Seriously, just don’t do it.
I just turned 30 in August, and I was excited to hit the big milestone. I was excited because I spent most of my 20s being neurotic, insecure and unsure of what I should be doing with my life. As I approached my late 20s, I began to feel a confidence I never previously felt. I loved having that new outlook. Hell, if that was what it’s like to approach 30, then sign me up for the big 3-0.
Except I started to notice things along the road to 30.
When I celebrated my 29th birthday, I received a cake that said “29 Forever” on it. I thought it was funny, and anyone who gives me a cake is solid in my book. Back then, I really didn’t think much of it. But when my days as a 29-year-old woman were numbered, I noticed an uncomfortable trend.
The thing about being a woman who’s turning 30 is that she’s not supposed to embrace it. Like the “29 Forever” cake, our society has this unwritten rule that women should be terrified of getting older. The joke that a women is celebrating “the anniversary of my 29th birthday” is said so often, we don’t realise how damaging it is.
While many people think they’re making cute jokes, there is a bigger issue behind those jokes. By 2015, the anti-aging industry is expected to reach $114 billion. Let’s think about the target audience for the industry: Women. Additionally, over 90 percent of people who get botox are, you guessed it, women.
Despite all this, I had a lot of great plans in store for my birthday and good people who were just as excited as me to celebrate. My best friend ordered me a pizza feast for lunch at my work, another friend made me my own Lindsay Barbie, I spent a day at the beach and I did karaoke with a group of people I love. It was perfect.
Actually, almost perfect. While I was giddy with friends, fun and carbs, I heard some comments that made me stop and think, “Huh? Why do people think it’s OK to say these things?” They were backhanded compliments that seemed like people were trying to make me feel bad about my birthday. Here we go…