I’ve written about this before, aging gracefully, and how it isn’t for sissy’s and all that. This isn’t new information, people have been saying it for decades, as far as men aging it’s typically when they have their; “mid-life crises”. There is so much attached to getting older and not much of it is all that good; other than the fact that you’re still here, six feet above ground as it were. Which we all know is the best part of getting old. A blessing beyond compare, and greater than any material item one could ever have. I’m thankful that I’m aging, I just wish it would be gentler on me, kinder, more sympathetic. But it’s all happening like being hit by a God damn Mack truck. Chicken skin where elbows used to be, the super awesome turkey gobble neck instead of taut firm skin. Re-flux if I eat too late, dairy can no longer be consumed ever, not even in a tiny morsel of my favourite cheese; or look out, there better be nobody in the bathroom.
It goes on and on and on this rapid, seemingly overnight decline into middle age. While we were in our twenties we had no idea that it all comes on so fast. Like lightening. So for years I’ve bought into the; “do injections today to avoid a face lift later.” I mean that is some fantastic marketing, because seriously, who wants their face pulled so tight that they look younger than when they popped out of their mother’s vagina?
Not me, no thanks, no sirree.
So I’ve opted for fillers, but over the past year, or so I noticed that my face was starting to not look like my face; it was a “puffier, fuller” version of what it used to be. I didn’t look like me anymore when I saw myself in photos, and I definitely didn’t think it was a better alternative to that face lift business I’ve been working to avoid. Because at the end of the day both have the same effect; I was starting to not look younger, I simply looked “done” I looked like what I was; a woman pushing fifty desperately trying to hold off the inevitable.
So I stopped. I haven’t used fillers, save for my lips, (I’ll never not do my lips that’s an enhancement I won’t let go of) since last November. The last time I had botox was April. I’m weaning myself off all of it slowly, to allow MY face to come back to me. I want to know what I’m dealing with for real, not the; “oh my face is starting to look flat in the cheek area I need more filler” but what I’m really doing is looking at my face from a falsely inflated state, not it’s natural state. And here in lies the danger, the base line of your face has been altered, you’re no longer you, you’re you with fillers, and then you load more on top of that, and again, and again, and again, until you look like Mickey Rourke. Or Nicole Kidman. Whom I love, and it makes me sad that she’s done so much to her face. I saw a photo of her with the incomparable Helen Mirren, the fabulous Emma Thompson and the brilliant Kristin Scott Thomas from TIFF and it hit me; I want to be like those elegantly aging women, I don’t want to go at it like Nicole.
Look, I’m not saying that I’ll never put another filler in my face because I don’t know what the future me will look like, I might not be able to handle it as well as I’m doing right now. My right now is that I still have some filler left behind so I’m not at my face baseline, yet. Once I get there I might need to start over again, but perhaps not as frequently as I was. I’m also not so naive that I think for five seconds that the other three in the photo haven’t been having work done over the years. For sure they have. You can see it in how round and high the apple of their cheeks are when they smile. I also know that their faces are a huge part of their currency, and that even though they are fantastically talented, nobody has the stomach to sit and see their faces, wrinkles and all stretched out over a 40 foot screen.
So now every day when I look in the mirror and my neck sways side to side while I wash my face, and the skin on my eyes is too crepey to hold the shadow smoothly I remind myself of that photo and I chant to myself: IN A WORLD FULL OF NICOLE’S BE A HELEN.