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?
“As a photographer, my own perception of beauty has evolved. The only thing that stays beautiful is something that touches my heart.”
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.
The deep lines in a woman’s face, lines that speak of sensitivity, wisdom and grace…
An old woman, clasping her hands over her mouth out of shyness…
Being brave in the face of adversity…
A peaceful heart reflected in the eyes of a deeply lined face…
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.
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.
Look out for the Ageless Beauty Exhibition
Where: The Women’s Museum in Hanoi
When: Till the 31st December 2018