{The Advanced Style book}

Monday, July 30th, I’m turning the big 3-0. And even though in my mind I’m only 24 (seems like a good number), I have to say that I’d never, ever want to go back to my early 20s.

During those years my self-worth was shaky (at best). I equated my worthiness as a person, as a human being, with my weight, my size, my shape, my looks.

I yearned to be everyone but myself.

Today, I feel like I’ve found my footing. I still have quite a bit to go. But I’m in a much better, happier and more fulfilled place.

I’ve settled into my style (as in I have fun with clothes and rarely care what others think about what I wear). I don’t weigh myself anymore, and my relationship with food and my body has improved immensely. (And by immensely, I mean they’re worlds apart.)

While I do think most of us get wiser and more confident with age, I also know that it can be tough to watch your appearance change.

It can shake your body image. And the fact that we live in a youth-centric society, of course, doesn’t ease these worries (and might even spark them in the first place).

Even now, at almost 30 years old, I see the lines forming and finding their place on my face; the scars that won’t be dissipating; the stretch marks and cellulite that have settled in; the once supple skin getting rougher, drier.

That’s why I wanted to share with you an incredibly inspiring blog called Advanced Style. It’s one of my favorite reads. (This is one of my favorite pages.) Ari Seth Cohen, who authors the blog, features photos of confident older women — all the way up to 100! — who not only have a unique sense of style but fully and happily embrace their age — and themselves. They have fun with fashion and they honor their bodies.

As Cohen writes on the blog:

I roam the streets of New York looking for the most stylish and creative older folks. Respect your elders and let these ladies and gents teach you a thing or two about living life to the fullest. Advanced Style offers proof from the wise and silver-haired set that personal style advances with age.

One of the things I love about Advanced Style is that it helps us adjust our vision — such as our entrenched beliefs on aging and what it should look like — to see our bodies and ourselves in a different and more positive light.

Regardless of how our looks change throughout the years, we always deserve to honor, appreciate and respect our bodies. We always deserve to feel beautiful and strong and empowered. At any age.

Watch some of the ladies from Advanced Style in action on The Today show.

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What’s the best part of getting older? How has your style changed?