Should we still be using the term ‘anti-aging’ in 2017?
If you have ever been up at night Googling how to improve your skinâ€™sÂ elasticity, brighten dark circles, or how to get a youthful glow, chances are you have come across the term â€œanti-aging.â€ While some think nothing ofÂ the term, there are others whoÂ may stop and think, â€œWhy are we describing aging like itâ€™s some sort of disease?â€
Newsflash:Â Itâ€™s not. Itâ€™s perfectly normal. Itâ€™s a part of life.
For that reason, Allure magazine has declared that itÂ will stop using the term altogether. â€œStarting today at Allure, weâ€™re also announcing weâ€™re banning the term â€˜anti-aging.â€™ Language matters,â€ wrote the magazineâ€™sÂ editor in chief, Michelle Lee, onInstagram.
Allureâ€™s declaration has sparked a conversation around the term â€œanti-aging,â€ including inspiringÂ someÂ to ultimately ban the verbiage from their vocabulary as well. One person left a comment under Leeâ€™s post noting, â€œLove it! I just felt a huge wave of respect for you and your team and Allure. So exciting!â€ Another shared similar sentiments with the comment, â€œAmazing and so needed in the industry right now. This is the kind of thing that makes me want to be a beauty editor.â€
Yahoo BeautyÂ caught up with Lee to find out how the idea of banning the term was born. â€œWeâ€™ve done a lot of work this year challenging societyâ€™s too-narrow view of beauty,â€ she shares. â€œSimultaneously, we found ourselves naturally turning away from the term anti-aging when writing about skin care and other products, instead choosing other ways to describe what those products actually do, such as boosting radiance.â€
Lee continued, â€œOne day, our digital director,Â Phill Picardi, said: â€˜Isnâ€™t it time we stop saying anti-aging?â€™ It was a conversation our beauty director, Jenny Bailly, had already been having with people, so all of the pieces started coming together. On that day, we said: Letâ€™s do it.â€
For a publication to propose banning certain language isnâ€™t far-fetched, but it can sometimes backfire. In 2014, Time magazine came under fire for including the word â€œfeministâ€ in a list of words itÂ would potentially ban in 2015. People were outraged, and the publication promptly issued a public apology. WhileÂ Timeâ€™s call to possibly ban that specific word flopped, Allureâ€™s proposition is doing the total opposite, exciting not only readers but other fellow editors, as well as the industry as a whole, to shift the narrative and the way we view aging overall.
One issue with the idea of doing away with the term anti-aging is that there is a billion dollar industry attached to it. Sephora has an entire section on itsÂ website dedicated to anti-aging skin care, and there are a countless stories centered on finding the best anti-aging products. WillÂ AllureÂ stop collaborating with these types of brands? Lee explained, â€œWeâ€™re certainly not shaming any brands that use the term and will still continue to cover them. But weâ€™d love to see a future in which we phase the term out completely. We know itâ€™s not easy to change packaging and marketing materials overnight, but weâ€™d love to see more brands make a commitment to phase it out.â€
Allureâ€™s efforts are far from being ignored and have already propelled otherÂ editors to speak out. Siraad Dirshe, beauty editor at Essence magazine, shared her thoughts on the term. â€œIâ€™ve always thought the term was a bit weird and oftentimes misused because honestly nothing is anti-aging,â€ she tells Yahoo Beauty. â€œIf anything, there are products that are preventative and can help to slow down the physical appearance of aging, but we all inevitably age, like it or not. Using the term also implies that there is something wrong with getting older, which there is absolutely not. At the end of the day, the best thing you can do is to fully embrace aging and the lessons, as well as wisdom that comes along with it.â€
Allure also tweetedÂ an inspiring quote from cover star of the September issue, Helen Mirren, that read, â€œThis word â€˜anti-agingâ€™ â€” we know weâ€™re getting older. You just want to look and feel as great as you can on a daily basis.â€
At the end of the day, Allure is touching on a topic that has been overlooked for far too long. Instead of just talking about it, staff members areÂ putting action behind theirÂ thoughts and may cause a long-awaited shift in the industry that will eventually lead toÂ more people embracing aging as we know it.