I vividly remember being at a theme park as a young girl and my mom’s friend playing a “Guess My Age” game. The Six Flags worker studied her features, asking her to smile and looking at her hands. I asked my mom, “Why did he look at her hands?” and she explained your hands change as you get older. I had never thought about this before; I associated getting older with grey hair and wrinkles.
After that, I began taking notice of my grandmother’s hands. She had veins that stuck out more than mine and age spots, but they were also soft. Unbelievably soft. Especially when she took my face in her two hands to get a good look at me and smile.
Our hands tell more about us than just age. From the jewelry we choose to wear to the nail polish color we use to the roughness of our skin might tell someone about our jobs, lifestyle, and personality.
The Huffington Post took eight women over the age of 75 and photographed their hands in an intimate series that shows just how much hands tell about a person.
Renee Fedida, 90, homemaker
“All of the work that I’ve done in my life, I’ve done with my hands. I sewed my children’s clothing when they were young, and I was always cooking for my family. I cook Moroccan food, French food and Spanish food mostly. I love to make couscous and tagines, but my specialty is dafina [cholent], a very specific Moroccan Jewish dish that’s cooked over the course of the sabbath. I would make it on a Friday afternoon and we’d eat it on Saturday after synagogue. I’m a proud grandmother watching my children and grandchildren eat my food. When my late husband got sick seven years ago, that’s when my hands started giving me trouble with arthritis. It made me more conscious of my age.”
Betty Zimmer, 91, retired costume designer
“I think my hands are terrific for what they’ve done. I’ve made a lot of children’s clothes and a lot of costumes. I’ve made people look really great on stage. I cut and sewed and bent over a sewing machine for hours and hours and hours. I loved it. It was like putting a puzzle together. You start with nothing and then you lay it all out and then you cut it out and then you can’t wait to put it all together. It’s very exciting. There’s always a lot of satisfaction creating something that’s beautiful. I got a lot of pleasure from making people look great.
I started sewing when I was 4 or 5 years old, and I did it until my eyesight got too bad. I was born in Nebraska, so of course everybody knitted and crocheted, too. I’m not real good at it, but I crochet baby blankets now. I love to be creative; I love working with my hands. It’s just fun.”
To see the rest of this beautiful photo series, head over to Huffington Post.