Apologies (again) to those of you who have already read this. My connection to Facebook appears to be working again, and since my newsfeed is crammed with so-called anti-aging tips, I really wanted to get this on FB, where sometimes people share it. 😬
For Baby Boomers aging has become a process of lowering our standards for physical beauty. The great thing is, because we need reading glasses, we no longer see well enough to judge imperfections like scary neck or terminal crows feet. Personally, I like to choose one sign of aging to obsess about: in my case it’s the lines from the corners of my lips to the end of my face that make me look like an Eastern mystic–unless I’m smiling. This keeps me from other realizations, like scary, baggy eyes, and also allows me to contemplate solutions. I could have a synthetic filler shot into my face (maybe) or I can just smile incessantly. Lately my friends have been talking about the lifestyle lift and a couple of women I know have had one. My husband has exes and relatives who’ve had life style lifts and if he offers to pay for one for me one more time, I’ll have to schedule mine while I’m out on bail.
Not that I wouldn’t have one if it didn’t mean I couldn’t move my head or talk for a week. The women I know who have had one look great and in the case of my sister-in-law, who is two months older than I am, the result is amazing. Even though she looks 20 years younger, I still like her. And she has a lot going for her genetically. She’s a petite vegan who doesn’t smoke or drink alcohol, has never had children, and takes excellent care of herself. Well, if that’s all you have to do to look 42 instead of 62, I guess I need a time machine and different parents.
On the other hand, I was recently in a Houston airport and had the opportunity to see a group of women returning to Texas from Southern California. All of them sported the wind tunnel mouths that announce a recent and serious facelift. They had high, high cheekbones, eyebrows expressing permanent surprise, and pointy little chins. Still they looked happy or maybe it was just the upward stretch of their mouths.
There are so many things you promise yourself when you’re young and foolish. “I’ll never pressure my children, camp in an RV, dye my hair, buy a station wagon (an SUV by another name).” You tell yourself that you will age gracefully–ha! Do I have to confess that I drove my SUV to the dermatologist to “get work done?” And how can I claim to be sporting 100% original equipment when I have fake nails and tattooed eyebrows? I resisted the eyebrow tattoos until the morning I noticed the middle section of my left eyebrow was gone. Gone. I’ve also surrendered to the magic, retinol based potions that will firm, brighten, and tighten my skin. Since all beauty regimens are designed to be done before bed, I often skip mine in favor of binge watching Netflix or an Amazon series. And then I’m too tired to be beautiful.
I could give you a list of women who swore they would never have plastic surgery who have yielded to the collective desire to look good. Of course what looking good means is subjective. I obsess about certain lines on my face while someone else may focus on her neck or good old mid-drift bulge. I just don’t look lower than my face. And let me say this phenomenon is not limited to women. Oh no, men are also riding the youth train.
One thing I’ve noticed is that friends who are 10-15 younger than I are already investing in Botox. This would seem absurd except that my dermatologist told me that women should start Botox in their 40’s, fillers in their 50’s, and have lifts in their 60’s. Maybe they just take us out and shoot us when we hit 70.
All of this makes me realize it’s probably too late for me to artificially turn back time. Probably. Still the next time you see me I hope you’ll notice my extra long eyelashes and perpetual smile.