30 Jun Another Day, Another Wrinkle, Another Grey Hair!
As another close friend celebrated her 60th birthday this week, I realised mine is rapidly approaching. That hit me like one of Muhammad Ali’s left hooks, and had me running to the bathroom mirror to assess the damage.
It is there. It is there in every sunspot from the years I spent lying prostrate on the sand begging the sun to tan my skin. It is there in every wrinkle and crinkle in my skin; from the lines in the corner of my eyes to the droop at the corners of my lips. It is there in the thinning and greying of my hair, particularly in the front. However, the most upsetting thing is those tough white hairs which grow around the chin area. They are stubborn little buggers, and we have an almost daily tussle to get one or more plucked out. Heaven forbid I leave it for a while! I caught a glimpse in the rear vision mirror, during a moment of bright sunlight between the incessant showers we’ve been experiencing this last fortnight. I thought it was Grant’s chin, now he is retired and doesn’t shave as regularly as he once did. Alas … NO! It was unfortunately mine. Those prickly buggers were all mine, homegrown by me. What do you do at 8AM, when you are sitting in your car outside your workplace with no tweezers at hand? Panic is your default reaction. And once you are aware of them you can’t seem to stop touching them, unconsciously jutting your chin out, hoping to be able to extract them with your nails. This is NOT a good look in a public place. This is even worse in the classroom with many pairs of beady eyes staring at you, silent for once, wondering what the hell their teacher is doing.
The only positive, if it really is one at all, is that I am not the only woman of my vintage inflicted with this awful manifestation of the inevitable aging process. And there are things we can do to help us through our sixties and into the next decade, where hopefully our eyes, and those of our peers, are so worn out we will be unaware of these awful distinctions of age, in ourselves or others.
Never fear, help is at hand …. But at a price! Be prepared to sacrifice a good percentage of either your hard-earned salary or your rapidly diminishing superannuation; which is why so many of us are still gainfully employed when we should be luxuriating in the idea of retirement just being around the corner, rather than over the hill and far away! It is also the reason why the beauty industry, with its range of cosmetic procedures, is in a boom when so many other industries are on the decline. Originally it was the facelift. You know, the procedure only afforded by those either married to rich men or required by actresses over a certain age. Nowadays, almost everyone seems to have a nip here and a tuck there. The cosmetic surgery business is the backbone of most Asian countries in the 21st Century. It is where Australian women often ‘holiday’, coming back looking rejuvenated, which has nothing to do with relaxing around the pool sipping cocktails! But you do not have to go that far, either in kilometres or procedures. Here, at home, we are offered an array of non-surgical alternatives including enzyme peels, micro-dermabrasions, micro-needling, Omnilux light treatments, to name but a few. Then we can have hydro-peptide skincare products, which appear to be more like a fruit salad or flower bouquet than anything else. The ingredients read like a menu with camelia, peony or banana flower extracts, apricot kernel oil, and, would you believe, even a Sauvignon Blanc concentrate and black tea. A full meal, including drinks. All that’s missing is the cheese platter.
Should we be going that far, or need to go that far? Is it because we want to, or because societal pressure is pushing us to it? Can’t we just be the Grannies of old, with the greying bun, wrinkly skin and a few coarse hairs on our chinny chin chin? Should we be made to feel like second class citizens if we don’t bow down to modern convention and stop, or at least put the brakes on, the aging process? I don’t know what you feel, but I need to run. I’m late for my bio-surface peel, which sloughs away dead skin cells for a deeper exfoliation to reveal my inner skin radiance, firmness and texture. I, for one, am going to age disgracefully!