Saturday, January 23, 2010

I Feel Bad About My Neck, Eyes, Cheeks,Knees, Etc.

Ever have one of those days when you wake up and look in the mirror and think, oh, man, I'm beautiful? Me neither.
Sometimes the right lighting might trick me into thinking that yes, I really do have but one chin, but then that lighting fades or someone turns it off and reality slaps me back into shape. Wait, 'shape', that's the wrong word. Just slaps, that's all.
A few years ago I suddenly realized my face was a souffle, and it had fallen. Someone carefully took me out of the oven and then banged the door shut - cooks, you know the sad result. And as I pushed my souffle-face back into a resemblance of self I thought Well, what now? Injections? Plastic? Prayer? Needles and novacaine or whatever they use? All the above? Charlotte and I have talked about this through the years and we constantly come up with this: We're not against it, not at all. We applaud it, especially when its admitted. We just, well, I don't know. We still love Georgia O'Keefe and Virginia Woolf. I didn't want Bette Davis eyes but I had them by 28, maybe earlier. Was I supposed to fix them then? If so then youth really is wasted on the young.
We, Charlotte and I, maybe we're crazy. We still think our wrinkles do not define us. We know that age can't really be erased. Some days I feel 68. Somedays I feel 25. Somedays, I get so brave there is no number attached. And those, without a doubt, are the best days of all.


  1. Anonymous7:30 PM

    I still remember myself in high school, and I think of all of you from the first time I met you--so Janet that means I will always think of you as 28ish!

  2. Hmm... I can't wait til I'm Janet's age!

  3. Charlotte11:08 PM

    I don't think it's really about what age you are at all...just that, you keep changing and the change--no matter how much you are intellectually at peace with it--comes as a surprise. I remember that I really started changing more rapidly around 35-38, in there, and the last ten years have just pretty much taken the breath out of me. I keep thinking that if I get a good night's sleep, things'll right themselves. Ha! I'm also really intrigued by the choice of Meryl Streep in this ad. I just saw "It's Complicated" and I was struck by her aging face. The beauty of it. The way it fluctuates--like mine--between a younger version of itself and something older. The shifting angles, the extra flesh, which is totally natural! And I kept thinking how brave she is, in Hollywood, to be who she is. I also recently saw "The Women" which is an excellent chance to compare how women are aging...those with plastic surgery and those without...and I have to say, the surgery doesn't make people look younger, just sort of weirder. So. we go!

  4. Charlotte11:09 PM

    Oh, sorry, I wrote "ad" but of course didn't mean that. Old habit...

  5. Charly, I hate to burst your bubble - you of all people - but the actress you're speaking of, well....she could not participate in some work we were doing because she had to get 'some work done' (her quote) because of press for a new big movie last year, and she'd be too 'puffy' to do our thing. I don't mean a facelift, I don't mean cheek implants, just cosmetic. How do I know? Our client is a very close friend of hers. Now what I like about this, and her, is that she's honest enough and true enough to call this person on the phone and tell her flat out. No lies. No BS. But what' I don't like is the article in Vanity Fair that claims she's never had any work done. Because she ha, and it was done elegantly and subtly and wonderfully and that's pretty terrific in this town. And again: of course she has. There isn't a man or woman in Hollywood who is an A list or B list celebrity - except for haggard character actors - who doesn't get a nip and a tuck and a shot and a something according to everyone I know down here and everything I read. But it makes sense: It's their livelihood. It's their faces a hundred feet high on an enormous canvas. And even with all the retouching and fixing we know how expensive a film is...there just isn't enough dough to fix everyone. I love this famous actress we're speaking of. And I respect her 'lived in look' in that film and she hasn't turned into Madonna or Meg Ryan or a thousand other celebrities. She's BEAUTIFUL because she's imperfect. She's BEAUTIFUL because she really does look somewhat her real age. Maybe VF misquoted her in saying she's never had anything done. But I do think it does a disservice to other women to claim that at 40, 50, 60 you can look so fantastic and it's just 'good genes'. It kind of makes everyone else think...why does SHE look so good and I don't. Unfair. And untrue.
    And on another note completely - Anna, how old are you?

  6. Charlotte12:26 AM

    I suspect her work that will leave her puffy is botox, no? And I can forgive her that...But it's obvious, I mean OBVIOUS, she has NOT done any major interventions. She's not symmetrical. She's not firm. She's not oddly perfect in any way. And yet, as you point out, she IS beautiful, but the beauty is hers. I dunno...I just appreciate the fact that with or without whatever they are doing, she doesn't look in the least fake. She still projects the courage to look her age. And why not????? If she doesn't, there won't be anyone left to play those roles? And, my god, she worked a ton last year. I applaud her.

  7. Yes. I love her work, and her vitality, and her effortless sense of, i guess humanity. She was never a beauty queen. It's funny you mentioned Botox....a couple of women I work with just had Botox. It doesn't make them puffy, it just almost immediately freezes whatever area it's in. I saw them ten minutes after their sessions and would never have known they'd done anything. But those injectible things like...Restalyne and stuff I can't remember the name of. Injecting silicon and saline and whatever into faces. I thought one of them had been crying all day. But that's just me

  8. thank you for putting into words what i feel every day in that mirror moment.