Today is my birthday. Which is fabulous, although the actual ‘number’ attached to birthdays now is a bit harder to swallow. Gulp. Making that fact infinitely more…humbling, is a little W magazine article (already prone to riddle one with the feeling of ‘less than’ with its outrageous photo spreads of the fashionably elite) pinpointing the EXACT AGE at which a woman begins to lose whatever beauty she might have. No. Not kidding.
Apparently, the magic number is 35.09; that’s 35 years and 33 days. Awesome. It should be said that the study cited is by uber-expensive skin care line SK-II, which, of course, is set to benefit mucho by telling the ladies they’re about to become wretched old hags. While I’m proud to be an American and all (insert Lee Greenwood here), I so wish our culture was one that valued wisdom over a lack of laugh lines. Just sayin’.
Last week, I was talking with some friends of mine, truly beautiful women in EVERY way and remarkably ageless, who had seen my current ‘number’ come and go and called it “great,” BUT… “Wait until you hit your 40s–they’re awesome. Oh, and 50–so great.” Again, no. NOT kidding.
Did they find the real fountain of youth? Possibly. Maybe it’s the one that welcomes change, leans into hardship, finds joy somehow at any cost, laughs in the face of fear, and bears and bares witness to it all. If that’s the life I want to live, then I’d be embarrassed not to walk away with the evidence of a life well lived in laugh lines.
In other news, will I ever remember to spell “embarrass” with two “R’s” the first time? Jeesh!