What’s up with us women and our appearance? Do we want to look younger or just not look older? When we were children we wanted to be older, that’s why we’d answer, “I’m seven and a half.” But we didn’t think about wanting to look older. I remember being carded in my twenties because I looked younger than 21, but I didn’t have a desire to be or look older, because drinking wasn’t my thing and age really didn’t concern me.
However, at about 35, I started seeing the first signs of looking older, as daring, stray, gray hairs began sprouting at my temples. I paid the kids a penny a hair to pull them. By the time I was 55 my offspring had moved on to better paying jobs, and besides, if they’d still been willing to work for me, I’d be two-thirds bald.
At 60, I dyed my hair for the first time, but after about four years I let my real color grow out and the gray take over. I also got tired of hearing a wolf whistle, turning around and shocking the life out of some young guy who thought he was going to get the attention of a young chickie only to find an old lady glaring at him. I actually prefer being a “Q-Tip” (that’s an appropriate name to describe a person with white hair) because the wolf whistles have stopped and I am officially invisible to the opposite sex. It’s a good thing.
Did you happen to watch the Academy Awards about four years ago when Barbra Streisand sang a tribute to her close friend Marvin Hamlisch who had just passed away? She sang The Way We Were but she wasn’t the way she used to be. That’s because she was trying to look the way she used to so she had a facelift and bless her heart, she looked wonderful, but when she sang, her face never moved, just her lips did, a little!
She’s a genius as a singer, actor and producer, so why did she put herself through that procedure? We’re the same age and she definitely looks younger than I do, but at least my lips move when I talk!
I think one big reason why we women are more aware of looking older is because we wear make-up and as we get older, we end up having to use a magnifying mirror to see what we’re doing. I bought the one I have today at a garage sale and I swear it enlarges my face so much I can watch my cells divide. The thing even has lights, and I asked the woman who was in her 70s why she was selling it. “It’s just too damn scary!” she replied.
Men don’t need a magnifying mirror to shave and I think if they had to look into one of those mirrors every day, they’d be considering facelifts the same way women do.
A couple of years ago, I was at a local Chamber of Commerce event and my neighbor had a little table of beauty products she was selling. I went up to her to say hello and she asked, “Would you like to try this wonderful hand scrub?” Before I could ask what a hand scrub was she took my hands and poured water over them and smeared about a teaspoon of gritty substance in my palm. “Rub your hands together real good,” she instructed. As I moved the sandy grit around as if I were rolling my hands in glee, she said, “Now hold your hands over this bowl and I’ll rinse them off.” Once they were rinsed, to my utter amazement, they felt as smooth as a dolphin’s tummy! I was impressed as I dried on a paper towel. “Come over to my house some time and I’ll give you a free facial!” she invited. That’s when I really looked at her and realized she looked amazingly young and she had to be somewhere around my age!
The next day I went for my free facial and walked out of her house with $497 in beauty care products for my face. I went from washing my face in the shower when I shampoo my hair, to preforming a ten minute, six-step beauty regime every night. Spending that kind of money compelled me to use the products, but six months later when it was time to fork out another wad of cash, I gazed into my magnifying mirror of horror, and had to admit, I looked no different than I had before I’d scrubbed my hands at the Chamber of Commerce.
One of the gifts of aging is we have more time to think about things. I’ve come to the conclusion that since my face is 74 years old and my husband’s face is 74 and most of our friend’s faces are in the mid-70s range, I’m just going to enjoy the faces in my life just as they are, including my own.
The bottom line is that those who love us know how old we are and if you want to look younger to those who don’t know how old we are, we can just tell them we’re 10 years younger than we are and they’ll be impressed. Isn’t that what all this “looking younger nonsense” is all about?
For more from Pam Young go to www.cluborganized.com. You’ll find many musings, videos of Pam in the kitchen preparing delicious meals, videos on how to get organized, lose weight and get your finances in order, all from a reformed SLOB’s point of view. Pam’s books are also available on Amazon.