Yes, Vegan Women DO Get Wrinkles

This past week I did a brief interview for Care2.com, about vegan parenting.  With some of the controversy that arose with the “Vegan Is Love” book, I was asked a few questions.  They posted the piece yesterday.

Today I read this comment that was posted to the article. This person said:

“What I have noticed most with all the vegans I have met or seen (including the photo of the author of this article) is their skin always looks prematurely wrinkled, extremely thin or exceedingly pale, usually with dark undereye circles, probably from iron deficiency.”

Can I speak to this, folks?  I did leave a comment on the article, but really want to elaborate here.  That photo was taken as part of a family photo shoot just 2 or 3 weeks after our third baby was born. 3 WEEKS! Anyone that has had children knows that 3 weeks pospartum, you look and feel like crud. And, not only was our baby up about 5 times through the night (and had reflux), I had two other children to take care of during the day – and also had in-laws visiting at the time. So, forgive me if I have dark circles under my eyes and some age-appropriate wrinkles, I had a lot on my proverbial plate.  And, I was 39 at the time.

And, I had a few wrinkles. What 39 woman doesn’t? Ok, I don’t mean Jennifer Lopez or other women in Hollywood. I mean real-life women.  Because, on that topic, when Jennifer Lopez was named “the most beautiful woman in the world” last year, I thought “great, now us 40 year old women have THAT kind of standard to live up to“.

She doesn’t look 40, because she is being filled and fixed!  I would like to see Jennifer without the fillers, without the special make-up and lighting and photoshop work.  I know she is still beautiful, because she IS a beautiful woman.  But, I bet she looks more like 40 than 30.

I just need to say this because I’ve been “out there” for more than 10 years now.  I know that being a visible spokesperson for living vegan, and being a vegan mom, I will always be judged on my appearance – because my photos are on the internet.  It’s very hard, and like I said in my comment, I try to judge my health by how I feel.  And most days I feel pretty damn good.  Most days.  I am a mom of 3 with no extended family support, that is also running her own career without much assistance.  So, my days are full-on, and there are no vacations or weekends.

I work hard because I am passionate.  But, alas, I am 41, so I won’t look 30.  I think I look pretty good for my age, but also I feel very good for my age.  (Excepting these occasional judgemental comments, that is.)

As women, we are judged FAR more on our appearance than are men.  It is unfortunate that women take so much judgement for how they look – rather than being judged for what they contribute.

Finally, to address the issue of iron.  It is a gross misperception that vegans are anemic.  It has been shown that “iron deficiency anemia is no more common among vegetarians than among the general population“.  If you are eating foods like dark leafy greens (kale, collards, bok choy), beans and nuts and seeds and other varied whole foods, it is not at all difficult to obtain the iron you need on a vegan diet.

(p.s. I write this today not to seek compliments or reassurance – we all enjoy such positive feedback, but that is not my intention.  Rather, I want to speak to the unreasonable and unattainable expectations for women as they age – and the equally unfair judgements placed on vegans.)

59 Responses to Yes, Vegan Women DO Get Wrinkles

  1. Lily says:

    Hi Dreena,

    Thanks for such a great article. I am 42 and am considering going vegan and was hoping for some guidance. I am extremely allergic to milk and eggs and as a result, do not eat any dairy products or eggs. I do however, eat lamb, chicken, turkey and goat and some fish.

    I really want to be 100% vegan as I do believe it is a healthier way of eating, but I cannot tolerate grains or nuts well and do not want to put myself at risk for any nutrient deficiencies.

    My diet today consists of organic fruits, veggies and high quality grass fed meats. I stay away from beef as my dairy allergy so severe, I react to beef as well.

    Any recommendations on how to start a vegan lifestyle without incorporating any grains and nuts.

    Thanking you in advance.
    Lily

    • Dreena says:

      Hi Lily, thanks for visiting and commenting. I think this question is best suited to a vegan dietitian. You might want to look at consulting with someone like Ginny Messina, Brenda Davis, or Julieanna Hever. I’m fairly certain they all book consultations. Good luck. :)

  2. Jen says:

    Dreena, I am utterly shocked to hear those comments would be made about you and I am so totally proud to see all the comments here. I am glad you wrote this and “defended” yourself – even though you didn’t need to at all. I know I haven’t seen you in a while, but what I have always noticed about you – in person and on your cookbook covers – is that you have a beautiful, radiant, natural glow. What I admire the most about you is that you go with the flow of what is happening now. I love the fact that you clarified that the picture in question was taken 3 weeks after the birth of your third child. As a mom, no need to say more! From what I know, you have always gone ahead with your cookbook covers when they needed to be done, not when it was the “perfect time” because there is never a perfect time in life to live your life! Every day is a gift that you demonstrate how to live to the fullest by being genuine, honest and real. Thank you, Dreena, for being you 100% through and through all the time!

