This week I went to the dermatologist for my annual skin cancer check (you all should as well) and when the doctor walked in she asked how I was feeling about my skin these days. “Older” I said, with a nervous laugh.
“Well, you are an excellent candidate for filler! Slim women lose fat in their face first and it really would help contribute to a more youthful look.”
I’ll admit that the wind was knocked out of my sails a little. I guess at 35, and with a history of rampant sun-bathing (again, skin cancer checks, people), I shouldn’t have been surprised to hear that little tidbit of advice. When I look in the mirror in the morning I see the lines around my mouth getting deeper and the angry crease that has appeared between my eyebrows, little scars courtesy of Father Time and my penchant for animated facial expressions. But should I be feeling “old”? Especially at 35? (I can hear my mom chiming in now- “Just wait until your 60, sweetie!”)
At one point last year I was so annoyed by that little furrow between my brows that I went to the plastic surgeon who gives me “Jawtox” (Botox in the jaw muscles for my TMJ- it’s magic for those that suffer, I’m telling you) and asked him about shooting a little of that juice in between my eyebrows. He quickly obliged, and I almost immediately started freaking out. I spent the next ten days scared to look in the mirror (yet checking it constantly) as my muscles atrophied and my ability to move my eyebrows together failed. I HATED it. I was paranoid my face would freeze crooked and never go back, and it felt like I had dried Elmer’s glue on my forehead all day. But boy, did I look better. I felt totally strange to me, but yet no one seemed to notice. Not even my Mom, who knows when you’ve moved a salt shaker two inches to the left. I slowly forgot about it, but I swore up and down I would never, ever do it again.
Until it wore off and the wrinkle came back. And now apparently I need fillers too! Or do I?
This week Celine released a new ad campaign featuring the inimitable Joan Didion at 80. Sporting big, glamorous sunglasses, a smart black sweater and a sharply cut bob- Joan rocks her 80 years in all it’s glory. And you know what, she looks as cool as any 30 year old Hollywood “it” girl out there in my book. The moment I saw it I thought it was so freakin’ awesome. Just like how I love that Linda Rodin is celebrated as the incredibly chic and beautiful woman she is. These ladies embrace their grays, their wrinkles and look fabulous. Acceptance is far more beautiful than fighting tooth and nail to delay something inevitable. After all, isn’t aging a gift not everyone gets to experience? Isn’t there something beautiful about celebrating that instead of cursing it?
That said, as women, I think we need to respect what it is that makes each of us feel comfortable and happy in our own skin. If a little work here and there makes YOU feel better, then fabulous! Go for it! If letting your grey take over instead of coloring your hair makes your life less stressful, good for you! Bravo! I would never say to never to a little help, who knows, when I’m 50 I may feel better with a little help from hyaluronic acid, and if so, FINE! When everyone was making a big deal about Renee Zellwegger’s “new face” recently it made me so sad- whatever she has/ hasn’t done is up to her and if she’s happy then that’s all that matters. And if she feels horrible about it, why are we all making the poor woman feel worse? It’s all a personal choice.
That said, I do think it’s wonderful and encouraging to see giant fashion houses like Celine celebrate not only the beauty of older women, but also smart women. Women with opinions, stories and lots of incredible life experiences. It’s such a lovely example to set not only for young girls, but also 35 year old women who feel the pressure to look 25. Experiencing life fully and wholly with all it’s up and downs, frowns and smiles is a beautiful thing. Youth is wonderful, but so is experience. And the best beauty product in the world is confidence, a sense of peace and a big smile.
Looking at that ad above makes me think twice about the doctor’s advice. Why not just get more fabulous sunglasses and spend my time focusing on the beauty of life and not my face?