Sunday, January 29, 2012

Cracking Up

"Mom," my 5 year old stopped me. "What are those cracks in your face?" she asked pointing to my forehead. I had to think fast. I don't want to reinforce the notion that only youth is beautiful. I replied "I'm not five." Actually, I'm 42. I've been told I look 32. Then I look at 30-something year olds and it's more than obvious that I don't look early 30. My skin is not firm and resilient they way it used to be. Not long after my daughter enquired about my forehead, my 9 yr old son wanted to know what those "cracks" were on my face, pointing to the nasal-labia folds. Shit, man! What is up with my kids and facial cracks? Cracks??? Brutal language coming from such innocence.

Yes, I'm vain. I do obsess to some degree. I would like to erase the lines but I will not inject. The jowls are ever so slightly starting to droop. I lift the skin from my jaw towards my ears. Ah, much better. I've just noticed my eyelids are starting to sag! Heaven Forbid. Now what will I do? I will not get cut. I will not get cut. I watch the awards shows. Kidman is a wax figure. Mary Tyler Moore is one fabulous woman but she looks wrong, so does Meg Ryan, and Jane Fonda, the list goes on... There's also my aunt (2 facelifts and an eyelift), my friends (inject, inject, inject), and all the women who've died from complications of plastic surgery, all these women who deny the truth. The fountain of youth is a fantasy.

I won't knock all cosmetic surgeries, some are truly life changing. Many years ago, I knew a young man who had nearly no chin. He was hard to look at. His self-esteem was obviously low, he was meek and slouched in his tall, lanky frame. Many months later, I ran into this guy. A new fellow completely, he now had a chin. He was confident, handsome. I really didn't recognize him. The transformation was amazing. But all these big boobs, inflated lips, tummy tucks, where does it end? Uh, hello, Pamela Anderson.

So last week I met another suburban mom with a 5 year old. She's about my age. She uses a filler for her nasal labial-folds. It was amazing. She wasn't puffed, her lines weren't crack-like. I was fascinated. I want. I want. I want. I've read the warnings... nodules, redness, lumps. But she looked good. Not fake at all. This might mean finding the right doctor. But whom? And then I'll have to make the time. Ugh. It's too much of an ordeal. It's bad enough I have to get my roots done. Denying gray hair is far less invasive than altering skin. Hair, as far as I'm concerned, is just an accessory. I sigh.

So I figure that the very least I can do is use a retinol cream. A friend who is a very intelligent doctor found a triple retinol cream on the market. Now I use it. So why not just get a script for Retin-A? For me, one less trip to the doctor. I use my cream diligently. And I hope... because it's not Retin-A. It's been nearly a month. I don't think I see any difference but I've read that it takes a few months to really see any change. Fingers crossed. Hocus Pocus, right?

So rather, I shall be inspired by the smart, funny, creative women who cherish experience over obsessively smooth, "youthful" skin. Beauty and pride, charism and flare come from within and that's the truth. I shall stay true to who I am and honor my face and my body by eating good food, living a fulfilling life, taking pride in my past because it makes me who I am today, and that's not a bad thing.

There, I've said it.

ps. When I complain that I'm looking old, someone out there, please remind me that I wrote this. I expect that in our society this to be a difficult walk to walk.