Beauty Queen Laments How Women Are Conditioned To Hide Their Age


By Diane Meers

Moseying around social media, one of my favorite pages dedicated to science asked, “If you could go anywhere in our known universe, where would you go? Be creative!”

So in response I posted: ” Well, since gravity is partly what causes the skin to age and sag, somewhere that sustains life with no gravitational pull…Oh vanity.”

I’d rather be forever suspended in air to avoid the wrinkles, changes in appearance, and aging, if that’s what maturation has to offer. I’m 26! I’m not ready for kids! Heck! I’m not even ready for a dog! I’m a modern, contemporary woman and I’m ready to define what it means to be 26.

People often ask my age, only to follow it up with.. “I could’ve sworn you were 22!” I look like I’m 26 because I am. I embrace 26, just like I’m going to embrace turning 30, and so on.

Women have been conditioned to hide their age, as the phrase “you never ask a woman her age” has fed into the psyche of every maturing female. Sure we can blame media, society and all the misogynistic men in the world, but like anything it’s easy to become a mental slave to the standard.


Oddly enough, societies’ output has also led to the understanding that men age more gracefully than women. Recently I spoke with an LA based videographer about an upcoming project. He had nice things to say about my previous work then asked my age, and quickly followed it up with, “Woah! You’re over the hill” in a joking manner. I laughed, but this comment lingered in my head and I thought, he wasn’t joking. It’s true, in the realm of beauty and entertainment, I’m at the end of the rope.

Actually, I’m just where the tight rope ends and opportunity meets. For me, it’s been a tight rope of preparation which has almost lead to concrete self actualization. At 26, I have the tools: knowledge, drive, maturity and mental strength that I couldn’t even dream of at 17.

More interestingly, I thought about the way in which I answered. Rather than a firm, “I’m 26”, I replied, “I just turned 26 in May.” Why? By me doing that I expressed hesitation, anxiety, and timidity. That left the door swung wide open for his “over the hill” joke. It was me, I extended that energy that continues to breed jokes and comments that suggest that a maturing woman is somehow devalued. Ill never shy away from my age again.

Science, genetics, and time has determined that our bodies will change. It’s a given. You can’t reverse it, but you can preserve yourself. Understand your tools and utilize them! There’s nothing wrong with trying to look and feel your best because that means that you’re essentially taking care of yourself. Do whatever is necessary to exude confidence.

I took a bold step into understanding my body: food as medicine, love as compassion, moderation as life. I dare myself to be confident, and I dare all women out there to do the same.



Diane is a former pageant title holder, Miss Washington 2013. She is an admitted USC graduate student in the areas of Social Policy and Macro Social Work. Connect with Diane via



  1. The idea that at the age of 26, another human being has perhaps jokingly told you that you are over the hill makes me, at 46, ancient.

    The idea that we are a number is like …well…lol…politics, where truly, numbers count. But, we are all human beings, and as such, we end up believing the things that we are told about ourselves individually, as well as collectively. I have never been one who really was bothered by how old I am – so I’m an old chick…big danged deal! I still rock and roll, and I still party like it’s 1999 (RIP Prince 🙁 ) and I still do all of those great things that I did twenty years ago, when I was but a child in comparison to what I am now, which is someone who has tasted both the bitterness and the sweetness of life, who has bothered to think about the reasons as to why we are so dearly bothered by getting older and eventually becoming old folks.

    Age does not scare me – ignorance does, and the most ignorant thing that a populace have done is to make age an issue. Age is NOT an issue and should not ever have been made one. The reason that it is? That’s easy – the media did this.

    The media seems to be the reigning God of mankind in that apparently we all want to look like a Kardashian (ummmm NOT !! ) and we all want to do this exercise thing called Craze (I will continue with walking and with hula and with all of those other cultural type dances that have kept me the same size that I was at high school graduation – and this after three kids and a certain love for chocolates of all sorts…all at the ripe old age of 46). The media seems to think that we all want to vote for Donald the Lump, and all wants us to believe that we are supposed to want to be as thin as a rail and wants us to believe that we would all love to stay perpetually young when really getting older affords us with something that only time can serve us with – experience and Wisdom. These two things cannot be had when we are younger, at least not in the manner that we think and not in the manner that we are told we must when we are sitting in the pews of any kind of church. We are told, not taught, that youth is beauty, and the lesson that we get is that getting older is somehow a bad thing. The bad thing is that no one tells another person about the part of being young that is not that great, like learning how to love for real (no one younger than I am will say that I am wrong).

    We end up hurting at a young age because we do not know yet that the one person who we are supposed to Love first is NOT our parents, and neither is it our first love (which, I have found is NOT a person -but an activity that we are particularly gifted at and that eventually becomes a huge part of our working life a lot of years later when it is meant to do that. Hula is NOT a hobby for me – it is medicine, and I teach it to other DV survivors as a tool for regaining who they are and reshaping their own beliefs about who they are after they have survived). Our first Love is and should be us, but given the idea that for many generations, we have been told that we have to sacrifice for others, not do for ourselves, and hurt because it is a Sacred hurt as we have given our own selves to a cause. We should always be our first cause. We should always be the one who we love first and the most because we cannot love anyone else unless and until we have learned to Love who we are, all the way down to the very bones of our souls.

    How this all ties into this theme of this lovely blogpost is this – the idea that we think age is an issue for us is a self-love thing. We have not ever been taught this (of course, I teach this) thing called Self-Love. The reason that we have such a huge problem with our collectively getting older self-image is because we also have been taught to just learn to take the barbs and the stinging comments on the chin because other people have told us that older women are not as attractive as younger ones. Some of us lie about our age and some of us, like myself, just simply do not care if people know our true age. I have no issues with telling my real age, because it took me a very long time to know what I know right now, and it took me a long time to learn to Love who I am, and it took me believing that the reason my other half is so crazy about me has nothing to do with my age being what it is. I had to learn to Love me, to ignore the words of a clueless society who just loves things to be new and untainted. What those who believe this do not understand is that they are the very ones who do the most damage.

    Our age means nothing in relation to how much Wisdom we are afforded with while getting to the ripe old age of anything at all….even 26…I know that this article was written two years ago, and my only question for the author of it is – are you bothered by the idea that you are now 28, with two years of experiences behind you that you could not have had at 26, simply for the idea that you would not have known then what you know now?

    That one thing is Wisdom, and it is priceless…

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