This is an unretouched selfie of my naked face taken with my cell phone today. Hell, if Annette Bening can do it, so can I. If you’d like to see it frighteningly enlarged click it and have at it.
You can shove your platitudes about how age is just a number right up your wazoo because I ain’t buying it. The truth is, getting old sucks buttermilk.
Trust me. No matter what you do, You. Are. Screwed.
Just ask any of the actresses over 50 who attended this year’s Oscars.
Reading through TMZ and various blog posts, one would think the Oscars were not Hollywood’s self-congratulatory ode to its own relevance, but a veritable Olympics of Aging. Where was Bob Costas and his pink-eye for this cutthroat competition?
“Here we have Meryl Streep and Sally Fields in the Women’s It’s All Downhill From Here Aging Competition! The woman who ages the best by not looking her age and yet has no apparent signs that she’s done anything to look younger takes the GOLD!”
I don’t know about you, but I find the comments from the peanut gallery about who is aging well–and who isn’t–pretty disheartening.
Now certain celebrities have no one to blame but themselves for the judgy barbs aimed at them. (I’m looking at you, Liza Minnelli! What the hell were you thinking showing up on the red carpet swathed in a bolt of bright blue, cheap polyester satin without any underwear on?? Oh Em Effing GEE! Even sweet Jennifer Lawrence with all her dewy youth couldn’t have pulled that monstrosity of a pantsuit off. Where’s the brain bleach when you need it?)
But even the “positive” comments about how this one or that one is “aging well” are starting to piss me off.
When exactly did we start getting graded on aging?
Because if I’d known I was going to be tested on how I age I really would have listened to my mother and stayed out of the sun. (Damn you Cheryl Tiegs and Farrah Fawcett for making tans look so fabulous!)
Aging isn’t Optional
Like finding out that ugly people can sing, apparently the fact that ALL of us get older is some big fat surprise to everybody.
Okay, I admit it. It was a surprise to me. I thought aging was something that only happened to stupid people (like my mother) too dumb to stay young forever. When I was 20 I was certain I’d never make that mistake.
And then the earth orbited the sun 32 times and I discovered that I could do nothing to stop it.
Why are women (and men) so cruelly judged as we age? Why are we treated like so much meat on a hook, chastised for letting ourselves go, or, even worse, trying too hard? Why is it anybody’s fucking business how we look as we age? And when did it become a topic that was open for discussion anyway?
She Protesteth Too Much
Maybe right about now you’re asking yourself, “Why does Chloe care? She’s aging well.”
The truth is that right now I am “aging well”. I credit the fact that I haven’t seen the sun in 10 years, I’ve used Retin-A since I was 42, I get Botox for my crow’s feet (Yep. We can now put those nasty rumors to rest), I’ve had my eyes done, I work out like a demented fiend, I get facials as often as I can, and use a skin care system that was developed by a plastic surgeon (Theraderm Clinical Skin Care).
I think I’m doing the right things for me, but now that you know how the sausage is made I wonder if you are judging me. Has my “aging well” status now been downgraded in your mind to “Isn’t it sad how she’s so pathetically clinging to her youth?”?
Because not only does our crazy youth-obsessed culture demand that a woman age well–or we get to say snide things about her behind her back–but she has to do it effortlessly–or we get to say snide things about her behind her back.
See what I mean? You are screwed either way.
But What About Tomorrow?
Every single time someone tells me that I look good for my age I feel the pressure to keep doing just that. And I wonder to myself what people will say when I no longer do. Because it is inevitable. Eventually I’m going to look old (Or overdone. Honestly, it could go either way).
And why does what you say or think matter to me anyway? Because it shouldn’t. And I know that.
I believe that in order to live a truly authentic life you have to get to the point where you stop caring about what other people think or say about you. Life has given me some very hard lessons in trying to teach me this. I pray I’ve finally learned my lesson well. Because, as Ricky Nelson says, you can’t please everybody, so you gotta please yourself.