SWB on Facial Festooning

Apparently Jennifer Aniston has taken to smearing salmon sperm to her face in an effort to retain her youthful glow. Don’t know if I fancy it myself, but then again, a quick squiz on Google and there’s all sorts out there to slow down the ravages of aging. Placenta anyone, from a sheep no less. It claims to do wonderful things.


But I’ll tell you this; if it came to it, I’d sooner apply placenta than go under the knife. Life’s hard enough without having the face carved off yourself, and I wouldn’t want to be bandaged up like a mummy afterwards. I’ll keep my crow’s feet, ta very much.


I’ve no plans to resort to the Bo-tox either, although if I do take a notion, it will be discreet. I’ve seen too many faces recently that look blown up like a pufferfish, and lips that resemble the work of a caricaturist on a plaza on the Costa del Sol.


But as yet, I’m still covering the greys and having my gel nails done, and I wear good makeup; wouldn’t be without it. And boy do I need to.  The dereliction of my face, (and believe me, I’m not being hyperbolic) is down to my own stupidity, or sloppiness at least.


I firmly believe that prevention is better than cure, so here’s what I SHOULD have done, starting in my twenties.


In the immortal words of Baz Luhrmann, wear sunscreen. Slather it on, every single day. I was an awful eejit, and when I headed on my year out to sunny Reunion Island in 1999, I paid scant regard to my Factor 50. Sure, I took more care when sun-bathing, but on a day-to-day basis, I was anything but prudent. Readers, the ravages are evident.


My mum had me well-warned, because she too spent her twenties in the tropics, and in the 1970’s no one paid much heed to the UV rays. Hence, she got a terrible shock when she took at close look at her arms, and compared them to those of her aunt’s, who was thirty years her senior. Aunt Emma had never ventured further than the Isle of Man, and had arms which were smooth and wrinkle free. It’s not an exact science by any means, but evidence enough, methinks.


Reckless choices are also responsible for the wreckage that stares back at me in the mirror each morning. And no, I’m not referring to an excess of wine, coffee and sugar, that unholy trinity which leads to tiny broken veins on my nose and cheeks. No, I’m talking cats, mine in particular. My furry despots demand attention at 3am, disrupting my sleep. There’s also the small matter of being slightly allergic to their hair: which makes my eyes itch and water, leading to much rubbing and ensuing redness. It’s both uncomfortable and unbecoming. But I’m stuck with my cats, and will just have to wait until they die of natural causes. Maybe I’ll fork out for the placenta cream in the meantime.


But it’s all a bit reductive really, worrying about our looks. Sarah Jessica Parker, now in her late fifties and just accepting the greys, pout it very succinctly when she said:


It almost feels as if people don’t want us to be perfectly okay with where we are, as if they almost enjoy us being pained by who we are today. I know what I look like. I have no choice. What am I going to do about it? Stop aging? Disappear?”


How I love SJP. When I saw her in ‘Plaza Suite’ back in February at half-term, she was skipping about that stage, lithe as a leveret, all gorgeous and gleeful.


Anne Lamott is another one of my heroines, and I don’t think she’d have any truck with inflated lips and frozen foreheads. As she said in her Ted Talk, ‘It’s an inside job,’ and I take this to mean that I should focus my attentions inwards rather than out, and to that end, I look infinitely better when I smile, and when I’m not complaining about something. And in these dark times, if I can still manage to find space for joy, then I’m going to celebrate every one of those laughter lines.



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