In which I go on a rant about aging and perception...

Make no mistake, my rants are full of brightly colored language. NSFW words and all that. Do enjoy!

Quite frankly, that just sounds direly exhausting.

Partly because I have an inherent laziness that only actual scheduled events can counteract and partly because I am a natural skeptic, reading this worked on my psyche much like a cheese grater on knuckles. Or, in The Princess Bride parlance, lemon juice on a paper cut.

It isn’t so much that “everyone” commits to such strenuous anti-aging regimes.  It isn’t that women want to appear younger longer.  It isn’t that people choose to spend $300,000 on light treatments and “gentle” injectables to keep their faces fresh.  It’s the entire baseline of such statements full stop.

When exactly did aging become akin to a Faustian deal with He Who Dwells In Fire?  When did aging become both our most constant enemy and favorite obsession?  When did aging become wrong?  For all people but, let’s be strictly and painfully honest, mostly for female people.  Women are not allowed to age.  We must bloom and then constantly re-bloom with the dewy delicacy of the everlasting and continuously-refreshing dawn.  We must be forever new buds opening to the sun.  We, like Britney Spears, must always be “not a girl, not yet a woman” - trapped in the limbo of not child/not old where we are acceptably sexual at all times.  We must be dewy fresh, goddammit, and gorgeously ripe every damn day.  And also delicate.  And sweet.  And whorish.  And virginal.  And sexually provocative.  And never slutty.  And mothers.  And girlfriends.  And hungry.  And never eat.  And beacons of apple-cheeked health.  And career-minded.  And hearth-warmers.  And independent.  And agreeable.  And ambitious.  And submissive.  And thin.  And curvy.  And beautiful.  And above all else YOUTHFUL.

And to that - to your Thermage, your microdermabrasion, your Botox, your LED therapy, your oxygen facials, your Belotero, your no carbs no dairy, your ultrasound treatments, your vampire facials, your liposuction, your photoshop of horrors, all of it - to that I say get fucking bent.  Quite frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.  Hey, I’m a woman and I like to look my best.  I’m a damn makeup artist, for godsakes.  I understand the allure of beauty and skin deep artistry and youth as much as the next person.  And I’ll use the creams and the scrubs and the coverups and the powders and primers and shadows and clever lighting.  I’m human!  I want to look lovely too!  I am not a damn hypocrite!  But I will draw the line in the sand at a regimen that demands more of my time and energy and devotion than boot camp and children.  I will draw the line in the sand when I am considered an old hag at forty without a military schedule of anti-aging battles on my dermatologist’s roster keeping hag-dom at bay.  For fuck sakes, I am a person and people age!  

We grow up and we grow out and we grow old.  We get lines around our mouths from laughing and lines around our eyes from squinting and lines on our necks from bending them and our hands get spots and our noses stay big while our skin shrinks back and our bellies grow while our biceps wilt and our tans get sallow and our eyes water and you know what that really is about?  It’s about LIVING.  It’s about being a living human being who has seen things and been places and done shit and had years pass.  You age because you’re alive.  You know who doesn’t age?  THE DEAD.  So do what is reasonable but do not sacrifice all your living time for youth that is designed to be fleeting.  Youth isn’t wasted on the young, it’s gifted to them.  And you get it and you wear it out and then you take care of what’s left and move the fuck on.  Put on your best red lipstick or jaunty chapeau, smile at yourself in the mirror, and say out loud “I am so much more than the sum of my visible parts.  I am a damn fine person with thoughts to share and places to go and books to read and people to meet and things to accomplish.  Fuck yeah, wrinkles, give me your best shot.  I earned every last one of you.”  And then stride on out into the daylight and live your damn life.

- Corinne Simpson