Beauty is not exclusive to youth, and while I think this is something we're accepting as mainstream, we seem to believe that we can't maintain the old arbitrary standard without a lot of work. And I wonder, if that's the case, is it worth it? Is the label itself worth the time, the effort, the money, the advertising-induced psychological damage?
They're trying to sell us something we've owned since our first breath. Our definition, were we given time to formulate one before being invaded by theirs, would most likely look quite different. Gone would be the agony of comparison and, in its place, the peace of that same reaction that arises when unexpectedly coming across a field of wildflowers, a forest clearing, a glacier-arranged assortment of rocks, a waterfall.
Nature does not hurry or worry or agonize over this bit or that. It adapts. It takes its time, and it puts on the best show it can, for its own survival, with what it's got that season--wind, sun, rain, early frosts, late frosts. I don't know if we can change the larger perception, but nor do I think we need to. Peace in our own minds, in our own time is victory enough.