    Love,

    Jen :)

    • Dreena says:

      Jen, you are so kind to leave a note on this post. I sure miss our mama times together, our great laughs and your warm energy. When are you moving back?! ;) Thanks my friend… xo

  3. Lela says:

    I have been changing my diet over to partial-vegan (flexitarian) for a while now. It’s been an interesting and challenging transition. I am doing it for health benefits and to help find dairy-free recipes, since I am casein intolerant, as opposed to moralistic reasons. Long story short, I have been doing tons of reading on vegan and raw-vegan and partial-raw-vegan and flexitarian diets for months now. It is very apparent to me that vegans of any kind are held up to the light for extra scrutiny. Women in particular! You have a wrinkle? It’s the vegan diet. YOu caught a cold? Obviously the vegan diet. If you’re eating vegan why don’t you look ‘twenty years younger’ like some report to do? Obviously doing it wrong! It must be exhausting to have to defend your dietary choices so often. I therefore for that very reason fly under the radar as much as I can. If I go out to eat and only order asian salad and edamame and tell them to ‘hold the salmon’, I tell my friends, ‘I just have such a craving for greens today,’. If I get a cheese-free pizza with toppings, my friends understand it’s because I’m casein intolerance, not because I’m doing the vegan thing. Being vegan or part time vegan seems to require a real tenacity because a lot of people will want to argue with you. You can’t argue iwth food allergies…but veganism seems to incite minor riots! ANyway, I’m going to check out your blog. THanks for being here!

  4. Star says:

    Hey I just wanted to comment im 22 and a vegan and before veganism people always told me i look young like 16,17,18 at least 3 years younger than my age my entire life! i use to hate it but i love it now had to get used to it but also my mother is 40 not a vegan i think kinda far from one and looks 20 and always got told she looks like a young girl so i dont think its ALL diet based even though plant based slows down aging process but its genetics well-being stressing exercise products used and environment factors that are included …well i love vegan diet havent been sick in my life hope this only strengthens me! peace and love –let thy food be thy medicine=-hippocrates
    Star recently posted..Raw Raspberry Pudding and Review of JEM Nut ButtersMy Profile

  5. Janae Wise says:

    Dreena: I got your back :). I understand what you are saying–totally. I had a friend once tell me the reason I was sick (I had the flu at the time) that it was because I was vegan. Thanks for taking the time to point out that we all age & despite even the best diet, we’re going to have some off days or times. Yes, wouldn’t it be swell if we could all be like the stars & remain ageless? Not really. I think J.Lo does all women a diservice by perpetuating this idea that women have only have value based on youth & sex appeal. Jamie Lee Curtis is more on the money in that regard.

    Anyway, sending you lots of love & reassurance–you’re doing the right thing by speaking up & out for this :)!

    • Dreena says:

      Janae, I appreciate that. It’s a double whammy, being vegan and being a woman. Glad I’ve got the support of other good-hearted women and vegans – like you.

  6. I think people will jsut about find anything to judge and attach to vegans.:) generally that is one of the reasons that makes me scared to be out there.. but i am working on that..

  7. veganlinda says:

    As a 40 year old vegan woman (and mother of three), I appreciate this post. Thanks for “being out there”. I appreciate it!

  8. Gena says:

    Well said, my superhero friend.

    When I started my blog, I was *so* nervous about any and every bit of feedback on my appearance–a phenomenon that was made worse by the fact that it took me years to gain weight from my early 20′s relapse into my ED, and I was a little bit thinner when I started writing than I am now. Well, you can imagine the backlash and commentary! So upsetting for a woman who was proud of actually having moved past her disorder.

