It’s all downhill from here. At least that’s what a new study from QVC initially had me think. The study finds that women are most attractive at age 31, and since that big day is here for me, I best enjoy the year.

I can agree with part of the survey-at 31 I’m happiest with how I look than ever before. I’ve come a long way since last year when, instead of approaching 30 with assurance, I admitted how unattractive I felt, and in all honesty, unhappy. It’s amazing how hormones can warp a mind! But this year, I view myself differently, with more confidence and contentment. I am pleased with the progress I’ve made physically, but there is more to beauty than mere physical appearance. As I read over my post from last year after just having a new baby, I thought to myself, “How could I not find myself beautiful then?” There is nothing more beautiful than a mother holding a new baby.

And while I feel at my most beautiful now, I have no plans to peak at 31. I can’t put my stock in QVC’s survey; I know for a fact that a woman’s attractiveness only grows as she ages.

I look at my mother, a woman who gives of herself over and over, who takes to heart the example of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet, and I am overwhelmed by such beauty. When I look at the face of a woman who spent the whole evening helping her daughter care for three children while her husband was gone, a woman who found the energy in spite of sheer exhaustion to laugh at a little two-year-old who scurried downstairs at 10:30 p.m. wearing two shirts, three dresses, and a pair of pants, I know that women get more beautiful with age.

I look at my mother-in-law, a woman who insists on gathering her family to her whenever she can, who strives to keep us all close to her heart, and through her love I see true beauty. When I look at the face of a woman who laughs and takes delight in the chaos of trying to snap one good picture with the grandchildren, a woman who knows that family is the greatest blessing God gives us, even while the rest of us (or just me) grow impatient inside, I know that women get more beautiful with age.

I look at Dot, a woman who exemplifies humility and grace through the unassuming way she serves her whole community, a woman who never draws attention to herself, and I doubt if I could ever attain such beauty. When I look at the face of a woman who has supported me throughout the years with her presence or words of affirmation, a woman who has shown me how to treat others kindly and sincerely, I know that women get more beautiful with age.

And when my husband looks back at a picture of me from our wedding day, I hope he can think, “I thought this day was when Jennifer was her most beautiful…

…but I was wrong. She only got more beautiful with age.”

Originally published at https://jennifervdavis.com on August 5, 2010.

Wife and mother of four; Former Children’s Ministry Director, 12Stone Church. Current High School English Teacher.