I posted up this 16-year-old photo of myself on Facebook yesterday. I love it, of course, because I’m standing next to Hillary (those cheekbones!), and I wanted to share that special moment from years ago with my pals. But while studying it, I started thinking about the changes that have taken place on that punum of mine since 2000.
As the face in the mirror has started to resemble my mother and various aunts, I admit I tug at my skin, pulling it back and up and twisting the folds this way and that to see how much better I’d look if the extra skin and the wrinkles weren’t there. I get facials each month, and sometimes I find myself asking Holly about the slick, glossy pictures in her “tranquility waiting area” that boast the latest and greatest in skin tightening technology. “Think I’d be a good candidate for that?” I’ve even tried a couple of the harmless, non-invasive, expensive, not very effective procedures with catchy names (Venus Freeze!), but ultimately I just go back to pinching and pulling in front of the mirror.
My mother had really nice skin, and she didn’t have much of a saggy neck, so I always figured I’d be in good shape as I aged. But now I’m pretty sure the skin genes from my dad’s side must have had some epic battle with my fair, delicate maternal skin genes, and their swords proved far mightier.
(I swear, if I could just do something about my neck, I’d be happy. Really!)
Anyway, the article I saw in the Huff Post this morning hit home and made me feel slightly better about all things related to my epidermis. I thought I’d share these lovely photos and words for a couple reasons: a) so I can revisit this page when I need a reminder to accept myself the way I am and b) because I know aging women who remain “au naturel” fight an uphill battle each and every day in this crazy Hollywood culture we’ve created for ourselves.
(Oh, and my hair? I'm not giving up the hair color until Eddie goes gray. I refuse to look like I could be his mother. Gotta draw the line somewhere.)
"Wrinkles. Laugh lines. Crow’s feet. No matter what you call them, the creases on your face deepen as you age. But whereas many people look in the mirror and, with a collective sigh, lament the passage of time that’s left its mark on their faces, others embrace the changes, and accept the idea that growing older is an integral — and even beautiful — part of living.
HuffPost photographer Damon Dahlen took portraits of women, aged 52 to 90, who roll their eyes at ageist (and sexist) standards of beauty. Rather than fight the inevitable effects of aging, they see the lines on their faces as a road map of their lives. They are the etchings of many years fully lived — and each and every one of them has been earned.
So why not show them off? Take a look at their gorgeous portraits below and read what each woman has to say about embracing the beauty of every age." Shelley Emling, Huff Post
|Deborah Gaines, 55|
“Your vision of beauty is determined when you are quite young. For me, my grandmother was heavy and had wrinkles and gray hair but she personified love for me. She was 95 when she died. And I still thought of her as the most beautiful person I knew. Now I have really reconnected with that feeling. The people who are most important to me find me beautiful because of the love I radiate and it has nothing to do with wrinkles or what is on my face. Until you have a baby, you worry about your body. But when you have a baby you think your body deserves an Academy Award. Being beautiful is about being present to those around you. I’m proud of the map of my face because it’s a map that shows a long and joyful journey.”
|Leslie Handler, 56|
“Each new wrinkle tells me that I survived and became happy after every challenge in my life. When I see a new one, it doesn’t bother me. After two babies, my tummy bothered me, but my husband said it reminded him that I had given birth to our two children. I think the 50s are the best of all the decades so far. You really come into your own ... no more questions about what to do with my life ... all the insecurities. You’ve gotten over all that. I had cancer in my 30s. I’m still here. Complain? I don’t complain.”