*Author’s note: I originally wrote this post five years ago on my (now defunct) parenting after infertility and loss blog. I have many, many, many more WTF and laugh lines on my face now.
In all that time, despite a lifestyle shift away from consumerism, I am still just as torn between accepting that this is my face and giving in to the cultural messaging that aging is the worst thing a woman can do. I fight against the urge to hurry up and buy all the expensive products to curb this evil. I cognitively understand that beauty does not define worth (and I know there are more important things to worry about), but still feel slightly less than beneath my crinkling, sagging skin. Even when you *know* what causes the feelings, they still swirl inside of you. I do all the things you are supposed to do – I moisturize, drink lots of water, wear sunscreen year round, try to drink less wine and sleep more. It doesn’t slow down time or overcome genetics. It doesn’t erase the patriarchal beauty standards that have literally seeped into every pore of my being. I never did get Botox but admit to googling it every now and again.
*original post below*
I want to get Botox.
There! I said it!
Maybe that makes me less crunchy, less real, less feminist, less than. But I do. I feel as though I have aged five years for every one that has passed since having children. Lack of sleep will do that to a person. Perhaps I just want time to STOP, in more ways than one. My face is changing, as it does when we age, and I am starting to get unnerved by it. I am really vigilant about what I smear onto my skin, and yet I want to inject it with poison to…what? I don’t even know. I just know that organic olive oil ain’t doing it.
A while back, my friend Arch Mama wrote a post called Wrinkles. I have thought about this post every time I have looked at myself in the mirror since then. Trying to figure out what all these new lines mean, wondering if they were worth earning. Trying to search for the same sort of acceptance, reverence even, for what my face tells of my story. This is the part that I think about, every time:
When I am an old woman, I want to look at the topography of my face and see the mapped journey of breathtaking life.
I want to look in the mirror and say, “What a beautiful fucking life I have lived, and this face is living proof.”
I think I am more susceptible to cultural messaging than I would like. My lines, they bother me. It is not that I don’t feel beautiful, or attractive, or worthwhile as a human being because I’m aging. I just feel different. I am struggling to find a place where I am accepting of the life being written across my face. Acceptance is what I need, not Botox. I am not actually going to get Botox, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking about it. Acceptance will be harder, but more beautiful in the long run I think. I shall endeavour to create more laugh lines.
So, fine. Lines.
Putting these thoughts out there was spurred on by a quick Twitter conversation regarding the discovery of grey hairs. I was twenty when I found my first white hair. I yanked it out and held up against a sheet of paper to confirm its whiteness because maybe it was blonde! (Um… I have dark brown hair so no possibility of suddenly sprouting a blonde hair). I was horrified. Since then, the odd one would pop up and quickly be yanked out again.
And then a curious thing happened. Right around the time I started lamenting the changes in my face, I started getting more grey hairs than I could keep up with. Those fuckers are curiously immune to postpartum hair loss. So I let them come in and grow long. More and more, they are coming. I am 34 now and my temples are starting to have few flecks of salt in the pepper. I notice it more. I like it more. And I want more.
I am excited to let my hair go grey. I love seeing women with grey/white hair with kick ass haircuts and I aspire to be one of them. In my very dark hair, each grey stands out as if it were illuminated. Each one in a bright white line in a sea of darkness. I love it. I LOVE IT.
So, fine. Lines.
Now I just need to find point of intersection between the two.
y = mx + b
Where m is the slope value of treating this body that has done such amazing things with more loving kindness every time I look in the mirror.