As I near 50, I kneel down daily in front of a picture of the fountain of youth in gratitude for my stamina, being in shape and not looking too run down so far.
Ok, I don’t really do that, but maybe I should!
I do kiss the tube of tretinoin that keeps my skin looking supple! Would I look as youthful if I hadn’t been using this on and off for the past five years? As a beauty editor, I also get to test the latest anti-aging creams and some actually seem to soften the passage of time.
I consider myself a capable professional and mom who has at least half a brain (after I’ve had lots of morning coffee, that is!). But I also enjoy manicures, highlights, facials, skin-treatments and wearing make-up. I revel in exercising and feeling good in my clothes and at times, wearing killer high-heels, even though they make my bunions hurt!
So, I’m grateful today but, will I feel the same in 10 or 20 years? I sure hope so.
The same way that I color my hair and do my nails, I don’t rule out a little bit of cosmetic improvement down the road. But, how much is too much?
Cosmetic procedures gone wrong
When I saw the recent pictures of Mary Tyler Moore on Mail Online, I was aghast.
Tyler Moore was a looker in her youth. At 74 (or so she says), you would expect her to appear older, of course, but unfortunately she looks worse than old. She is downright scary. And yet, she denies having had plastic surgery and blames tripping over her dog for her uneven too-plumped up cheeks and her tight skin that makes her look like she’s standing in a wind-tunnel. Now, in my opinion, that is not dignified ageing. It’s cosmetic surgery gone wrong.
In 2009, Time magazine published an article about Joan Rivers, who does not hide her addiction to plastic surgery. The article deals with her book about her life, told through plastic surgery interventions. So, she’s open about it. But she still looks pretty bad to me.
Actress Meg Ryan reportedly had a facelift in her very early forties, plus lip augmentation and a few more fix-ups that are often speculated about in the gossip magazines. She did not need a facelift shortly after turning forty, anymore than she needs further surgery now.
Plastic surgery done right
Then there are others such as model Christie Brinkley who seems to have the best plastic surgeon. She looks eerily similar to herself in her 30’s, but she is 56. The before and after photos on the Huffington Post of her latest surgery, both look pretty good. But of course, any other 56 year old does not –by the laws of nature and ageing- look the same now as she did at 36. And yet, I commend her – and her surgeon – for not looking freakish. However, she also sets a really high standard for “regular” women.
Plastic surgery addicts
Cher, in her mid sixties, is no knitting-booties grandma. She has admitted to undergoing plastic surgery many times during her life. And yet, in a 2010 article on Mail Online, the star is caught using tape to tighten her neck. Didn’t all those facelifts do the trick? I may be one of the few women to actually like Cher and her style, but – do I want to look like her at 64? I don’t think so.
What are we regular women to do?
I aspire to age gracefully. I don’t expect to look 48 at 58, and even less so at 68. But I also don’t want to look worn down and old for my age.
I suppose the trick for those of us who do not make a living off of our looks, is to go for a demure look.
A man once told me the best facial enhancement a woman could go for is one that makes people perhaps wonder if she did or didn’t go under the knife or have something done, because she looks so good! Not distorted, not freakish, not like she is 20 years younger. Just herself, but well-rested and youthful.
I would add that being classy, somewhat fit and always ready poke fun at yourself is the best natural anti-aging trick!
As Shirley McLaine said: “Aging is not for sissies.”