    Beyond that, I’m always afraid of whether or not I’ll look tired, pale, or whatnot when I’m out and about. Over time, I’ve gotten better at not thinking about this too much, and remembering that I have never advocated veganism as a shield against the realities of life. Vegans get tired, catch cold, get wrinkles, get viruses, and they even sometimes get far graver diseases. Our diet does provide great health, but we are also human beings, and thus subject to the ravages of errant microbes, mutating cells, and plain ‘ole fatigue. Some raw foodists like to promise eternal youth through diet, but I never do, and neither do you, because we’re far more realistic and honest than that. xo

    • Dreena says:

      Gena, how I love what you’ve written here. Thank you SO very much for contributing that. YES, we are human, and as I type this I am just getting over a cold (GASP!). ;) And, I’m not at all surprised with how rundown I’ve felt this week from a number of stressors. I’ve always believed that eating a healthy vegan diet can help us live healthier and give us more protection from many illnesses, but it doesn’t make us invincible!

      And, I am so sorry that you had that experience on your own blog. It can be harsh to take the judgements of others, particularly when they seem to have no filter sitting behind a computer screen. I know your readers are grateful that you had the courage to continue, with the knowledge, experience, and inspiration you now bring. xo

  9. Natalie says:

    I’m new to your blog but am so glad I came across it! First off, I am in my mid-20′s and would love to look like you! Either now or in 20 years. It really bothers me how women’s appearance gets dragged into the vegan debate. Can’t we just focus on how the diet makes one feel–that is–absolutely fantastic and alive?

    And I completely agree with you for wanting to raise your kids vegan. It is not some kind of religion as some see it. It’s just a different way to eat, focusing on plant foods. Some see it as a type of belief system or an ideology, but really it’s just a diet, nothing more and nothing less. Of course, it’s possible to tie it to moral beliefs, but not necessary. Hopefully the diet will become more mainstream and people will be a bit more accepting.

    • Dreena says:

      oh heavens!! That’s awfully nice, thank you Natalie. Thank you for sharing your insights as a woman, and also your thoughts on parenting as a vegan. I think because we are covering ground as a vegan community, we are getting some resistance – because there has been a lot of growth in the last few years. Thanks for your note! :)

  10. Hello, I stumbled upon your website by accident and after reading this article, I am so glad that I did! I appreciate real women who stand up for other real women.

    Much appreciation, I am a new follower! :)

  11. Kimmie says:

    Hi Dreena, I am new to your blog, but one of the first things I noted was your pic! When I looked at it, I thought, “yup, here’s this young 20-something person looking fab and all glowing and radiant!” In the back of my mind, I am saying, “gosh, I need to eat as healthy as she is so I can look as good as she looks!” Enough said. Have you ever noticed that so many people just want to pick things/people apart? It’s a self-confidence thing they are battling…if you can’t be happy with yourself, you want everyone else to be miserable as well. You look great Dreena, and you strive to serve your family and yourself the best lifestyle of nutrition and health. Kudos!

    • Dreena says:

      Kimmie, if only I weren’t married… ;) Geez, that’s a lifting thing to hear after some of what I’ve processed this week. I know I’ll never look 20 again, nor should I. I just want to look and feel the best me I can! It’s true that others sometimes want to squash our spirit, thankfully we have many others surrounding us to help us shine again. Thank you, and enjoy checking out my site!

  12. Linda says:

    Hi Dreena
    I am a vegan newbie and a fan of your cookbooks and blog. I too have heart disease in my family and have learned that transformation for a better life begins with what you put on and in your body. Your recipes are not only delicious but incredibly doable which is always key for a mom trying to feed two young kids and a hungry husband! Many thanks for the inspiration- your recipes are truly amazing! And now, after reading your latest blog, I’m convinced our paths were destined to cross.

    I’m a consultant with Arbonne International, a 32 year old beauty, health and wellness company. Every Arbonne product is botanically-based, hypoallergenic, ph correct, vegan, and paraben-, phthalate-, and toxin free and dermatologist tested. Its products have been “green” since inception, never tested on animals, PETA-certified and forestry certified. They are pure, safe, ultra premium beauty, health and wellness products at really great prices. These products “weed out the toxic crap and get with the really good stuff”.

    Product Plug alert! I’m 53 years young and have a 6 year old girl and a 9 year old boy – needless to say I love Arbonne’s anti-aging RE9 facial goodies- the day and night creams are fabulous! My kids actually ask for the children’s vitamins and the tea tree oil shampoo (anti-tick/lice) is a godsend to mom’s of young kids. Believe it or not, my husband “I don’t do moisturizer” John comes from a family with a long history of factory workers who back in the day used to wash their hands in kerosene -UGH-but true. Anyway, John really likes the men’s skin care line. Now that’s miraculous!!!!

