Ageless beauty


Ageless beauty

How do we define beauty?

Like everything, the definition of what beauty is has evolved with time. What was considered beautiful 50 years ago has changed so much today. Since change is the only constant, I’m sure the definition of beauty will continue to evolve. However, these days, it’s becoming more and more difficult to define what beauty truly is because it means so many different things to so many people..

Of course there’s what people consider physical beauty, but we all know this changes with time. Physical beauty always gives way to experience and every experience ends up being written on the face. It can be a dashing smile or the confidence that exudes from within. Beauty can also be fickle when being used to manipulate.

 

The paradox of the billion dollar beauty industry is that it profits on the fear of growing old. It’s constantly trying to ‘reverse’ the signs of aging. I don’t have to tell you how many companies use that word in their advertising. How can we reverse the signs of aging if we can’t reverse time itself?

 

Surely the only thing that can be reversed is our attitude towards ageing. Physically, we can’t reverse time but we can become more mindful and make choices that will be better for our health, but even this is no ‘reversal’ of the ageing process. Who was the person who said the aging process can’t be beautiful?

 

There’s so much irony in this because it seems everyone wants to live forever, yet, no one wants to grow old. And this is one and the same. When we’re young, we’re so frustrated and all we want to do is be older. Then when we get there, we realize later how little we enjoyed and appreciated the freedom of our youth.

 

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder and as a photographer, Réhahn believes there is something that transcends the modern perceptions of beauty. Beauty becomes something that has no age. When you’ve spent years documenting faces, something else starts to emerge from the picture. You start to see people differently.

“As a photographer, my own perception of beauty has evolved. The only thing that stays beautiful is something that touches my heart.” said Réhahn

 

Here are a few examples of what Réhahn considers to be ageless beauty.

Indigo dye

Hard working hands covered in exquisite indigo dye…

LyCaSu

The deep lines in a woman’s face, lines that speak of sensitivity, wisdom and grace…

HiddenSmile3

An old woman, clasping her hands over her mouth out of shyness…

Back Home

Being brave in the face of adversity…

2 brothers

Two brothers with long grey beards looking up into the unknown…

Hidden Smile

An old woman on a fishing boat transcend from obscurity to become one of the most famous faces in Vietnam

Agelessbeauty050916-50

The beauty of eyes that transcend time… when the eyes can’t hide the joy and appreciation of life.
(Madam Xong and the famous singer Văn Mai Hương)

DienBienPhu050714-117

Seeing an elderly, fiercely independent woman in her traditional dress, smoking on a pipe…

Hoian-031215-203Hearing a couple that have been married for more than 66 years, whistling and laughing like uncontrollable teenagers…

103 years old Rengao

A peaceful heart reflected in the eyes of a deeply lined face…

86 years old Co Tu

Watching an old woman swinging on a hammock talking about her youth…

black-lolo-vietnam

Appreciation of one’s heritage and wearing those costumes, no matter how old, with pride…

Ethnie Hre

The steely determination that shines through a strong woman’s eyes…

Smell the nature

The seeds of life…

We are all like seeds that have been planted, watered and nourished by the soil. All of us growing up in different conditions and being confronted by nature in many different climates.

Like a seed we start to sprout, first our roots develop and grab hold of the earth. The stronger the roots, the better we’ll cope above ground. Then we are nourished by the earth’s nutrients and slowly make our way to the sun. We break through the earth and start reaching for the sky.

rehahn

A rich life

A life lived to the fullest is truly beautiful, when we’re given an opportunity for our white hair to become silver crowns of glory. The wrinkles and lines in our eyes will tell a deeper story. When the story of our life’s challenges and joys take us to terrifying yet meaningful places, we never know where we’ll end up. We might just end up meeting people who will touch our lives, people that will take us on a journey of discovery, where we don’t age because we remain like memories in their hearts.

NOTE:
Look out for the Ageless Beauty Exhibition
Where: The Women’s Museum in Hanoi
When: From the 30th September till the 31st December 2016

 

 

By Rene Leen from Réhahn’s Team