Beauty of A Woman, Garden of Steel Magnolias

Love Letter to My Wrinkles #BOAW2015

August McLaughlin Beauty of a Woman

I offer my reflections as part of August McLaughlin’s Beauty of A Woman Blogfest.  Go here to read other posts in the blogfest and a chance to win exciting prizes.

A few weeks ago, I found my passport picture from college.  I will admit that my first reaction was dismay at the changes I saw in the mirror. My second reaction was how much I dislike people immediately judging others by their appearance.  I have endeavored not to do so in my life, but realized I was judging myself harshly. Today, I stood before the mirror and wrote my acceptance of one of my “flaws.”

Dear wrinkles,

Today I looked at you without allowing my eyes to glide past you, as I so often do when checking my makeup or brushing my hair. I looked at you with loving acceptance. First I noticed my eyes. I will not call you crows-feet, you wrinkles at the corners of my eyes, as you do not remind me of crows, but of the years of smiles given my parents, siblings, husband, children, grandchildren, friends, and strangers. You provide the context, the setting, through which my spirit shines.

Next I noticed you, wrinkles bracketing my mouth, serving as a reminder of the polarity of life, the tension between happiness and anxiety, both mirrored in your folds. You are a testament to the pleasure and closeness of shared laughter and smiles. However, when I crease my face with worry, you are a visible admonition to release what I cannot control.  I gradually feel the effort of contracting those muscles, and force myself to breathe, to relax, to let go.

A few years ago, I saw a college classmate whose face was bare of wrinkles, her flesh stretched over her cheekbones as if she were twenty-five, not twice that age.  I realized then that you, my dearest wrinkles, carry the character of a person. You are part of me as much as my brown eyes or short stature.  You are my history, carved visibly in my flesh, the official documents of my life more than any birth or marriage certificates set down on paper.  How could I not love you?

With all my heart,




13 thoughts on “Love Letter to My Wrinkles #BOAW2015”

  1. Love it! I have those worry lines between my brows, and I suppose I earned them. They match my laugh lines, after all! A nice contrast of the sides of me.

    Thanks for this!

  2. Stunning, Elizabeth–and so true. We wear our experiences for the world to see. They’re marks of a life well-lived, not something to be ashamed of. Brava to you, m’dear ❤

  3. Lovely, Elizabeth, simply lovely. There was a time–just some years back–I really struggled with how fast I was aging. Chronic illness and lifestyle choices showed in every wrinkle and the droop in my eyelids. That is still true and now I see all of me in the wrinkles, the age marks, the droop. Until your post, I did not have a phrase for it but now, I do: “my dearest wrinkles carry the character of a person.” And, so they do. A big THANK YOU, Elizabeth. ❤

  4. Bravo–a lovely letter! I, too, glance past my wrinkles and sags when I look in the mirror, but you’re right–they are the well-worn paths of where we have been.

  5. This is lovely reminds me of the Brandi Carlisle song about how all the lines on her face tell the story of who she is. Fantastic post!

  6. Bravo, Elizabeth! What a beautiful piece, inspiring and elegant. Yes, elegant and exquisite. That is you, your heart sharing this love letter to your wrinkles!

  7. I’ve had the other experience – I’ve grown into my looks and am much more beautiful today than I was as a kid. it’s like my face showed the life I was going to live and now that I’ve lived those things, it’s no big deal.

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