When it comes to how we look, women tend to be each other’s harshest critics. Social media has polarized us even further. We want to look and feel our best as we age, but we don’t always agree on what that should look like. Should we go au naturel and accept what is? Can skin treatments be a form of self care rather than self scrutiny?

Aging is complex and personal, but it’s a process we all share. The #myagingface project asks: what does it mean to age gracefully? Can we embrace aging (and others) with less scrutiny and more generosity, in whatever way we choose?

The Project

Women 40+ are invited to post close-up photos of their faces with short descriptions on social media with the hashtag #myagingface. Be honest, be real, be whatever you feel. Select portraits are featured in local pop-up exhibits to stimulate dialogue and reflection.

The project also includes live, virtual conversations hosted by artist and organizer, Allyn Rippin. In this supportive space, women talk honestly about the pressures of aging, beauty standards, and the familial and societal cultures that shape how we view aging, and one another.

How to Join the Conversation

We encourage women to post on social media and hashtag #myagingface. Be sure to invite your friends to join. If you would like to be included in the next exhibition, please email your portrait and words to myface@theagingus.com.

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The #myagingface project is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Program. This year’s selected book, the graphic memoir “Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?” by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast, served as a springboard for a thought-provoking series. Book clubs, poetry readings, dance performances, art making and educational webinars were offered virtually and in-person in Athens, Georgia during Spring 2021.

NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

El proyecto NEA Big Read es una iniciativa del National Endowment for the Arts (el Fondo Nacional para las Artes de Estados Unidos) en cooperación con Arts Midwest.