A woman's viral Facebook post about a skincare salesman has women across the world rethinking their wrinkles and crow's-feet.
Annick Robinson, from Montreal, Quebec, was at the airport recently when she said she was called over to a beauty kiosk, and found herself having a conversation with an employee about her skin, and her age. She recounts the conversation in the post, and it's Robinson's refreshing responses to the man's inquiries and suggestions about anti-aging creams and potions that won us over.
"I look my age and that's OK actually," she wrote.
Her response to a suggestion that she try a face serum to look younger? "What's wrong with looking 40?" Robinson asked.
Each time the salesman switched tactics — what about those laugh lines and under-eye bags? — Robinson was ready to fire back.
"What's wrong with my eyes?" she told him, according to the post. "I have a miracle baby at home and haven't slept in two years, so if I have bags I am grateful to have them. And my husband and I laugh a lot. Those are his fault. He loves how I look... I don't think I need your cream."
She ended the post by sharing a photo of her face that day at the airport, writing, "This is the face my children and my husband love. I think I'll keep it."
Robinson, a mom of two, told TODAY her point wasn't to shame the salesman or the brand, which she declined to name, but to push back against the notion that women should be ashamed and fearful of looking older: "I'm angry at the message," she said.
"It's not his fault — I don't blame him at all," Robinson continued. "I'm sure it's a script he has to memorize; it's a sales pitch and he does it a hundred times a day. It's the industry. It's the way that we are marketed. Self-loathing has to stop."
But in the moment, standing at the beauty counter, something clicked, she said.
"What I didn't mention in my post was that the whole time he was talking to me, he was holding a mirror up to my face, and saying, 'See this? See this?' as though there was something wrong with me," Robinson recalled. "As though my face is something I need to worry about it. I'm a mom. I worry professionally! I worry about my kids, I worry about them being happy, I worry about them being safe. I worry about my moles being melanoma. I worry about people who text and drive. I worry about people who drink and drive. I worry about strangers. When you're a mom, you worry! So for him asking me to worry about my face, it was just so ridiculous."
"It wasn't premeditated," she continued. "I was just looking in the mirror, and I thought, 'I look my age.' And my next thought was, 'That's OK! What's wrong with that?' And I don't think I believed it until I said those words. And then the light bulb went off: This is just crazy, and it's crazy that this is normal, and that women are having this same experience all across the world."
Her post has been well-received. Robinson said her inbox is flooded with kind messages from strangers, including many women who have had similar experiences and were moved by her post.
"It never occurred to me that anyone other than my mom and a couple of my friends would like this," she said. "I didn't intend to start some kind of movement, but the momentum has been gathering by the day. The conversation is very dynamic, and I've been learning a lot in the past couple days."