Growing Old Gracefully??

There was a time (a week or two ago) when I had little patience for the whole anti-aging industry.  I reveled the irony of the same women who are so proud of their bra-burning days are now visiting their pricey 'colorist' every six weeks to cover their gray and getting face lifts and breast implants—fueling a billion-dollar beauty industry as they battle against the creep of years.  Talk about a defense budget.

"Women should grow old gracefully," I would say.  "Wrinkles are a sign of hard-won wisdom and a life of trials overcome and joys embraced.  They should be proud of their battle scars."  Anti-aging creams and serums?  Pah!  Age-defying cosmetics?  Overblown.  Skin peeling, collagen injections, eyeliner tattoos?  Puh-lease!

That was then, before I started having to look professional as I walk out the door at 7:30 every morning—before I began spending at least 45 minutes on the wrong side of a magnifying mirror, day in and day out, with the harshest critic I know staring back at me.

Now? Aaah!  Give me some Oil of Olay, quick!!  My eyes are my best feature and that crackly skin has to go.  The proper mascara is vital, and the dark circles around my eyes must be concealed at all costs.  The wrinkles! The age spots! The sagging! The cellulite!! My poor dried-up old lips that make me look like a parsimonious librarian. Something simply has to be done!!

As of yet, I haven't ended up at the Clinique counter at Lord & Taylor, but I feel myself over the edge of a slippery slope. I think I'll try the Equate version of Oil of Olay and see if I can school myself into using it every night before I lay out the cash for the name brand. It didn't work with the Rogaine for women, but then again, considering my hairline, perhaps it's time to give that another shot as well.

Ah, the irony. . . I wonder if this new attitude springs from the mirror or the fact that one of our biggest clients is a world renowned plastic/cosmetic surgeon with a swank beauty spa, whose site I deal with every day?


Camille Farias said...

I don't agree with the women who take dangerous and extreme measures to look younger than they are. Some women (such as Cher) turn themselves into mutated looking freaks in an attempt to turn back the clock. I firmly believe that there is something very important about acting and looking your age, no matter what that age is. However, I also agree with the old saying that "even an old barn looks better with a little paint on it." There is nothing prideful, pompous, or unrighteous, in my opinion, with making the best out of what we've been given. You wouldn't take someone seriously who lived in a house with a dead dry lawn, peeling paint, and broken windows. You also wouldn't take someone seriously who didn't make at least some attempt to look presentable/professional and care for themselves. Aging gracefully is an art form.

carrieap said...

It's too bad you have to look at that site every day. I am blessed work in the temple where I'm surrounded by beautiful old wrinkled, weathered faces, gray or white hair and contenances full of wisdom and love. I have had thoughts just the other direction. Is it time to stop dying my hair? I'm not ready to give up the makeup though. I do try to keep it on the more simple side so that it's not a distraction. You are beautiful Penny! Quit using a magnifying mirror! Those things are depressing!

Unknown said...

Funny thing. I went to Wal-mart to pick up a few things I needed, with the silly idea that I wouldn't spend much money if I went there.

This is what I got: mascara, eye shadow, eye makeup remover, a blow-dryer brush to go with my spiffy new haircut, body wash, wart remover (the freeze kind because nothing else has worked thus far) and a teeny tiny tube of anti-fungal cream. Nothing unreasonable, right? Total cost: over $70. I about dropped my teeth! I don't think I can afford professional—I better stick with frumpy.

But, then again, although I did pay $70 for a haircut, $25 on having my eyebrows contoured, and $15 on a tip for the shampoo girl, it sure felt good. I tell myself to go to someone cheaper, but Melanie has been cutting my hair for over 10 years and she *always* gets it perfect. She is my one true indulgence, and to be fair, I haven't let her talk me into low-lights yet.