    I’d love to send you, and any of your blog followers, samples to try. I’m confident you’ll love them. Please let me know where I can send the samples. In the meantime, check out my website http://LindaLederman.myarbonne.com to view the over 17 different product lines and over 500 products we have to offer. Get ready for my brand to rock you! It’s time to dance!

    Looking forward to hearing from you,
    All the best,
    Linda
    Linda Lederman
    Lynled@aol.com

    • Dreena says:

      Hi Linda! Welcome to my site, and thanks for your good words about my books/blog. Coincidentally, I am already an Arbonne consultant. I say consultant, b/c that’s technically how I’m set up with Arbonne, but I have done no consulting or anything other than use the products myself. Just the past 8-9 mo’s or so. I signed up with a local gal, we did preggo yoga some years ago.

      Still, my readers may be interested to learn more and connect with you, so thanks for connecting!

  13. I’m so glad you did this blog post Dreena, I think it has been necessary and supportive group therapy Dreena. Thank you my love! xoxo

    And, like Dreena says, most of the time, I can just let them go and delete them, just every once and a while, one of them gets under the skin, like a bad sliver.

    And Thank you Christine … I didn’t expect somebody who was familiar with my content to be reading my comments here! And you don’t worry about me anymore, my husband Tim has taken over moderating youtube comments, I only get to review solid and worthwhile content comments now … he deletes all the others and blocks them for me now!!! xoxo

    …that could be something you might want to consider too Dreena if you have an assistant!
    Love, Melissa

    • Dreena says:

      Melissa, that is SO smart to have Tim do that moderating. Because when Paul saw what was written he was livid and I think wanted me to just throw in the towel. He sees how much I care and then how easily I can be hurt, so it pains him and he just wants to protect me. No doubt that’s why Tim is doing that job for you. We are blessed to have loving, loyal husbands. Thank you for being a kind friend and a great supporter. xo

  14. bitt says:

    What a rude thing for the person to say! I am so glad you addressed you. I think you always look pretty awesome in your pictures, not fake. I like a few wrinkles in this botox day and age.

  15. Alison says:

    When I hear that whole “vegans are iron deficient” BS, I have to chime in that when I was pregnant with my daughter–and wasn’t a vegan–I was eating hamburgers almost nonstop. And guess what? I got iron deficient and had to take a special iron supplement. And then just recently when I was pregnant with my son, while eating a vegan diet, my iron levels were perfect. No iron deficiency at all! So there. A well-planned vegan diet can provide all the nutrients you need.

    • Dreena says:

      thank you for adding that, Alison. Since posting this, I’ve heard from quite a few people that have mentioned the same! And, as Dr. Barnard notes in “Food For Life”, there is also a problem with consuming too much iron, which can happen on a meat-centric diet. Thanks for the comment. :)

  16. Dreena, this blog entry struck a chord with me as another person who also puts herself out there in the public. You would not believe the comments I get on my youtube channel!!! They very rarely have anything to do about the yoga and almost always have to do with my appearance. I can be too thin, too chubby, good looking for an older woman, they complain about my underwear lines (would they prefer me not to wear underwear?), they comment all the time about my *ss (thankfully I have a small chest or else there would be endless comments about my breasts as well). Most comments are too disgusting to repeat here and get deleted. Most of the time I can let them go. Sometimes I feel really hurt like one day when they suggested “nobody wants to look at an old unattractive woman like this, get a younger model to do these shows” … especially when our tag line is Real Yoga for Real People. Anyway, I don’t really have a point… other than, isn’t it nice when people actually comment on the content? Love, Melissa xoxo

    • Oh Melissa, that is absolutely disgusting, disappointing and heart-wrenching that someone as sweet and beautiful as you has to deal with comments like that. As a member of your site, I joined for many reasons. Yes, you don’t look like a super model, and that’s what’s appealing to me because I don’t look like a super model. You are sweet and funny and I love when the geese walk in front of the camera, or I can hear the birds chirping so loudly they sound like they’re right in my living room with me. Your true loving nature comes through and that is what drew me to you.

      I know it’s hard to move on from those hurtful comments but know that there is much more love for you than criticism.

