I did the girl thing this morning, spritzing and moisturizing my face. As I did so, I remembered the dry and flaky skin on my mother’s face. Toward the end of her life, she was wheelchair bound by MS and didn’t get the skin regimen she used to give herself.
So, I remembered, and moisturized. And as I did, I looked at my face of 55, soon to be 56. I have bags under my eyes that have been there since birth; I have laugh lines around my eyes, also there since birth I believe, only now they show when I am not laughing. The rest of my face is smooth; maybe a forehead wrinkle or two, but nothing earth shattering. A bit of the jowl thing going, because of the weight gain, but still there’s nothing that breaks the illusion I hold that I am still in my forties, ha.
I wore makeup in my twenties; powder, eyeshadow, thick mascara. In my thirties and early forties, I went back and forth between full liquid foundation, powder and eye makeup, and just doing the eyes. When I turned fifty, it was as though I dropped the mask of makeup entirely, and was fine with it.
And to my surprise, no one cared.
I would like to figure out how to put makeup on this face; it’s not the same face as it was 30 years ago. If I treat it as theater makeup, I think it will be easier. That, after all, was the first makeup I’d learned to apply.
As I went about the rest of my early-morning, pre-breakfast, pre-work routine, the thoughts on aging and face/body image rumbled around my head. My body is definitely not the ballerina body I had; it has borne two children, run a marathon, and had two major surgeries plus a couple broken bones since then.
There is so much out there about women and body awareness/fat shaming/ageism. I find when I really think about it, that in this body of mine that is carrying probably 30 pounds more than I would like, I am more sexual and sensual, more loving, and happier than I have ever been, including back when I was 55 pounds lighter than I am now and dancing every day.
Almost as if with age (and the weight gain), my fear has lessened and my empathy has grown. My heart has grown, and I am more connected to people than I have ever been.
Over all, I have to say that this year of being 55 has been one of the best years of my life so far, in so many ways.
But maybe it’s time to wear mascara again.
So very true. You hit 50 and one no longer cares (as much) what others think. It’s all about being yourself – they can love it or leave it. I’m glad you’re a survivor. We Survivors have to stick together!! I’m looking at the big 62 next month, and this year is the first year that I’m feeling my mortality. Not that things hurt, those got fixed – just that I don’t have the energy to be quite the energizer bunny that I have been. Makes me have to re-think the farm goals, which is hard. But I’m not giving it up, just trying to work smarter not harder…
Happy late 50’s – it only gets better.
I am right there with you Christine. I turned 58 this summer. And yikes, it feels a bit eery to be facing 60 in less than two years. Oh, the regimen. Yes, for me, taking care of my skin has always been important. As well as eating healthy which has helped keep my skin in fairly good shape. But I do like to wear makeup. Especially when I leave the house. I just feel more finished, put together, confident. It may seem silly, yet, perhaps I’ve not the confidence you have. So you go girl. Keep staying true to you. With those beautiful eyes of yours, don’t worry about the makeup. You’re fine just the way you are. 🙂