I’ve tried everything to look as good as Cate Blanchett in middle age, without resorting to fillers and Botox. You name it, my skin has absorbed it and spat it out – anti-wrinkle creams, all-day foundations, 24 hour leak/smudge/kiss-proof lipstick – they all disappoint on a dry old face with crevices that suck in liquid like a straw.
I’m thinking about setting a new trend for Burqas above the shoulders for all middle-aged women. Muslim women are definitely onto something there – no need for sunscreen, make up, spot removal creams, jewellery and concealers.
I torture myself daily with one of those magnifying make up mirrors. It has a normal mirror on one side that makes me look just about ok, but there’s a magnifying mirror on the reverse side which makes me look like the wicked stepmother in Snow White when she’s withdrawing from the regenerating effects of young maidens.
I have nightmares about that magnifying side.
When I was younger it was great for plucking my eyebrows, catching the odd stray nasal hair or reminding myself how hot I looked.
Now I need a few wines before I can flip it over.
But I have to use it these days because my eyesight is so bad that some days I can go through a whole day of work without realizing that I’ve got a mono brow to rival Noel Gallagher or one of my moles is sprouting witch hairs.
And Kurt says the hairs on my moles make him heave.
The old man complains that whenever I pose for a photo now, look in the mirror or talk to him on Skype, I assume this affected trout-pout pose where I purse my lips together in an unconscious effort to make them look fuller or somehow sexier.
He says I look ridiculous and he doesn’t understand why women can’t just age gracefully.
But then again, he is a man – the same man who wears thongs to posh restaurants and thinks that red and green co-ordinate.
I’m sure all of us women share the same insecurities. It would be taking narcissism too far to love every pore of our faces, wouldn’t it, even when you’re young?
I wonder which part of her face Miranda Kerr hates.
But when you do reach middle age, it seems like a myriad of problem areas that require extra scrutiny suddenly emerge on your face. One day you think you look like Kate Winslet, (when you turn your face slightly to the right and have good light behind you), and the next day you’re Joan Rivers.
Perhaps the lines on our face do tell our life story. If that’s the case, I’ve had a fucking riot. I am glad I’ve got some laughter lines but I’m not sure what story the other signs of ageing tell.
Some of my friends really detest their drooping eyelids that hood their eyes, or their telltale crows feet. I inherited a set of matching chins from some unfair genetic mutation on my dad’s side, but I’ve almost got used to them now….well, not really…. obviously not for photos. But what I really hate are the lines that run from my nose to the sides of my mouth, (apparently they’re called the nasal labial fold), that are like the lines on an old-fashioned puppet and make my face sag and look miserable all the time.
Unless I force myself to smile.
Which is difficult for my personality type, in spite of my new visualization technique – (Which is still very much a work in progress).
(You have to be there, it’s hysterical….REALLY!)
Sometimes I do it on my own in the car mirror too, when I’m stuck at traffic lights and bored. Is it vanity or do I sometimes just need that bit of reassurance that once upon a time I ‘had it?’
NC looks more and more like me as she gets older and I revel in her youth and beauty, but sometimes I catch myself wishing that I could be back in my twenties again, (for say a week), and could walk down the street and catch the eye of all those hot men too.
Maybe I only became a true feminist when I became ‘invisible’.
Because it takes more than a thick layer of foundation to disguise the unevenness of my complexion now. I can disguise my muffin top with a trendy loose top, and my sagging breasts with a push-up bra, but I can’t disguise my face anymore.
And I won’t, in spite of my desire to look younger.
I am trying to age gracefully – it obviously just takes a bit of practice.