Annick Robinson was walking through the Calgary Airport when a salesman standing outside a shop approached her and started talking about her skin, she recalls on Facebook.
"Let me guess your age," he told Robinson, as he pulled out a number 12 years younger than her actual age.
"I look my age and that's okay actually," she responded.
But the salesman wasn't deterred, and proceeded to rattle off a list of anti-aging products.
"Let me show you our face serum, because if you aren't careful to maintain your skin now, these wrinkles on your face will get much deeper. By 45, creams won't help anymore," he said.
"What's wrong with a woman looking 40?" Robinson asked, as the salesman continued to propose creams for her smile lines and the bags under her eyes. "What's wrong with my eyes? 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."
Still, the salesman kept pushing, telling Robinson that if she doesn't act now to eliminate wrinkles, her only option will be surgery. So she shut him down for good.
"I look fine now, and when I'm 45 I will look fine, and when I'm 50 I will look fine, because there is nothing wrong with a woman aging," Robinson said. "Old age is a privilege denied to many, and I don't appreciate you marketing youth instead of your products, and denigrating aging women as a sales tactic. Thank you, but I don't want or need your cream."
So Robinson took a picture of "that wrinkled baggy face" of hers on the spot, and posted about the incident in a now-viral Facebook post with 35,000 likes and nearly as many shares.
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"I was really excited for a couple of minutes (that was my ego talking) until I realized what that meant," Robinson writes. "It means that in 2016, refusing to accept self-loathing as a beauty standard is a radical concept. And that is just depressing on a whole other level."
"Let's start a movement peeps, let's end predatory marketing practices that sell self-loathing to women from cradle to grave," she continues. "Women have more important things to do in 2016 than spend a single other minute worried about our wrinkles or the acceptability of our thighs."