Gorgeous, and who really cares about her knees?
In a recent article (Mail Online, 07.23.09) Claudia Connell, a forty something writer, published an article about saggy knees. Her focus was primarily directed at Elle Mcpherson’s knees stating that, “Her knees looked as though she’d spent the morning cleaning doorsteps and used a Brillo pad as an exfoliator.” This article suggests that at age 46, Elle is now suffering from what is known by many as “the saggy knee syndrome, an affliction that can randomly strike any woman over 40.” The writer admitted to feeling happy that someone as gorgeous as Elle has not been able to escape this outcome and she basically suggested that anyone over 40 should cover up their knees!
Honestly, before reading this article I never thought about saggy knees and I don’t recall ever focusing on my knees or anyone else’s for that matter. But sometimes one can make the case that the more we read—albeit nonsense in this instance—the more we learn. I have now been made aware of the fact that there is so much more to worry about apart from my face developing wrinkles and crows feet, or puffy eyes and a prominent frown line. Another example of this strange phenomenon, when we suddenly notice things in plain sight, is when you discover that you’re pregnant and then instantly the rest of the world looks pregnant—you notice pregnant women everywhere you look.
I guess this, so called ‘discovery stage,’ when we’re made aware of other things we’ve never thought of before, is all to do with acquiring knowledge, obviously, but a lot to do with the gradual evolution of our brain as we age. It’s natural that when we’re young things like wrinkles, age spots or sagging skin, never enter our mind; why should it, when we look so young, so perfect and beautiful? However, perhaps our ignorance at a young age has something to do with a natural protection mechanism. A way in which our mind directs us to concentrate on the present, thus enabling us to enjoy our life, instead of worrying about the future. The opposite has actually been proven with senior citizens who are in their 80s, that once reaching this age, there is a tendency to make peace with the idea of one’s own demise, there is no more fear of death for the most part. I remember this to be the case with my grandmother Gertrude.
In short, the older we get the more things we begin to notice, and if we were to harp on every single body part that has shifted and changed, then what kind of a future would we have? We’d find ourselves preoccupied with even more nonsense from the moment that our baby teeth would to change. Another way of looking at things is realizing that it’s only our perception of ourselves that’s driving us crazy, and nobody else really notices or cares. When I think of my grandmother Judith, for instance (who is still alive), I don’t think of her as that wrinkly woman with the saggy breasts, flat bottom and unruly facial hair etc., I see her as a beloved grandmother. Images of tasty food, and fun times pop to mind, but looks are never part of this experience. However, I realize that this would be an idyllic situation and that in the real world people do look and judge every inch of you. And this is how most of us develop our hangups in the first place.
When social media has a way of pervading our privacy and cellphones have a way of spreading an image of anyone, instantly, sometimes turning it viral—there are no more boundaries, I’m afraid. Everyone is exposed to harsh criticism for the most ridiculous and trivial things. If I ever notice my knees sagging, I don’t think that I will go out of my way to cover them up, in the same way that I do not walk with a burqa to cover up the two lines that I have stretched across my forehead, and the one that has developed above my upper lip.