Age of Innocence

I come from a family that ages very well.

With some cosmetic help.

Grandma Ethel, God bless her, knew her way around a surgeon’s table better than she did her own condo. Pretty and petite into her eighties, she seemed to consider plastic surgery a necessary medical procedure, but other surgeries optional. I’ll never forget her saying about a man she knew who’d had a quadruple bypass that he had “indulged in open heart surgery.” As opposed to her peels and surgeries, the comment implied, which were required.

Other members of my family have had various and sundry procedures to enhance how they look, though you’ll never get me to say who (they’re still alive and I’d thus run the risk of permanent alienation from them if I did).

While I haven’t gone that route yet, there have been some close calls (when I was offered free botox, first by a publicist for a plastic surgeon and second, by my brother — a scientist now working to incorporate biotechnology principles into plastic surgery). Rest assured, I didn’t refuse because I’m not vain or out of some great moral belief that you shouldn’t change what God gave you. I’ve never actually quite understood what the big deal about elective — sorry, Grandma — surgery is. People color their hair to make it fit their aesthetic ideal and go to gyms around the clock (at least where I live they do) to get their bodies in the kind of shape they want them. How is that so different from having an operation?

No, I just haven’t wanted to get on that particular train because I fear — like massages, like visits to the chiropractor, like grande percent lattes — that once you get on, it’s nearly impossible to get off. So I can admire my perfect-looking relatives and, for the moment anyway, be grateful for my surgical innocence.

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6 thoughts on “Age of Innocence

  1. I was just thinking about this recently, when I heard yet another gorgeous and thirty-something woman say she wouldn’t have plastic surgery, that she wanted to “embrace ageing.” Ah, the blissful innocence of youth. One can say these things when one is in their twenties and their thirties. When you are in your forties and things begin to go south, suddenly you become riveted by all those articles on what’s new and painless in non-surgical procedures. I agree with Nora Ephron, that a young woman should put on a bikini and not take it off until she’s forty. Enjoy your collagen plump cheeks while you can.

  2. I hear what you’re saying Anna… but somehow for me, going under anesthetic and risking your life for beauty, or injecting toxic poisons under your skin is a step further out there than hair dye. But you’re talking to a serious hair dye addict. (not to mention skincare product junkie) Not exactly objective, am I. 🙂

  3. Loved Grandma Ethel, she could certainly rationalize! Otoh, I’m for natural-looking good — at any age — with help from some terrific skin care products that are available and really work….as long as you’re disciplined enough to use them. 😉

  4. I know it sounds like I’m hamming it up, but if YOU need cosmetic surgery, then there’s definitely no hope for the rest of us! …

    I couldn’t do it, at least not the way they do it surgically at the moment. But if they invented some cool slick way to laser stuff off (without making mistakes and lopping off an arm or vital vein or something), then I have to say, I’d be tempted. Won’t divulge what I’d do, but I’d be tempted!

  5. I’m a waffler. I say I’ll be all accepting and graceful, and then I’ll look in the morror and push my face around, already seeing what could be done, what will happen and I think, brink on the laser knife! I’ll let you know in a few more years!

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