A woman’s market value does not (necessarily) decline with age

For the past week, I had spoken extensively and passionately to many people on varied topics which coincidentally correlates with each other: marriage, confidence, skills, beauty and market value.

All these thoughts started with a heart-to-heart talk with a girlfriend who has just broken up with her boyfriend. A few years shy of 30, she laments “My market value is going down!”.

I’ve heard about it many times as a kid, but this time it struck me because it implies that my market value is going down too. Why would someone say that? Does every girl feel that way?  I had a lot of questions and they hung over my head for a few days. Between doing yoga and dishes, I began to understand why.

Traditionally, men are valued for their capability and wealth. Women, on the other hand, are valued for their beauty and youth. Hence, someone’s market value depends on what people want from you and what you can offer.

That, however, is a woman’s market value in the eyes of people who subscribe to that archaic thinking. The belief that the market value of a woman decreases as she age is only true if you believe that a woman’s greatest asset is her young, pretty face.

But many people don’t realise that, a woman’s ‘market value’ depends on what she values about herself and, in the context of marriage, what her future husband values about her.

I don’t agree that my market value decreases with time, in fact it is increasing. I briefly wrote about it here. Why? I never valued myself for my physical attributes, or even intelligence for I am not born beautiful or smart.

From childhood to secondary school, I pride myself for being hardworking, perseverant, curious and having the gift of making people happy. These qualities led me to gaining many skills, knowledge and friends. Unlike youth or beauty, these abilities will only grow in time.

Naturally, I do not get into a relationship if I feel my face is the main attraction. Perhaps, that is why I am mostly single; I can’t make myself settle for someone who cannot appreciate all the other things in me – passion, (deadpan) humour, thoughtfulness, positivity etc.

Lucky for me, I met a wonderful man who sees me beyond my big eyes or long hair (or whatever the society believe is beautiful). The greatest compliment I’ve ever received happened like this:

“I really like what’s inside this”, he lightly poked his finger on my head. Then, as his index finger circled my face, he said “This is just a bonus”.

And I know what is inside me will only increase, not decrease, with time.

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I have a lot more to say but it’s getting too long. I’ll wrap it up with this message: Girls, do not let the society or anybody put a price on you. Find value in, not outside, yourself. If you can’t, work harder. Do not settle. You deserve a man who is intelligent enough to appreciate something more than trifling youth and beauty. 

Oh, I won’t allow words like ‘market value’ to be used on me. I am not a commodity.