Friday, February 8, 2013
This year I felt like I needed a lift or to do something different with my 'look', so I went to the hairdresser in December and asked for a change. When I opened my eyes, my hair was a lot shorter. It took a bit of getting used to for me.
Early January I was walking by a salon and saw the ad for eyelash extensions so went in. They said it would only take an hour. I thought, 'why not?' Four hours later I emerged feeling like Carol Channing. Most people pretended not to notice or else chose not to comment on my sudden vanity. Of course, it is quite possible people didn't really notice either way. Rob did, though... he squinched his eyes up and laughed, "what's up with your eyes?" I can't say I'm a fan, it feels odd. To grow them out I'll have to be patient, and put up with an awkward phase where some will have fallen out and others will be flying sideways. Brings new meaning to the expression "googly-eyed".
I know part of what I'm going through here is just confronting the prospect of aging. Who is that person in the mirror? Then I reconcile myself with the older version of my reflection, and carry on. Weeks or months later, it's the same thing again... what the hell!? o well. what the hell.
I can see how people - especially women - succumb to Juvaderm, Botox, liposuction. I'm tempted myself! Years ago, I was horrified when Mary Tyler Moore and Carol Burnett started showing up on late night tv looking like cadavers. Now it is Madonna, Nicole Kidman and Susan Sarandon starting to look like parodies of themselves. Helen Mirren and Diane Keaton both appear to be aging gracefully, but is it because they are using the same techniques, just with more restraint?
Luckily I know more than a few ladies who are aging well, into their sixties, seventies and eighties.
We just need more cool old ladies in the public eye.
For Rob's birthday, I gave him some life drawing classes at the AGO. His model last week was a patrician looking woman 80+. Rob and I wondered about her "back story". Does she tell her friends and acquaintances about her part-time job? Did she always work as an artist's model or come to it late in life? Is this an act of final acceptance, standing naked under the gaze and scrutiny of strangers, comfortable in the presence of being yourself?