When my Grandma Beatie was 92, a neighbor at her retirement home was dreading her 80th birthday. My grandmother told her, “You’re as young as you feel, Nellie,” and the woman replied, “Just wait, Bea…you’ll know how I feel when you turn 80.”
My grandmother liked telling that story, and I can relate to her vanity. At 55, I am secretly pleased when people mistake me for being in my 40s.
As I wait for my wrinkles to emerge as first highways, then local streets on a road map, I’ve had to ask myself to what lengths I’ll go to look younger than my years.
After seeing Kim Novak and Goldie Hawn at the Oscars this month, I’m fairly sure about one thing. The surreal masks that replaced the faces of these two women have convinced me that I will never succumb to the knife.
Twitter, Facebook Tweak Celebrity Face Lifts
Both during and after the Oscars telecast, commentators on social media were merciless toward Hawn and Novak. Some of the meaner Facebook and Twitter posters thought the two aging actresses should have been given trophies for worst plastic surgery.
Donald Trump, who himself wears a comical hairpiece to look younger, had the nerve to tweet: “Kim should sue her plastic surgeon! #Oscars.” Another tweeter chirped the “Vertigo” star should appear in “Frozen: The Sequel.” Meanwhile, a HuffPo Facebook follower said of Hawn — who went from “Laugh In” to laughing stock — “She looks like a bad wax statue!”
Society can be downright cruel to women with too many birthdays. If they don’t hide their wrinkles or stop coloring their hair, people comment on how old (read: unattractive) they look. Yet if they take drastic measures to turn back the clock, they are mocked for looking ridiculous.
Keeping It Real
Recently at my book group, a striking brunette who is a natural beauty revealed she had been coloring her hair since her 20s but had decided to let her hair grow out its natural gray color. Most of the other women thought she was heroic, but I had my reservations.
When it comes to physical appearance, I’m okay with tinkering around the edges. I will continue to highlight my hair, eat as healthy as possible, use magic potions on my face and do whatever else I reasonably can to repel the physical signs of aging. Though it may be just a psychological trick, a younger reflection in the mirror helps me feel younger inside.
But unless it’s the kind I use to cut up my vegetables, I’ll stay clear of the knife.
More From This Contributor:
Wrinkles or Plastic? Older Stars Face Plastic Surgery Pickle
More Than Skin Deep: Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work Movie Reveals Comedienne’s Hidden Depths
Caroline Kennedy Nixes Plastic Surgery, Botox