To age or not to age?

Although I’ve quietly revelled in the salt and pepper slowly shading the locks of my friends, while styling my hair recently, I found a stray grey.

What to do?

There was no one around and I was quite entertained so I showed the stray to Wolf, who instantly shed a tear and refuted the fact that I was getting old. Although I was surprised, I guess getting old equates to dying and that is not allowed.

I’ve noticed something else too recently… fine lines around my eyes. Oh, and there’s a line appearing inbetween my eyebrows, I guess from frowning too much.

My brother and sister mocked my concerns but my mother took a different tact and suggested some “preventative botox” – perhaps the European gene would call shotgun on this whole aging business (awesome) and I should look into ways I can avoid wrinkles even forming.

So inspired by fear, I did a bit of research, spoke to a couple of beauty journos I know (who agreed my concerns were unnecessary) and although I don’t like the idea of injecting poison into my body at this age, I came across something quite alarming – a trend for people to get plastic surgery to enhance their career.

According to this train of thought, better looking people are more successful and are thought of as being smarter. We’re a culture that is obsessed with all things young and beautiful (the “Hollywood effect”) and as a woman, I can stay employed for longer if I adhere to this obsession. Books are even being published on the “Beauty Bias” at work and what can be done about it from a legal perspective.

Plastic surgery is becoming so popular in the States that a plastic surgery tax (dubbed the “Bo-Tax”) is being suggested to help support other healthcare areas. In response to this, Terry O’Neill, the president of the National Organization for Women (NOW) surprisingly opposed the tax in support of affordable face lifts. She claims middle-aged women are struggling to compete in the current job market, and a nip and tuck here and there can help them appeal to employers.

“They have to find work,” she told the New York Times. “And they are going for Botox or going for eye work, because the fact is we live in a society that punishes women for getting older.”

I wonder how Naomi Wolf feels about all of this.

As for me, reading through all of this makes me feel sad, especially if women are feeling like they ‘need’ to get this done. But it’s made me appreciate the look of old people more. And not just the look, but the company too. It’s made me want to keep every single grey hair I have and leave the wrinkles that may or may not develop. Why not?

Anyway… on a slightly related but different point, what do you think about the criticism American Apparel has recently received for its hiring and staff grooming policies? Is this to be expected from a clothing chain like this? Does it make you think differently about buying from the store?

3 responses to “To age or not to age?

  1. Greys or no greys, lines or no lines, I think you’re one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever met. It’s a wonderful joy that you’re also kind and charismatic, and that’s something time can’t change.

  2. There was a huge movement around the implosion of the GFC for people, including men, to refresh their appearances to help them find new jobs. It was crazy. And while people were struggling to pay school fees etc, there were NO changes in women going to get their Botox, dermal fillers etc. Scary huh? Scary that vanity comes before education!

    As for greys – I am afraid of them. Really afraid. I don’t mind wrinkles, I do mind the greys.

    And now as for AA – that is appalling. I feel disgusted by these ‘policies’.

  3. I took my mother to the theatre of Mother’s Day. We went to the Opera House and went to a 2pm Matinee performance. We were probably the youngest people there surrounded by grannies. Prior to the play we went to the bathrooms and whilst washing my hands in the basin next to mum I noticed one stray grey. I screamed and said to mum ‘get it out now!’ so made her pluck it there and then. I haven’t found one since so am telling myself that it was a one of as I was surrounded by grey haired people it just rubbed off on me. Refuse to admit that like my mother my thick brown hair will be grey one day… one day soon eeek!

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