The new series for Just Read It, begins May 1. That’s the 10 minute YouTube program where I discuss New York Times Best Sellers with local writers. To give the program a facelift, I’ve been working with two new cameramen, three cameras and bold lighting. The improvements are stunning, except for my double chin, which, in the past, provided a soupçon of childlike innocence, but now, under the bright lights, drapes over my shoulder like a disintegrated rag.
I don’t complain. My mother, a woman of exquisite beauty in her youth, taught me that outward appearance is fleeting. What matters is character. At 103, she’s managed to keep her sense of humor and her sweet nature. I admire her for that and would like to emulate her, too, but my father’s truculent genes sometimes interfere.
I forgive my truculence, of course, just as I do my sagging chin. If I am impatient with myself, how can I be patient with others?
Still, wouldn’t it be lovely, as we examine weightier issues like capitalism and socialism, if we paused to rethink our notion of beauty, as well. What’s wrong with wrinkles and jowls? We spend nearly half our lives waiting to grow up only to discover, once we’ve reached the pinnacle, the remaining view is all downhill. Why don’t we chose a different view? What if we saw frown lines as evidence a person is a survivor? Then those vertical strips become a badge of honor, not shame.
When young, I threw my money away at department store cosmetic counters. Among those rows of jeweled jars, surely one would keep its promise of eternal youth. Some of them bore modest price tags. Others demanded a queen’s ransom. I tried them all, but found no benefit. How could I? I was already young. Painting my face with La Prairie’s creams, all of them more than $100, was as foolish as slathering house paint on a Ming vase.
The price of La Prairie has gone up 700%, since I was a girl. If their products work miracles now, I’m too old to care. Besides, why trust those models? Some of them are so young, I doubt they’ve experienced their first menses. Fie on the chicanery. Show me how those creams perform on Judy Dench’s chin. Or, let me see Maggie Smith glow like a summer peach. Now I am interested!
On the other hand, it might be more effective, as I’ve suggested, for those of us of a certain age to conspire to build our own ad campaign. We should begin by redefining glamor as having crow’s feet and crepey necks.