AN OLDER FRIEND ADMITTED TO ME RECENTLY
that she had had a facelift. She confided that she needed to work a few more years and didn’t want to hear how “tired,” i.e., old, she looked. A colleague once told me she would stop colouring her hair once she retired. She was a beautiful woman, but she said that young people at ad agencies often dismissed her as a grandmother on account of her silver hair. For women especially, how you look makes a difference
in the workplace. I started working in the 1970s, when looking natural was the way to be. Now, almost four decades later, I still feel that way. I remain ambivalent about the prospect of cosmetic surgery. My head tells me that I should be proud of my years and accomplishments, but my inner vanity nudges me at times. There have been so many advances in health and medicine — and
what’s wrong with a little help from modern science? Then again, I keep thinking about Meryl Streep and Goldie Hawn in the movie Death Becomes Her. In their quest for eternal youth, both women become parodies of their former selves — condemned to an eternal life of constant maintenance.
How exhausting! I joked that when I turned 60, I would start wearing scarves. As Nora Ephron said in her book I Feel Bad About My Neck,
“Our faces are lies and our necks are the truth. You have to cut open a redwood tree to see how old it is, but you wouldn’t if it had a neck.”
~ By Dianne Wing