Am I not still young?

By Tajamul Hussain. Dated: 1/11/2019 10:46:55 AM

Feathery toilet of males in animal kingdom get up to their vain conceits, by the action of strutting and gabbling, whistling and prancing, whirling and wheeling up and down before the plain and humble females as much to say 'look at me! Am I not a grand and gorgeous creature?' Men don't like their skin or hair to age. So, don't women. People's assessment of our skin is surprisingly consistent. They're pre-programmed to assess the age and beauty of others. Fresh and youthful faces attract our gaze. Our visual dwell time on these faces is longer. Wrinkles, grey hair and reduced lip size lead to perceptions of increased age. As children and teenagers, we feel young because we believe we look young too. We've smooth, homogeneous skin and thick, pigmented hair. This stands in stark contrast to our parents who're usually by the time we're getting old enough to notice showing signs of middle age changes in their skins and hair.
Even once we reach our twenties and thirties, we still class ourselves as 'the young' because we remain smooth and richly coiffed, even if we ourselves are now more burdened by the pressures of life. However, once we pass forty we start to notice changes in our appearance which we've always instinctively associated with (horrors) our parents. As middle age approaches our perceptions of 'who we're' change in view of the creeping changes in our appearance. Muscle mass decreases; Sarcopenia exerts a noticeable effect on appearance and strength. Bone density gradually declines, although the diameter of male bones increases to compensate for this. Posture alters, foot arches sag, spine bows and the discs between vertebrae are compressed. Changes in the spine, rather than shortening of the limb bones, lead to men getting shorter. This accentuates the middle-aged fat-with-spindly-legs appearance. Height is important to men. This may partly explain why our body image deteriorates in middle age.
The smooth, shining, unwrinkled face of the adult is often accompanied by relatively infantile characteristics. An unwrinkled adult face is indicative of the absence of reflection, intelligence, or feeling. A smooth, shining, round face, without wrinkles, belongs to character suave, plausible, flattering, dishonest and unprincipled; one who is ' all things to all men'. Vanity, the excess of the trait is a preeminently feminine character. Many of us males still want to look like Luke at a time when nature doesn't seem to care if we end up looking like Yoda. Of all the elements of middle age, it's the changes in our skin which seem most cruelly unforgiving. During the forties the superficial aspects to some extent go hang, both figuratively and literally. Within an alarmingly few years, the skin becomes less beautiful. As we get older our potential for producing children gradually declines simply because we've few years left to live. Natural selection, therefore, loses interest in some aspects of our appearance. As long as we're still recognizable as ourselves and aren't so decayed or repulsive that any potential or pre-existing mate is driven away, our appearance may be allowed to deteriorate.
Historically hair on the head was considered the sign of muscularity, even having magical powers. Locks would be cut off and stored to have magical powers and even used in religious ceremonies. A full head of hair has always represented male strength and power and herein lays its attraction. Many men are anxious about their actual or impending baldness. About one in five starts to go bald soon after adolescence although the change is so slight at first that it's hardly noticed. By the age of fifty, 60-80% people show some degree of hair loss. Baldies have often gone to great lengths to conceal their baldness from the eyes of their companions. Such is the male desperation to display a full head of hair that even in the 21st-century quack medicines are still on sale and billions are spent on elixirs and compounds that claim to make the hairs on the bald patches grow and flourish once more.
People that betray themselves into dyeing their greys don't realize that it makes them look much older than they really are. It tells people, on the other hand, you're not twenty years younger than you are. The cosmetic advantage of this will be apparent to anyone that puts black wig upon the person from whose complexion the colours and freshness of youth have departed. The greatest secret of the toilet is to make the face seem more youthful than surroundings. This can't be done by bonnets and hats too juvenile or by the youthful- colouredhair. On the contrary, just the opposite effect is produced by juvenile headgear. God in His kindness and wisdom causes the hair to keep pace with the declining freshness of the face and thus the physiognomy always looks fresher and younger when the dark hair of youth begins to be sprinkled with white. An aged face wrinkled and pallid or one that has lost youthfulness and become fat and coarse, are both softened and refined by grey or white hair. Hands, neck, children's age, and the things you talk about, the words you use, and above all age is much more pervasive than just looks.
Until the invention of writing, oldies acted as the repositories that transmitted information and experience just as they continue to do in tribal societies today. Under hunter-gatherer conditions, the knowledge possessed by even one person over the age of 70 could spell the difference between survival and starvation for a whole clan. Our long lifespan, therefore, was important for our rise from animal to human status. Obviously, our ability to survive to a ripe old age depended ultimately upon advances in culture and technology. It's easier to defend yourself against a lion if you're carrying a spear than just a handheld stone and easier yet with a high powered rifle. We might say with more accuracy that wrinkles are honourable, provided they're in the right place.
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