A 37-year-old woman has detailed a ‘weird phenomenon’ she’s been experiencing with aging just days before her birthday.
Natalie Thomas – a marketing consultant, from Austin, Texas, who runs social media strategy business Less Wasted Living – revealed in a TikTok video, which has been viewed more than 620,000 times at the time of writing, she’d been really struggling with her appearance for the ‘last year or so.’
‘I want to share my experience with aging. I’m 37 now, I’m going to be 38 in a week,’ she told her more than 5,500 followers.
‘And in the last year or so I’ve really struggled with my appearance, and it’s not so much of like a shallow thing, not wanting to look old… but it’s not even that I’m like upset about a wrinkle or a blemish or a pigmentation.
Natalie Thomas, from Austin, Texas, revealed she’d been really struggling with her appearance for the ‘last year or so’
‘It’s this just really weird phenomenon that happens where you don’t recognize yourself,’ she said
The marketing consultant runs social media strategy business Less Wasted Living
‘It’s this just really weird phenomenon that happens where you don’t recognize yourself, and you’re trying to look like you always have and not in an age way, but just in a recognizing yourself.
‘So I’ll do my eyebrows and I’m like, “Well that didn’t do it. Okay maybe I just need more concealer,” and then that doesn’t do it. And then you realize you’ve lost volume in your face.’
Natalie, who turns 38 on Friday, goes on to say her features have also hollowed out and her skin was more thin, adding: ‘Just all these things have changed that makeup can’t change.
‘I guess plastic surgery or like augmentation injections can maybe fix, but it’s just odd to seek yourself in the mirror or on camera and not be able to find it, and having to become okay with this new person.’
Natalie said she thought women would understand what she was saying in the video.
‘Like I swear it’s just like one day you’re like, “Oh, I look like this,” and then you wake up and you’re like, “Oh, I don’t like that, I look older and more tired,”‘ she said.
Natalie made the TikTok just days before her 38th birthday. She is pictured here at the beach
In a second video, Natalie also shared some old photos of herself. The photo in the top right-hand corner is from circa 2017-18
Natalie said she thought women would understand what she was saying in the video, and judging by the comments it seems she was right
‘Let me do what I’m used to doing. The normal mascara, the normal eyeliner, whatever it is, and then that doesn’t work, and you’re faced with aging. It’s okay, but it’s definitely a trip.”
And Natalie wasn’t wrong when she thought other women could relate.
Her TikTok has been flooded with more than 5,000 comments since she posted the video on Tuesday.
‘Yes I’ve been finding this at 32! all of a sudden my skin is a little more sunken and I have a hint of jowls. finding it really hard accept,’ one person said.
‘I’m 34 and the pandemic aged me. Being stuck in lockdown in my apartment in lockdown – I never aged at all before then,’ another added.
A third TikTok user wrote: ‘Totally experiencing this at 34. It’s very surreal, not just my face but my body is different- hair- etc.’
Natalie agreed, responding: ‘Yep! Hair texture, my arm skin is more stretchy haha. it’s all new and weird (to me).’
‘Yea… I noticed this when I do my eyeliner lol my eye shape is changing,’ someone else said.
‘Omg yes! TY (thank you) for sharing! I’ve been going through this at 32-34. I don’t recognize myself & I’ve been grieving my younger self. The beauty I resented,’ one person wrote.
Another added: ‘Transition from 39 to 40 it happened overnight, experiencing rapid weight gain, losing undereye volume, sneak peek of jowls! This isn’t my body!’
Natalie told DailyMail.com that she almost didn’t post the video that she ‘casually’ filmed while waiting in her car.
She said it had been sitting in her drafts before she bit the bullet and shared it.
‘I really didn’t think it was going to have that much of a reaction,’ Natalie said.
Her TikTok has been flooded with more than 5,000 comments since she posted the video on Tuesday
Natalie and a photo of herself in circa 2018-19 to her right in a TikTok video
One TikTok user asked her to share the old photos. This one on the right is from circa 2019-20
A more recent photo of Natalie. Many TikTok users agreed with her video about aging
‘It was such a lovely experience to see how many people – men, women, non-binary, whoever – had this shared feeling around it.
‘And this puzzling thought of, “I recognize I’ve gotten older, I understand that… why can’t I look the same, and why can’t I recognize myself?” It’s humbling and kind of bizarre.
‘It was really nice just to see to see the age range of 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s [and] 60s. It felt like a sisterhood, and even men joining in, it really felt good.’
In a second TikTok video, Natalie also shared some photos of herself from about 2017 to now after someone requested to see ‘what [she] used to look like versus now.’
‘It’s not even about getting older again, it’s just I don’t see myself in the mirror,’ she said.
‘When I look at those images those pictures I’m like yeah, “That’s me,” but this isn’t me, like no makeup whatever, right now. But like even with makeup, it’s not me.’
Natalie added even though social media got ‘a bad wrap,’ she felt that TikTok made people ‘feel less alone’ about topics that ‘maybe you wouldn’t bring up among your friends or wouldn’t think to.’
‘It does put us in touch with people who are experiencing the same thing,’ she told DailyMail.com.