AN OLDER FRIEND AD­MIT­TED TO ME RE­CENTLY

Ottawa Magazine - - This City -

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

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