Who Likes Wrinkles Anyway?

ilana photo

That’s me, in my natural non-Botox appearance.

I don’t think anyone likes wrinkles, but how many of us are willing to accept them, or rather, wear them on our face without a care in the world? Diary of a wrinkle is blog that allows me to share my thoughts on a woman’s aging process from an appearance perspective mostly. So much has been said and done to educate us about how to combat wrinkles, and how to prolong our youthful appearance with magical elixirs and groundbreaking treatments, but what about those of us who prefer to approach aging differently? There are some women, I’m sure, who prefer to accept the aging process with a little bit of grace, perhaps not fret over a crease or two on their face or upper lip. However, I’m afraid to say that these days we are the exception to the rule—a minority in a world that seems to be obsessed with promoting the look of youth. Nevertheless, our ideas are valid, our voice is important and there needs to be a platform we can turn to in order to strengthen our desire to approach our age with a nonchalant attitude towards aging and beauty. Let me make one thing clear, I’m not an evolutionary psychologist, just a social observer with a keen interest in this subject matter.

My blog has nothing to do with criticizing those who’ve chosen to enhance their looks with plastic surgery or any other procedure for that matter—I love Joan Rivers no matter what she’s stretched or erased. Also, I don’t go out of my way to develop wrinkles; I take care of my skin on a daily basis, and do all that is necessary to feel healthy and look good. I understand that the need to look good is inherent in all of us, and some scholars have argued that the media has nothing to do with a woman’s vanity or poor self-esteem. However, I disagree with the latter statement; while certain things are part of our biology, and not an invention of Western civilization, somewhere down the road, modern society has distorted some of those natural instincts and is responsible, to a degree, for the incongruous effect it’s had on women worldwide. Who’s not been affected, somehow, by the constant reminders through the multitude of media outlets of what women of a certain age should “really” look like? It’s the image of a woman who’s completely devoid of any signs of aging whatsoever that puzzles me to no end. For some it’s an ideal look and they’ll do all that’s necessary to maintain it, and for others it’s a look they desire, but cannot afford. For me, however, it’s a look that I’ve chosen to avoid, because I no longer conform to what I consider to be a newly formulated idea of aging and beauty.

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When I used to smooth out my skin with Botox.

I used to be one of those women sitting at the dermatologist’s office, anxiously awaiting my turn in the examination room for a dose of that youth-enhancing-serum. But one day I decided to stop, and it happened just like that—when I took a good look around the waiting room brimming with women, all of whom were so consumed with their outer appearance, that I sighed heavily. I thought, wait a sec, I don’t want to become like those other women. But then I realized that I was indeed one of those “other” women.

I realized that I didn’t like what I saw around me, or rather, I didn’t want to be one of those women who constantly feels the need to chase after her youthful appearance. Also, right before I reached this epiphany I recall watching a very old woman at one of the spas I would frequent in downtown LA; she had the breasts of a young woman, obvious implants, but the rest of her body sagged. The breasts looked so out of place that they actually looked ridiculous—this is exactly what happens when you begin tampering with your body and face, some parts look young while others begin to naturally age, and in the end, in my opinion, it all looks like one big mess. So much so, that I much prefer the look of a woman who has aged with grace. This way everything looks in place, but more importantly, we learn to love ourselves and not waste our time chasing after our past. A healthy self-image is an essential example for the next generation of women—all of whom are growing up with a convoluted sense of what life is all about, their role in it, and perhaps what they are expected to look like.

I just want to be me, without being brainwashed into thinking that I’ve become unattractive or undesirable, just because I’ve reached my forties and my looks have begun to change somewhat. I don’t want to pander to a media-generated blitz of images that I have to aspire to achieve.

Beauty is what we choose to make of it, so how about joining forces with me and helping spread the word that we must learn to appreciate ourselves at any age.

Welcome to my blog, let’s have fun discussing this topic!

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2 Responses to Who Likes Wrinkles Anyway?

Commented:  August 2, 2009 at 10:48 am()

Totally agree, in my opinion society is too self absorbed with perfection, just look at the media. Even highly paid models are still not perfect enough for the media, their photos are enhanced and airbrushed. I’m a middle aged man and have a number of strategically placed wrinkles that have slowly developed along with a receding hairline, am I considering treatment? Never. As far as I am concerned each wrinkle of mine tells a story and without my wrinkles I would just be someone else. I’ll stick with the face I have developed over the years and admire those women and men who are determined to age with grace and without the need for so called artificial perfection.

Commented:  August 2, 2009 at 11:53 am()

Well, it’s about time! Ilana, thank you for starting an honest conversation about this issue. Our society has come to value and idealize surface beauty and perfection, rather than appreciating and treasuring the beauty and wisdom that come with life experiences and earning a wrinkle or two along the way!

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