Plastic Surgery or Ageing Honestly?

Posted October 14, 2009

Plastic Surgery or Ageing Honestly?

“I love my life right now, I really do, but I wish I had my 20 year old body. I’d have a neck lift, if I could,” announced my friend, Gill, at her 50th birthday meal.

“Are you mad?” we all chorused as she proceeded to demonstrate by tugging the offending folds of skin back with both hands. She tried to smile but could only manage a grimace. The overall effect was not so much peeling back the years but more like the onset of rigor mortis.

Ok, so we’d all shared a birthday toast (or several) and this revelation was delivered, in jest, towards the end of the evening. However, it did get me thinking about why women in their 40s and 50s are so reluctant to look their age. Maybe the blurring of the generational boundaries has something to do with it. It’s not unusual these days for a mother to share the same taste in music, makeup and clothes as her daughter. Walk down any high street on a Saturday and you will see countless mother/daughter combos dressed in identikit outfits of tunic tops, skinny jeans and Ugg boots. Does this mean that a mother should covet her daughter’s face? Clothes can be swopped, the peachy skinned, dewy look of youth can’t. Come on, not really!

Or perhaps women now look upon halting the ageing process as their next big challenge. We have, after all, pushed hard to gain equality in the workplace, bringing with it professional success and financial independence. It seems reasonable to want to spend our hard earned cash on ourselves so why not put it towards improving our appearance? Well, that depends on how far you take it. If it makes us scared to grow into the softer, more womanly look that is a celebration rather than a denial of our age, then I think it is a step too far.

This fear of ageing is fuelled by airbrushed pictures of models in magazines and makeover television shows urging us to look 10 years younger, as if this was the norm. We are swayed by our celebrity icons who champion the benefits of having had a ‘little work done’. It is all an illusion though. Sharon Osbourne, 54,  has long been a devotee of surgery enhancement and has openly admitted to spending in excess of $230,000 in the pursuit of youthful glamour. Even she now says, “I was following a dream. I’ve had enough.” Emma Thompson, who turned 50 earlier this year, on the other hand, believes in ageing “honestly”. She says, “How are we going to produce beautiful older women if we don’t allow ourselves to be older?” And therein lies the rub. There is no need to create pinched, tucked, plasticised versions of ourselves in our desperation to recreate the looks of youth. So let’s relax about the ageing process and enjoy life instead.

And just in case my friend Gill has any lingering fantasies about corrective surgery, I’m launching an urgent campaign to actively dissuade her. I’ve asked all our friends to chip in and buy her a scarf instead.....very Isadora Duncan! Oh, hang on a minute - she was strangled by her own scarf in a freak accident. Maybe we should play safe and buy her a polo neck instead.

add a comment  no comments

Previously on Vanity Fizz

The Village: Poppy's Cakes

Posted on September 17, 2009

I’ve been dreaming of chocolate all week.

Not just any chocolate but a.. >>> more

Supersized Wine

Posted on September 07, 2009

My niece commented recently that I drink “a lot”. She is 18, heavily into.. >>> more

The Village: Senior Cyclists

Posted on August 24, 2009

Thaxted is a magnet for senior cyclists. They congregate in the village like a.. >>> more