Thursday, June 19, 2008

Coming to Terms with Vanity

A few weeks ago I bought my first tube of anti-wrinkle cream. This was a big step for one who always swore to grow old gracefully, without such trivial cosmetic interventions. As a self-righteous (blissfully wrinkle-free) teenager, I was quite adamant about this, refusing to believe that I would ever be shallow enough to let such aesthetic degeneration bother me.

Then this time last year, my first grey hair appeared. I pulled it out and stuck it in my diary; but what if more came? Thankfully I've always been into dyeing my hair for fun anyway, so followers of this lone crusader against youthfulness would easily be quashed. Little did I know that he'd be sending in back-up in the form of a couple of persistent frown lines between my eyebrows. These were made worse by the constant glowering brought on by the pain of having a fractured jaw and a mouth full of broken teeth, and are now visible even when I'm not actually frowning.

So yes, I take back everything I ever said on the subject. Give me the creams; give me the botox - I don't want wrinkles! Cheeky laugh lines are one thing, but ugly angry furrows in the middle of one's face are frankly unacceptable. Maybe these supposedly miracle unguents are all a fallacy, but just feeling as though I'm doing something about it makes my face relax a little, thereby forestalling any further encroachment by the evil enemy lines. I was surprised to discover that several of my friends (of both sexes) have also been revising their opinions about facial rejuvanation since suffering the first distressing signs of ageing.

If I'm prepared to get my mouth cut open and have my teeth fixed for aesthetic reasons (as I am in the process of doing), then why not my face or my body? OK, so maybe I'm not quite in need of a face-lift just yet, but I'd no longer rule it out. Clearly I've inherited my late grandmother's vanity, if none of her natural glamour. I don't think she ever had surgery, but she certainly wouldn't have gone out of the house without make-up. And now I totally understand why.

Photo by Giletti on Flickr


  1. Noooooooooo! All schmaltz aside, you are gorgeous, beautiful, wonderful and luminescent. Nature made you that way, and no gunk goop or bacteriological toxin could improve on that!

    'sides, I always think that a face that has had 'work' is a little bit of a lie.

  2. It's ok for you to say - you can grow facial hair to cover the offending wrinkles! And anyway, as I always say (or was it someone else?) men age like wine and women age like milk...

  3. I was shocked to discover my first grey hair. It actually appeared about 12 years ago and took up until around about now-ish to really start breaking out all over. Managed to keep them at bay for a good while though.

    Grey hair is supposed to be 'dignified' on a man. The thing that does get harder to avoid is the gradual southwards expanse of the chin. Seems no manner of exercise or a healthy Japanese diet makes that much of a difference!

    Chin aside, I feared ageing as a younger man but now the onset is unavoidable, I've grown to rather like it.

    Each to their own though...

  4. For me the onset of these particular wrinkles was partly a result of being constantly anxious and in pain when I broke my jaw last year, so I feel justified in resenting them. The worst bit is that they are more visible because I've lost so much weight - one happy side effect of the broken jaw. It seems you can't have your cake and eat it after all.


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