Aging Part 2

When did it become not okay to age? Or even more to the point, when did it become okay not to age? Measuring who we are with who we think we should be, comparing ourselves to images that aren’t even real, we strive for the impossible. Years ago, Jamie Lee Curtis agreed to have herself photographed without the magic eraser of technology. The images of her photo-edited self were presented side-by-side with the ones of the ‘real’ her. It was a courageous, gracious and liberating act. It was like looking at Barbie standing next to a real girl, who if she were real, wouldn’t be able to stand on her two little adorable high-heeled feet. She’d topple over on her perfect little plastic nose.

Molly Davis - BLUSH: Women & Wine

Looking at my arms, I could be my own connect-the-dots game. This past year the number of brown spots on my arms have at least doubled. Some are big, some are small, all are obvious. From topical treatments to laser and micro needling, there are treatments to help diminish their appearance. My fine lines, wrinkles, and less-than-taut jawline grow more noticeable every year, and, there are treatments to help with those too. The price for possible treatments range from a few to thousands of dollars. To say that I’m not tempted to jump in and get some significant work done wouldn’t be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But so help me God, I continue to be more inclined to to do my best to age well without too much outside help.

In a conversation with a lovely woman in her mid-thirties, I learned that she is already feeling the pressure to get on the cosmetic treatment bandwagon to take care of the few teeny, tiny lines that are beginning to appear. Lines that, like all of ours, tell the story of her life. It was a conversation that made me sad for the ways in which we all seem to compare ourselves to others, and almost always find ourselves coming up short. It also troubles me for the erosion of respect for the process of aging and for the beauty that can only be found in the faces and bodies of the elders among us.

It might sound like I am opposed to having any cosmetic work done. Quite the contrary. Full disclosure, years ago I had breast implants put in, and then a few years later, had them taken out. For me, it was the right call, but I can’t and won’t speak for anyone else. I’m for doing what it takes for any of us to feel comfortable in our own skin. I am, however, against an industry and a culture that tells me to go out and buy the right skin.