The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

Subject to Change: The facade of forever youth

Aging is viewed stereotypically by society.
Nina Stadermann
Aging is viewed stereotypically by society.

Dear Reader,

Crow’s feet and laugh lines – both concerns most teenagers don’t have. The idea of aging has always seemed like a distant, almost irrelevant notion. It was a concept meant for some distant future, reserved for those other people to deal with, not me. But all of that changed the moment I dipped my toes into the strange world of aging from social media’s perspective, where I was suddenly faced with a skewed idea on what it means to age.

There’s a shadowy side to social media that’s hard to escape; a side that tries to hide behind walls of filters, airbrushing and the pursuit of eternal youth, as if every wrinkle, every laugh line is a terrible mistake that needs to be erased. Witnessing how some individuals turn to fillers, Botox and cosmetic procedures to wage war against the natural aging process sends me, and perhaps others, into a spiral of questioning. It’s not about judging anyone’s choices; it’s about questioning the standards and ideals being thrust upon my generation.

Seeing influencers and celebrities who seem to have discovered the elixir of eternal youth makes me wonder if there’s something inherently wrong with growing up the way nature intended. It’s not merely about physical appearance but the deeper message that aging is something to fear, a process to avoid at any cost.

I crave the wisdom and experience that come with age, and I refuse to surrender to the pressure to erase every wrinkle, every laugh line as if they were terrible blunders. The idea of aging shouldn’t be locked into a single, unattainable ideal of perfection; instead, it should be celebrated as a tapestry, woven from the threads of our uniqueness.

The paradox is that while social media has the incredible power to connect us, it also has the power to disconnect us from reality. It’s all too easy to forget that those seemingly perfect photos often result from filters, retouching, and cosmetic enhancements. The danger lies in the fact that these images can breed unrealistic expectations of what aging means to the younger generation in today’s world. What are considered “imperfections” that come with aging actually tell stories of our joy, our sorrow, and our life experiences. Lines on our face are badges of honor that we should wear with pride, not blemishes to erase with a needle or filler.

So, here’s what I dream of, spoken as someone navigating the digital landscape: Let’s be real. Let’s celebrate aging as a natural part of life, not something to hide from or wage war against. It’s high time we redefine our relationship with aging to include the authenticity and grace that comes with growing up. Because when it comes right down to it, aging is not something to dread or hide from. It’s a beautiful journey adorned with valuable lessons, hearty laughter, and deep love. So let’s embrace it—we’re all going to grow old. With age comes wisdom, and so do wrinkles, laugh lines, and every beautiful imperfection that makes us human.

With love, 


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About the Contributors
Shreya joined the Tribune in hopes of improving her writing abilities and stayed for the company. This is her third year in the Tribune, and she spent the first two years as a staff writer. In her free time, Shreya enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering, and listening to Drake and Taylor Swift. Her goal for this year is to increase the number of columns in the paper and to write an op-ed that stirs drama within the DV community. If Shreya could be any other person on the Tribune, she would be Ekroop for her down-to-earth personality, ever-present smile, and her copy-editing skills or Neetra for her art skills and her ability to write a bomb article in every section.
Nina Stadermann, Staff Writer
Nina's interest in the Wildcat Tribune stems from a desire to work with other writers and interact with her community. This is her first year in Journalism. In Nina's free time, she writes poetry and plays piano. If she could be any other person on the Tribune, she'd be Benjamin, due to his predisposition towards happiness.

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