JUST THINKING: Being a girl is great … most of the time

Just Thinking | Julie Stafford

There are a lot of things about being a girl that are great. Our ability to have children, and be mothers and grandmothers and great-grandmothers. And to be part of that unspoken secret girl society.

Some things about getting older as a woman are great, too. Like not having to deal with the drama of being a teenage girl, and being able to drink wine, and grow into our style and figure out what it really means to enjoy life.

On the other hand, there are things about being female that stink. Like our seemingly sluggish metabolisms, and having to live up to the expectation of what pretty looks like, and the opinion that girls can’t do things as well as boys.

Being an aging woman has its downsides, too. The muffin top that won’t go away with sit ups or twists, gravity pulling in all kinds of places, age spots that turn your hands from yours to your mother’s. All these I knew were coming. But what, for Pete’s sake, is with this acne?

Pimples are for teenagers. Not for 40-year-old women. Or so I thought. Growing up I’d get an occasional blemish here or there — usually in close to the same spot each time. Nothing drastic or dramatic or that caused panic before a dance or a date.

I’ve been lucky when it comes to skin, really. Didn’t like my freckles when I was younger but know they’re probably the reason today people say I look the same as I did a long time ago. Thanks to my grandma Hazel, I maintained a regimen of Oil of Olay throughout most of my 20s and 30s. Lately I’ve advanced to something with a little more kick — an attempt at wrinkle control.

Even so, I’ve got pore problems in places I never had to worry about. I wash my face, don’t eat a lot of sugar, drink tons of water and try to manage stress. So what gives?

I’m not alone. I’ve heard friends talk about getting a prescription for acne medicine for the first time as grown ups and I read magazines with articles about managing adult onset acne.

I know I still don’t struggle as much as some do with their skin. And for that, I’m grateful. I’m enjoying being a girl moving into middle age. While I’ve had fun finding ways to stay young at heart, I wouldn’t want to go back and be a teenager again for anything.

Apparently my skin is just a little confused.

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