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A Woman's Candid Confession About Struggling To 'Recognize' Herself While Aging Is Resonating With Other Women

Photo: TikTok
Natalie Thomas

While it's true that conventional "beauty" fades and our perception of ourselves can become distorted as we age, it doesn't always mean it's an easy thing to come to terms with.

In a TikTok video, Natalie Thomas explained her experience with aging, and how for most women, it's a time filled with them trying to piece together their new appearance and how it differentiates from how they viewed themselves when they were younger.

"I want to share my experience with aging," Thomas firmly stated.

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Thomas explained how aging makes her feel as if she 'doesn't recognize' herself anymore.

In Thomas' video, she shared that she is about to turn 38 soon, and during the last year, she has started to struggle with her appearance.

She assured viewers that it didn't come from a "shallow" place or "not wanting to look old," but rather not being able to recognize herself anymore.

"It's not even that I’m like upset about a wrinkle or a blemish or a pigmentation," she admitted. 



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"It’s this just really weird phenomenon that happens where you don’t recognize yourself, and you’re trying to look like you always have and not in an 'age way,' but just in a recognizing yourself.”

Thomas continued, saying that in an attempt to revitalize her appearance, she'll do her eyebrows, and put on some concealer, but she'll quickly come to realize that her face has "lost volume" and doesn't look the same as it did when she was younger.

"Now I have these really deep [under-eye circles], my skin is more thin, just all these things that change that makeup can't change."

Thomas acknowledged that while the solution for many women is to get plastic surgery or injections done to fix it, it's still "odd to seek yourself in the mirror or on camera and not be able to find it."

Not only that but also having to come to terms with becoming "this new person."

"I think women will understand," Thomas stressed. "Like you know what you would look like with mascara versus not, you know what you look like with the face of makeup versus not. It's kind of the same way."

"I swear it’s just like one day you’re like, ‘Oh, I look like this,’ and then you wake up and you’re like, ‘Oh, I don’t look like that, I look older and more tired,'” she added.

To remedy the feeling, Thomas said she'll do what she's "used to doing," which is putting on the normal amount of makeup, but then realizing that it's not helping.

"You're faced with aging," she remarked. "It's okay but it's definitely a trip."

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Several women agreed with Thomas' experience and were able to relate.

In the comment section of Thomas' video, thousands of comments were written by women who related deeply to not being able to recognize their "new face" that has come with aging.

"It really hits me when my phone shows me old pics. I think I look fine and then I see old pics and I’m like, damn. That’s gone," one user wrote.

Another user added, "It’s almost not about aging. But more like mourning my youth. The chapters closed and I didn’t even see it happen."

"It’s crazy how aging happens from one year to the next. I’m 34 and I’d thought I’d see myself age slowly, but it just hits you out of nowhere!" a third user pointed out.

Women are constantly being fed media-driven remedies to "fix aging" and products that can help reverse the effects and make them appear younger.

But rarely are they given a space to freely speak about the phenomenon of not being able to recognize their newly aged persona.

It's not that women like Thomas think aging is necessarily a bad thing, but rather this weird, yet beautiful, new chapter of their lives that no one can ever really prepare for.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.