      • Ok, now I feel guilty that I said you don’t look like a super model. Let me just clarify…you are a beautiful vegan-fed yoga practicing woman who has a very attractive figure. Much better than mine, it must be that third boy who left me with a parting gift (aka a pouchy tummy!!). Oh well, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

        Just as Dreena says, we sometimes feel the pressure to live up to the image portrayed in the mainstream media. It’s not necessary. Most of us understand the pressure and let it go, but still find that pressure is annoying and unachievable. Melissa, just like the majority of us, is beautiful in more ways than one and that greatly enhances the actual beauty in her and us.

      • Dreena says:

        And, Melissa, I can vouch for how much Christine appreciates and values your work. She raved about you in an e-mail. :) So kind of you to comment back to Melissa, Christine.

    • Dreena says:

      Melissa, you know I adore you, and it hurts me to hear that you’ve received those comments. Your work and passions are to bring people to a better, healthier, and happier place. And, in that path you are met with rude and unkind comments? I am sorry you have had to experience that. I understand how it feels, so know how you felt reading them. And, you cannot ‘unread’ them, if you know what I mean. How are we “old”? What, once we pass 30, we are deemed “old”? It is the youth-worshipping media culture that feeds this kind of thinking.

      And I think I was compelled to write this post also because just a couple of days earlier I had a blog comment out of the blue saying “you are too skinny!”. It could have been a troll, but it bothered me, because again, it had NOTHING to do with my post. I wasn’t saying I had the perfect body, much like in this article I wasn’t talking about antiaging! I have bizarrely long lanky arms and a tiny bone structure, and so I look a bit, well, gawky at times. But this is me, dammit! So, you are either not thin enough, or too thin, or too whatever-that-doesn’t-fit-the-ideal-image of what ‘we’, as women, should be. If my husband’s picture had been in that parenting article, I highly doubt anyone would have commented on his wrinkles, just as a side note.

      All I can say is that I value the women (and men) that build other women up. That value them for all that is beautiful about them, outside and inside, and that want to celebrate them for what they contribute. You are one of those women, Melissa. As are many that commented here. And, I also value YOU, my dear friend. xo

  17. Nancy says:

    I run a vegan meetup group and have been involved in vegan activism for well over a decade. I agree with everything you have said, Dreena. It’s unfair to judge you. But I do feel the need to speak up about one thing:

    I am the last person to defend zealot-like veganism. Nor do I tend to believe things just because they support veganism. But I can honestly say that, in my experience, vegans, as a group, in general, rather than looking prematurely older than their age, actually usually look far younger. There are always exceptions.

    People are regularly not just surprised but actually flabbergasted to learn my true age. I am regularly assumed to be over 15 years younger than my age. And my vegan friends are mostly similarly misjudged.

    There was an article in the Vancouver Sun saying that people following a Mediterranean diet tend to look on average 10 years younger than their age. I believe it because this is what I see among vegans, who follow the next closest diet. Diets full of fruit and vegetables are good for the skin!

    So, while I agree that it is unfair to hold vegans up to some high standard to defend the diet, I also have to say that vegans don’t just look no better or worse than anyone else. Come to a vegan gathering sometime. The people are on average slimmer than the general population and their skin looks good! That is, unless they’ve just given birth and been up all night with a crying baby!

  18. You are one strong lady and I love you for that. As you said, not only are you raising your 3 girls, being a loving wife, managing the household, cooking the meals, and managing your business on your own, but you also must look perfect at every angle at every part of the day. Yikes! That’s some pressure! And it’s not practical nor is it possible…for anyone. And that’s okay. You are a beautiful woman inside and out and I can imagine it’s stressful being in the public eye and in a sense being a face of veganism. As we all, know some people (a lot of people) have a difficult time with our way of eating. It goes against everything we’ve been taught as a child (to eat enough protein and follow the food pyramid including meat, dairy, and eggs for optimal health). Some can get a bit defensive and try to find fault at something, just to make themselves feel better. Unfortunately they have to try to hit below the belt and go for what really hurts, our appearance. Not fair. Nor do they have any basis for those comments…you look fantastic in that picture!

    You know I’m struggling with a few pounds. I’m a healthy gal now, I’ve never felt better. I’ve always been anemic and haven’t had my blood tested recently, but I know how I feel when my iron is low and I haven’t felt that way since I was pregnant over 3 years ago, prior to giving up dairy and eggs. Even though I’m healthier than I’ve ever been, I still feel that pressure to look a certain way because I’m vegan. It’s that double standard that is should not exist, but does.

