This is probably going to sound pretentious to you and some may not even get past a few lines...but here goes.
Growing up beautiful is...complicated. Most of the time you have disdain for your face...your body...yet you are keenly aware that you are not like others. Your face is unique. After all, they tell you so, every day. From before you can form a sentence you are on the receiving end of countless compliments, gifts, favors, etc. You get used to people staring at you like an animal at a zoo. It is what you have always known because you were raised by a beautiful mother. Her path was yours to follow.
It is unnerving at times...dangerous at times...it invites more hatred and anger than one could imagine.
Eventually it all becomes background noise that fleetingly peaks your interest...
As you grow up the beauty blooms. Every year, it seems, your face and body give more...prosper more...beckon more attention. The face that stares back at you in the mirror each day is yours...your identity, your true self. No matter how you feel inside it is always there, unchanging, unwavering in it's constancy. You do not see what others admire and covet...you see YOU.
This is where the seed of fear is first planted.
Time marches on ruthlessly. And one day you see it - the first sign of age.
That one tiny, invisible wrinkle that has traitorously taken hold of valuable real estate on your face. More shall come soon enough. And suddenly you realize that you are now an adult...the blooming phase shall soon peak and then the petals will start to die. The feeling of regret that you have not even begun to truly live your life makes this discovery all the more unbearable. Can life be so unfair? Have I truly wasted my beauty behind books only to have it start to disintegrate before I even had the chance to LIVE???!!
What a price to pay for intelligence and ambition.
This, my dear reader, is why fairy tales still exist. This is where a girl who always thought herself a Snow White becomes the Evil Queen lusting for virgin blood. It is nature's greatest cruelty that a beautiful woman becomes wise as her beauty is fading. How many virgins' lives are worth one year living with what you know now in a body of your 20 year old self?
This is why skincare and make-up industries make billions. This feeling is not unique to the beautiful nor the rich. Every woman (besides those "close to nature" types that do not shave/pluck/groom and let nature turn their raven hair gray without a second thought) will fight age. Some will fight for blood - gritting their teeth, holding on with bare nails to what is rightfully theirs. Some will gracefully succumb, allowing nature some victories, yet never fully conceding defeat. Where the balance lies is unique to each woman.
I would not be me had I not a strategy. Mine is still evolving, as I am still quite young and not that wise.
The women I admire have given age a formidable fight. Their secrets are theirs to keep...and obvi sleep/water/sunblock are essentials no woman should live without. Was there surgery? Of course! No human can look like this without an outright pact with the devil unless a scalpel was involved.
There were also countless creams, spa treatments, exercise regimens and diets. (Talking about this in the open though is VERY poor form. )
Looking at these women one also sees a common thread. Their eyes give it away.
They enjoy life. Every. Single. Day.
The "fight" is not their life. It is a necessity that must be acknowledged yet never allowed to overshadow time spent with friends and family pursuing life's pleasures. They know that time will inevitably march on.. and the best offense is to embrace each decade entirely. Accept the changes, alter them as much as possible, and stay ahead even but a few years. Because life does not end with wrinkles.
They will not allow "the fight" to rule their daily existence (ahem, Demi). They do not become a caricature of their former self in the hopes of retaining what looks they have left (cough, Madonna, cough).
They know - men will and do still love and want you...women will and do still want to be you. Your beauty will live on forever in pictures and memories of those who love you.
Those young girls you resent for not appreciating what they now possess? They will get old as well. And most of them will let age take them by surprise before they manage to accomplish anything of value.
And if you are really lucky, your beauty will live on in your daughter. She will be smarter...more beautiful...more accomplished than you because you gave her the start your mother gave you. And as her beauty blooms you will take pride in your legacy...your mark on the world that shall live on forever in her children and those beyond. Eternal youth indeed.