to make. #growingoldgracefully

Grace Cobner

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