Apparently, the anti-aging creams are among the most popular beauty products. Their promise to rejuvenate the skin by removing wrinkles seems quite enticing to many. How I wish these products could do more than that! Let’s look at some of them.
Some types of creams
There’s a quite a range of anti-aging creams. I just give some examples here, which by no means implies endorsing them. There is StriVectin-SD, intensive concentrate for stretch marks and wrinkles; Skinceuticals A.g.e. interrupter; Fresh Lotus youth preserve face cream and philosophy miracle worker miraculous anti-aging moisturizer. All of them, like many others, promise one thing –keeping your skin young. I can’t tell how effective any one of them is. I have never used them neither do I intend to use any one of them. Nevertheless, there’s one thing I like about all of them.
On one hand, I like their promise to remove wrinkles and to keep the skin young. On the other, I like also the desire and the effort people are putting in to keep the body shape and beauty. No doubt, the body has claimed its rightful place. Let’s refresh our memories.
The body through its rough history
We are no longer in the epoch where people looked at the body with a negative eye. Oh, yes, we have come from far. Comparing between the body and the soul; the body was always the bad one. It was the culprit of whatever a human person did that was considered bad. In fact, even things that are not necessarily bad were despised because they were linked to the body –the bad one. For, instance, pleasure was looked at with suspicion especially in the Christendom, in the era and places where Christianity defined the culture.
For Clement of Alexandria the body is sinful, good only for food and sex. The body is a seat of appetites that lead a human person to indulge in pleasures. Remember, pleasures did not enjoy a good name. As for Origen, the body is the prison of the soul. Probably that explains what Origen is often remembered for. He is alleged to have castrated himself as a way of mastering his body. True or false, it however gives an idea of how bad was the reputation of the body.
Even though there are others who are more positive, like Irenaeus who esteems the body as being formed in the image of God; in general the body suffers a bad press in this era. That’s why, according to Augustine of Hippo, one needs to be careful enough to master his body. With such distrust against the body you only understand the resulting ascetic practices. Practically starving the body and inflicting oneself with pain, like self-flagellation, were considered heroic acts. Acting kindly with one’s body is giving way to sin. This was a bias in favour of the soul against the body. Today we see just the opposite.
Give attention to all types of wrinkles
The adverts and the commerce around body beauty, dressing, physical exercises and diet are signs that the body has really been crowned. My only fear is that the same injustice that was committed in favour of the soul against the body may be repeating itself, now in favour of the body against other aspects equally important to human life.
That’s why I think that the effort to eradicate wrinkles, while being a good idea, should however go beyond addressing just the wrinkles of the skin. When someone goes to the clinic or to the pharmacy to buy anti-aging cream it’s important remember that there may be other types of wrinkles that equally need straightening up. I think of wrinkles in marriage, in family, in relationships with neighbours and in public service, just to mention some. Often it’s such wrinkles that give birth to facial wrinkles. It means then that if someone really wants to rejuvenate and keep his face young, it’s imperative to address also such personal, social and moral wrinkles.
Yes, it’s noble to keep our humanity young and beautiful. However, it takes more than just face beauty. To eradicate wrinkles I need to be simple, sincere and kind in my relationship with my fellow human being. Once I rejuvenate my humanity wrinkles on my face become invisible. This is the type of anti-aging cream I prefer.