    We can only hope that these situations bring us closer and helps to educate those who need more education.

  19. Lauren M says:

    It was indeed an unfair comment and I see them whenever I read articles about plant-based diets. I think some people search out these articles just to post opposing views, which is fine; but it’s not fine to be judgemental or nasty. I’m going to put myself out there and confess that I am iron deficient. I had my bloodwork done and am low in a few other vitamins as well. This cannot and should not be blamed on my mostly vegan diet because I had this issue before transitioning from a SAD way of eating. Fatigue, severe reflux, joint pain and digestive issues prompted me to transition to a plant-based diet which helped me overcome most of those health issues. If I don’t take my supplements I still feel tired. But I’m not hungry, nor do I look too pale or have dark circles under my eyes. Sometimes undereye circles or bags are just genetic! I prefer seeing photos and videos of “regular” beautiful people like Dreena Burton, Kris Carr, and Kristin Suzanne of Kristin’s Raw. I’m 30 and I’m proud of my crow’s feet and I’m trying to accept my three lip wrikles (again, genetics!). It’s crazy to compare ourselves or anyone to photoshopped pictures of people or to celebrities who get regular cosmetic “touch-ups.” http://youtu.be/hibyAJOSW8U

    • Lauren M says:

      I’d like to add, I purposefully don’t tell my most people about my iron deficiency because they’ll blame it on my diet and tell me to go eat a steak. As Dreena said, the numbers are not higher for vegans than mainstream dieters and it’s a common issue for menstruating women.

  20. Lauren says:

    Eek! I meant didn’t look that good! Opps!

  21. Lauren says:

    You look gorgeous in that pic! I did look that good, 9 months after giving birth! Lol!

  22. Dreena, I know you said you don’t need a compliments or reassurance. BUT, I just wanted to say that I have watched your “how-to” videos on brownies and hummus salad dressing, and I think you look fabulous! I really mean that. You look bright, your skin glows, you have positive energy and vivacity.

    I believe that this comes from your healthy eating.

    Our bodies are programmed to die, so no matter how healthy we eat, we are still going to age. It’s a part of life.

    Ashlee

  23. Katie says:

    First off…I asked my beautiful teen daughter a.k.a. miss judgmental to describe you….she said “middle aged, pretty”. I am 35. Only been plant based for 11 months. I have a ton of eye wrinkles and sun damage. Who cares. I was also a habitual sun worshiper and smoker years ago. When I went plant based I never…ever…knew I would be entering a world of so much negativity and judgement. It truly has made me a bit more angry and defensive. I too am a stay at home mother of 3 (14, 12 and 3yr old). I have a college education. I have eaten the S.A.D. also the Paleo diet. Now I am plant based and will always be plant based. So are my husband and kids. I can’t tell you how many pages I have unliked on fb due to so much controversy and argument. Looks like care2 will be deleted of my news feed. I am sorry you too have to deal with this. I wish there was a virtual community where plant based folks can go and never have to worry about negativity. Also sorry for jumping around…I’m just so pissed we have to deal with crap like this.

  24. Chelsea says:

    Ugh comments like that are far too frequent and frustrating. I have never struggled with iron deficiency, and had a blood panel just a few months ago showing my diet was not leaving me deficient in any way.

    Also fun fact: I’ve had dark circles and bags under my eyes since I was a teenager. I assumed it was genetic or due to lack of sleep…but when I cut dairy out of my diet they went away!

  25. Carrie says:

    To back up the myth about iron, my iron levels have actually gone up slightly since I’ve been vegan. Also, you look great Dreena! I am sure that commentor wishes they look as great as you and just spoke out of insecurity or jealousy.

  26. Audrey says:

    Kudos, Dreena! Well-said. I also really liked what you said in the article about how non-vegans can be loving–definitely–but veganism is just a way to open and show even more love.

    I know you’re not fishing for compliments, but I think you look great! :) More importantly, you feel great. And that’s what matters in the day-to-day.

  27. Megan says:

    Well said Dreena! You are a hard working lady, and I think that this issue is pervasive in every woman’s life, regardless of age. There is a lot of societal pressure to look “young” (I recently read something about a teenage actress getting Botox-ed before going on a certain popular musical TV show). Kudos to you for calling it out!

