Over the month of September, we've been focused on natural beauty, body positivity, and the power of self-love. Self-love is a hard journey we all must learn individually, but with age comes wisdom (and lots of laughter). We learn to see what's truly important and worthy of our attention. Recently, Our Social Media Manager, Reilly, interviewed her grandmother Paula to uncover answers to these questions. Paula is a 78-year-old, retired 5th-grade teacher, who thrives on empowerment and sharing the importance of self-love and being unapologetically you. Jump in with us as Paula shares her own personal growth and self-love journey.
How do you think self confidence and age correlate?
You learn to put emphasis on what’s important, and realize you aren't going to look like Kim Kardashian - (I mean, I don't want to look like Kim right now, but I understand the pressure of it all) the important thing is to maintain your body and your spirit. Look at things positively, I am so grateful for everything. Hardships, good things, bad things, are all blessings… it creates who you become.
How has your view changed of yourself as you have aged?
I like myself - I really like myself now. I think a lot of that comes from wisdom. I’m much more grounded and accepting of the breakdown of my body. Things that were so important to you at one point, start to fizzle out and new things arise. And that’s what you concentrate on.
How has your idea of body-positivity or self-love changed?
When I was young I wanted to fit in. I wanted to present the best, physical self I could. I dyed my hair blonde, used baby oil, and whatever chemical it was that we put in a bottle, mixed it up and rubbed it all over our skin. Back in the day, that was our sunless tanner.
To me, it was important to look the best I could to my peers. I grew up in the 50s and 60s, during this time period, everyone was so concerned about their weight. I was constantly dieting and tried the nastiest diets.
Weenies & boiled eggs — yes, really… that was a ‘diet’. You’d do all these gross meals because you didn't want your weight to get out of hand. I don’t live in that world anymore. I just want to live as healthy as I can. I'm not concerned about my looks like I was, that doesn’t mean I dont care — of course, I care, but I want to present myself in my most comfortable way. I'm just grateful to still be here at 77, and I want to keep my body in the best shape I can for the rest of my years.
If there's one thing you could teach your daughters about loving yourself and the body you’re in, what would it be?
Be grateful in knowing that you are beautifully and wonderfully made and do what you can to keep yourself healthy and vibrant. Exercise, do what you can to maintain your body as strong and healthy as you can. Make sure to take time for yourself, unplug from the busy life you live, and relax. Use this time to reflect and appreciate what’s around you, this will in turn reflect within you.
How do you practice self-love now?
I feel better about myself when I do things for other people. Being with people of my age group is very important to me, we share the same interests and we laugh with each other - and that keeps us young. I think laughter is a big part of keeping yourself young, especially when you can laugh at yourself.
"Going grey? I'm going gold!"
How has your skincare routine changed as you’ve gotten older?
Over the decades, skincare has evolved tremendously. There are so many products I used as a kid and even in my younger adult years that I couldn’t even tell you what was in them. And to be honest, I didn’t even read the ingredients. This was an era of naivety; we were very impressed with commercials.
We were so unaware of what chemicals and toxins were being put in our products, and oftentimes they weren’t even placed on the label. There’s no wonder we have so many melanomas and other check-ups because we’re suspicious of something… I remember one doctor saying this to me, “This one right here, we need to do a biopsy” and I thought “Really? I haven’t spent much time outside?” he replied with “Have you ever?”
It was a turning point for me on how long these effects can carry with you before they surface. I began starting my nontoxic journey with my skincare products. It was something I knew was most crucial with my age and my elephant hide. (My skin, that’s a line from an old Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire movie)
I have been loving my anti-aging face cream from Beauty by Earth & my body exfoliating sponge. Luckily, the elephant hide is smoothing out.
Every Day is the Right Day for Self-Love
We hope you've enjoyed this exclusive interview with Paula Bailey. She's definitely taught us a lot about self-love and confidence! Tell us your strategy for loving yourself in 2020 in the comments below.
Love and Dr. Pepper cheers,