Natasha Young On The Art Of Ageing Mindfully

Natasha Young On The Art Of Ageing Mindfully

When you’re in your own lane, there is no traffic.

That’s one of the mantras I live by these days. One I repeat any time I doubt myself, my choices, or what the flying fig I am actually doing, modelling for Silverfox MGMT at the age of 51.

It’s an interesting arena to be in. Working as a model invites frequent comments on my looks, and predictably, I am both complimented and criticised. It can be dismaying at times, however one of the benefits of age is that you give less figs. There is such a freedom in that. I care only for the opinions of the people who know and value me.

Age brings other beautiful things. Your tolerance for BS goes way down, while your radar for sniffing it out becomes finely honed. You realise there’s no need to embrace the attitudes of others, or the youth-centric narratives of the beauty industry. Ageing mindfully to me relies on not basing my self-worth on how I look. Of course, because I want to model, it’s important I pay attention to my skin, hair, and body; but my sense of worth comes from how I feel about the way I show up as a human, and the relationships that I derive from that.

These are the things that help me feel great about ageing:


I got comfortable in my skin. I spent three years feeling awkward with grey hair at a time when it was considered the very furthest thing from chic. Covering my greys was a battle I was never going to win, despite 20 years of valiant attempts to do so. The only choice was to own it. With a ‘fake it ‘til I make it’ mentality, I resolved to flip my perspective and view my prematurely silver locks as interesting and different. My acceptance grew, and slowly I realised they were more than interesting... they were arresting; pretty even! It finally dawned on me that I had spent years fighting the very thing that set me apart. I let go of the freely-given perspectives of others, and society’s expectations, and took home a powerful lesson: the greater the self-acceptance, the greater the self-confidence. It’s not lost on me that my silver hair has been the making of me as a model.


Strong, healthy relationships and supportive friendships are my everything. I marvel at how connections can transpire in the most unassuming ways, and from the most unexpected people. I didn’t for one minute imagine that grabbing a daily coffee from my local would forge intergenerational friendships with people I now think of as kinsfolk, but there you have it. Connections like these have added a richness and depth to my life; and if you believe the science, they promote health and well-being. It works for me.


Quit it. I no longer compare myself to anybody. A couple of years ago, I was having a meltdown about walking a high profile runway with high profile models...and then there was me. What. On. Earth? Had the casting director gone nuts? I felt like an imposter of the highest order. A friend, who has a knack for boiling things down, offered these words: “Tash. You’re in your own lane.” Something shifted. I was chosen because I am different from others. And that is my superpower. As it is yours.


Get out of it! Conforming with the expectations of others, or doing what we’ve always done because it’s what we’ve always done, is stifling, boring and ultimately soul-destroying. Risk is the instrument of growth. It’s empowering, liberating, and refreshing to do things that scare you...even if you feel like a goose trying. I recently blundered my way through my first-ever dance class, but I loved it. I’ll stick with it, and get better at it. The success is in the trying!


For me, moving my body is the most powerful tool of all – it’s the best way to deal with stress, and to feel great, mentally and physically. Constant physical challenges have a way of elevating confidence – you learn you actually can do things previously thought impossible – and that’s empowering. Feeling strong and capable physically has a way of translating into other aspects of life. Achieving physical goals well beyond my self-imposed limitations made me wonder what else I was capable of. I came up with... pretty much anything, if I’m prepared to give it a red hot crack. I sure as hell don’t let age define what I can and can’t do.

My final thought on ageing mindfully... Look after yourself, in all the ways. Stay curious. Try new stuff. And remember the words of Marilyn Monroe: “A wise girl knows her limits. A smart girl knows she has none.”