The other day, my friend Kay and I were discussing facelifts. I told her how disappointing it was that a movie star who’d always seemed intelligent and independent has had a facelift or four, and now, like all the others, resembles a blank, serene Martian.
It's the strangest thing.
I believe that so many of us of a 'certain age' could accept and move on with our obsession with the mirror IF ONLY we weren't reminded or penalized daily of our looks by society.
I read something about actress Pamela Anderson attending fashion week without make-up; 'fresh-faced' as it was so eloquently put... that is, until actress Jaime Lee Curtis felt obligated to praise Pamela for coming out, and gave her a Brava for being liberated and courageous. She couldn't let it go. Paris Fashion Week — and that's what JLC came up with for fodder?
Madonna, who appears to have deliberately altered her looks, on the other end of the spectrum hasn't been left alone in silence, either.
It's too bad we can't age gracefully without societal judgment, however we please.
I think one thing we can ALL be grateful for is life, so let's live it to our fullest, because one day this too shall pass.
You are NOT alone.
I must add though that I completely related to Nora Ephron’s well received book of many years ago now, - I think it was called something like “ I Hate my Neck”.
The perception of beauty has been with us all through recorded history, so there must be some social value in it, or maybe not. Maybe we don't abandon useless social concepts. I practiced surgery for 35 years, still can't wrap my mind around why anyone would subject themselves to something as radical as surgery for anything other than health-threatening conditions. If you can't find beauty in an aging face, you've got a rather superficial definition of beauty.
Makeup, not diamonds. "are a girl's best friend." It's amazing how a stroke of eyeliner, a swipe of lipstick and a flattering haircut iron out the flaws.
When I leave a room, I'd much rather people think: 'there goes an intelligent woman.'
Oh man, this one hit home. Like you, I can remember only a handful of times when I looked in the mirror and liked what I saw, and this was always and only restricted to my face. My body could never have lived up to what I thought it should be. And Kristen, it is infinitely tougher on our daughters trying to be Instagram worthy, but we had our glamour magazines drilling into us what being a beautiful woman should look like. For 99.9% of the female population it was, and still is, unattainable. Like you Beth I am finally accepting who I am when I look in the mirror and thinking how sad it is that it has taken me 68 years to do so. I have shared your article with my 30 yr old daughter, who is as self critical as I was, in the hopes that she doesn’t wait until she’s 68 to accept the beautiful person that she is, JUST the way she is!
Beth, it's a testament to my opinion of your writing that I just paused my Sunday morning rituals and read your piece IMMEDIATELY. My usual practice is to read only the title and postpose the reading for another time. Marvellous! If the movie star you refer to is Jennifer Aniston, I agree wholeheartedly. I miss her smile. And cherish yours.
Beth, it appears that wisdom is your forte, and like John Proctor, integrity, your way of moving through this demanding world.
I watch as our daughters combat the requirements of a perfect Instagram life and wish that they might embrace a gentler personal and world view. Few of us as we get older do not bemoan the physical marks that life scrawls upon us, but perhaps like you we can serve as examples of humour, resilience and kindness to ourselves.