Wednesday, 29 December 2010

the Question of Cosmetic Procedures

The whole cosmetic procedures/ botox/ whatever has come up the past few days. I do next to nothing cosmetically. I wear little or no makeup, I don't dye my hair, I don't even have professional manicures or facials. I just try and be healthy. So kind of funny to have such relatively radical stuff enter the thinking. My guess is that the pressure to look 'good' is just so in-your-face in our culture, it is hard not to have some twinges as we get older. I am 51.

What started it was the other day I was clearing out files and ran across some old photos when I was in my mid-20's. It can be a bit of a shock to remember that you ever looked so young. And so good. (and in my case, sad, but that is another story.)
Gee, even the shape of our face changes as we age.
Anyway, it was just there in my consciousness when the next evening there is a program on cosmetic surgery. It is a reporter trying out all this stuff, botox, laser - she doesn't actually get to the knife, but she does get 50 injections of botox! And a full on laser treatment, blood oozing from her skin. But it works. She looks younger and prettier.
And you know how it is. I am not seriously considering it, but I do pull up the skin on my lower jaw and see a bit of that 26 year old return. Sigh.

Then this morning, eating my breakfast across the table from my DH of 22 years, I think 'how would I feel if he got plastic surgery to look younger?'
And I know right away that I wouldn't like it. Why? Because I love this face, this person, that he has become. He may not be as handsome as when we met, but the truth is that I love him more than I did 20 years ago. And I would miss the face he has now.

It isn't until later in the day that I think 'what about loving myself that same way?' Do I love myself who I am now? Would I feel the same sadness to see her gone for some face younger and prettier?

You know, I am happy to say that I am pretty sure I would.

15 comments:

lilasvb said...

you are beautifull, i dont use cosmetic at all for age! i am 45, don't dye my hair...happy new year to you

PaperPumpkin said...

YOU are incredibly beautiful! I will turn the BIG 5-0, yes, 50, in about two weeks...shhhh...so many thoughts going through my head about this...and dread, I admit. But, I wouldn't do cosmetic surgery either. And, I like your thinking because I wouldn't like it if my husband did it either. Thank you for this. I like your brain as well as you and your work!!! Happy New Year to you.

Melanie said...

Well, quite frankly, there is not much difference in your photos! But yes, I do like your thinking!

Barbara S. said...

Amen to that! You look happier today and, I'm sure, wiser. We wear our lives on our faces, for good or bad...but it is who we are and we do have to remind ourselves to love ourselves as we are.
I've enjoyed reading your posts and seeing your art process.

Serena said...

You look beautiful just as you are, Zom. Great post. I would never consider botox or cosmetic surgery either. I hate that 'deer in the headlights stare' that so many over-botoxed people have. It also takes away the natural facial expression...so sad.

There's a lot to be said for growing old gracefully and enjoying the wisdom that comes with it.

Zom said...

Melanie, I think there is a kind of temporary 'face lift' you get when you smile. Meaning, that if I wasn't smiling the difference would be more apparent.

An interesting fact about having less facial expression (as from botox): apparently they have done studies and less expression means less feeling. Somehow the two are linked so being able to frown or whatever means that you can actually feel more. Freaky the way it works.

Zom said...

Thanks you guys for telling me I am beautiful, but that really isn't what this is about. Perhaps it is about loving myself, beautiful or not. Or how someone is beautiful because you love them...
something like that, lol

eva said...

Hah you haven't changed much at all! I overheard some Swedish girls talking on the plane the other day. I heard one mentioning she was 21, and they all made plans for the next botox injections. Jeez. I'm glad I feel too pretty to inject botox before I turn 30.
I wonder how I'll feel about cosmetic surgery when I turn fifty. It's easy to reject the idea and play it cool before one's face starts changing with age. I don't judge those who go under the knife. But as a painter, I don't like painting kids and babies as they have no character. I like what age does to people, it makes people more themselves somehow. I also think the extra confidence that comes with age makes people more beautiful. I guess it's always easier to appreciate things like this in other people, than in oneself!

susan christensen said...

I love your conclusions, Zom - feel the same. best new year wishes!

Ricë said...

i know what you mean: i do that pull-up-the-face thing and think about what it would be like to look "fresher" and then stop and remind myself: it wouldn't make me any younger. joints would still be falling apart. i like the way you look now and the way i look now because we look like interesting people i'd want to know.

Anonymous said...

My Mom didn't wear makeup or have any cosmetic procedures and when she passedaway at 79 years old she still had beautiful skin. I just turned 50 in Sept. and people always tell me that I don't look 50 I also don't wear makeup or do more than wash my face. Sometimes I think that fighting the natural aging process ages us. We exhibit our lives with our faces. Smile lines, furrowed brows, crows feet it is all a part of where your life has taken you. Its your history, be proud of it.

Joy said...

Love this post and am glad to have come across your blog (from DaisyYellow's). I never thought of aging this way--good insight!

Anita Van Hal said...

Zom! You're STILL absolutely beautiful!!! You have the most gorgeous expressive eyes!

ines said...

aren't these beauty considerations about age a great reflection of the majority thinking in our western society? But I question that, I mean who says old is bad, young is good? I have this thing about dying hair, I mean, what is wrong with gray or white hair?? And why do so many women feel this urge to look young? Many people say to me, I look much younger than I am and they mean that as a compliment. But here is the thing, and I often ask that in return to this strange comment that I can not take as a compliment, would the reverse mean I would be ugly or less attractive if I would look my age?

I like your face, you have a lovely happy face.

:-) Ines

Maggie said...

I would have plastic surgery in a Noo Yawk minute if I could afford it. The age discrimination in my country is appalling. But luckily I can't afford the surgeon's knife, so I just try to smile a lot. It really helps the jawline!