  28. Rebecca says:

    Yes, vegan women do age. Yes, we get fat when we eat too much…gasp! Yes (hold onto your hats!), we even eventually DIE! But it’s not so much about how we die – it’s about how we LIVE. Thank you, Dreena, for setting a beautiful example of how to live and how to age with grace. You are beauty in my book.

  29. tina says:

    There are other factors that go into wrinkles besides diet. Lots of women are ‘mean girls’ & can’t help but tear each other apart to feel better about themselves.

  30. Eve says:

    Sometimes I wonder if we’re all looking at the same thing — people see what they want to see, I guess! All your photos, including the one in question here, have radiated beauty and good health to my eyes! And — I’m just speculating here — I don’t think we (in North America) are very used to seeing lean people as the norm anymore. There aren’t that many examples of slim adults or kids out there. Quite a few moms with plumper children have asked me if our vegetarian diet is giving my kids “all they need” just because my kids are slim.

  31. Rebecca says:

    An exhausted new mom myself, I was thinking how fantastic you looked in that photo when I saw it yesterday!

  32. Lisa J says:

    Women do have impossible standards to which they are held – my body is far from perfect, my life is crazy, my house looks like a tornado went through it more times than not and I’m lucky to balance my checkbook (or come close) every three months. But, I’m happy, I love my life, I’m relativey healthy and I am a hard worker. I have great, well adjusted healthy children and that’s what I focus on – not how cover girl ready I am every moment I run out for something.

    Dreena – you are amazing! And beautiful – inside and out. I know many vegetarian / vegan women who are beautiful – some do have more wrinkles but I believe it’s more to do with the fact that they are active, vital, alive people who work hard and play hard. And, probably have a lot of sun exposure along the way. So, I blame that more than food.

    Would they rather see women as obese but with that “milky” glow? Hmmm… think not! Comments like these show the writer’s ignorance and misinformed status. I have a few wrinkles myself – but I earned each one of them. And, I am going into my mid/late 40′s kicking and screaming about giving up my youth. BUT… I’m grateful for every blessing in my life.

    Go greens!!! And, go Dreena! Thanks for being the voice for so many :-)

  33. Rebekah says:

    Oh my. Dreena, I have always thought you look stunningly gorgeous and healthy, and that photo is no exception. People can be downright thoughtless on the Internet. You’d never point out someone’s wrinkles in real life, unless you were completely lacking in manners and common courtesy.

    I do think it is a topic worthy of being addressed, as people seem to be quick to say “oh look at this or that flaw, must be the Vegan diet.” It’s like if you aren’t some person’s ideal of perfection…a bit too fat or too thin, not glowing enough that day, not muscular enough, too pale…the diet takes the blame. Meat eaters don’t seem to get that as much…they’re pale because of lack of sunshine, not muscular because they don’t lift weights, and that high cholesterol? That’s just hereditary, right? ;)

  34. Julie says:

    I’m glad you said something in your defense (and in defense of all women). Hey, it’s okay not to wear a ton of makeup and also, not photoshop an image. It’s refreshing actually. All I’m focused on in your photo is your smile and rosy cheeks, you look happy and youthful!

  35. Anne says:

    Hi Dreena,
    I think you look great in that photo! You don’t have anything to be self-conscious about at all. It was just an unkind comment. I’m not sure why people are unkind, they lose sight of the fact that a real person is reading the comments.
    But all that being said, you look great!
    Anne

  36. Corrin says:

    Here’s what I don’t understand, why you would even give credence to this comment when it is clearly untrue? I also find it interesting that you feel insecure enough about your photo that you need to defend it. you’re beautiful, it’s a beautiful photo, let it go. We all age; unless you’re assuming that a vegan diet is some sort of fountain of youth. People will say silly stuff all of the time, as a blogger I am sure you get more than your fair share, but taking a tack to the defensive is not how you win converts. This stuff isn’t deserving of your time or energy…and frankly it isn’t interesting to read.

    • Dreena says:

      Corrin, I take the time to reply to it because I think vegans (and women) can be unfairly judged. If they are having a bad day, and look poorly, one might assume it’s “because they are vegan”. Rather than because they’ve just had a wicked day. As an author, I am somewhat of a spokesperson for this lifestyle. So, if I think some assumption or judgement is unfair related to being vegan, I will address it.

    • Megan says:

      Well luckily it’s DREENA’S blog and not yours!

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