Most people that watched the Oscars on Sunday night commented on two things (these are the two things trending the most when it comes to the internet aside from the usual whose dress looked most like a shower curtain): how John Travolta needs to work on his pronunciation and what on this great green (and blue) earth did Kim Novak do to her face. To be frank, it was hard not to notice, as at the ripe age of 81 she looks like, well, someone fighting very hard not to be so.
There is not a day that goes by that one is not reminded how much our society despises the aging process and penalizes those that, well, age. Women especially are caught in the aging conundrum, we are told to age gracefully, and then as we age, we are passed over for jobs and in relationships for the younger, more collagen filled (natural collagen mind you) model. Not to mention, men are notoriously told they are dignified as they age, but the messages sent to women are that aging is a sign of weakness and imperfection. Think about it, most posters and commercials you see hawking beauty products scream that we must DEFY the aging process, not embrace it. Not to mention, no one and I mean NO ONE on those advertisements looks their supposed age. Having a 38 year old model pose as someone ten years her senior is just mean and unfair. Between advertising, the workplace and the women we see on TV and film, we are constantly given the message that beauty and youth is the elixir of success and those that above 50 are damn near invisible. And I'm talking about beautiful women in their fifties, sixties, and so on who fall into the trap of thinking that aging somehow erases that beauty; what needs erasing is our idea of what 'beauty' has become.
All that said, perhaps it’s time that women reclaim some of our power when it comes to aging and truly embrace what it means to age gracefully, and remind the world that beauty does indeed comes in all shapes, sizes and ages. You see older women doing it all the time, actually aging in a dignified manner and the scariest part is that not only are they becoming the minority, but we are genuinely shocked when a women over a certain age does not pump a bucket full of foreign and toxic sludge into her face. Here’s the thing, if all women rebelled and refused to fall prey to botox, fillers and the like, aging would be exactly that, aging (remember people, you cannot stop time, no matter how much you try to freeze your expressions). The celebration of making it to the age we are, embracing the wisdom that comes with that and moreover the security and confidence that it’s okay to look our age. I would like to think that the King can one day look at me and see a face he actually recognizes staring back at him. It won’t be wrinkle free and god knows it’s lost its youthful glow (one needs actual sleep for that), but it will say to him - and the world - that I’ve made it thus far and I’m secure in the fact that I am the age I am.
Let’s also be very honest that there has never been a woman with ample facial work (work being the umbrella for all the various sh*t one can pump, pull and sear into their faces) that looks better for it. I’m all for subtlety (and a transformative night cream), but more seems to be more nowadays. I suppose it’s also time we ask ourselves why we hate aging so much, what the hell we are so afraid of? Not turning heads when we are out and about? Not being carded at the local bar for that well needed glass of wine? Remind yourself next time you contemplate turning your face into a plastic Tupperware container, you could soon be turning heads for a far different reason if you’re not careful.