Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Ambivalence of Aging Part 2: Facelifts

I would be a liar if I said I never thought about having plastic surgery. Part of the aging process involves the contemplation of whether to have "work done": a face lift, a chin lift, or just my neck reined in! Watching the Academy Awards, or any tv for that matter, gives perspective to the question of To Lift or Not to Lift?

I have, for many years, said all of the following:

1) I'll never do that
2) I've earned the lines and wrinkles I have
3) It's vain
4) We should grow old gracefully.
5) I'm scared to let anyone carve on me
6) I can't afford it

The last two are probably the most honest. The first three are bombast. I'm not a viewer of "Nip/Tuck". Maybe I should be. I assume it's all about sex with your plastic surgeon.

All I know is, every time I see a commercial for the string that lifts your chin up, eliminating what I fondly call a "chicken neck" ...I WANT ONE!

Now, I have neither the time nor the money for any elective surgery at all. But I can no longer say I don't want it.

Reasons to do it:
Racquel Welch looks great! (Of course, she's great looking to begin with. )
Sophia Loren looks great! (ditto).
Barbara Walters looks great for her age.
Victoria Principal (I hear she was married to a plastic surgeon + she has a skin care line.)
Jane Fonda looks really good.
Pamela Harrington (deceased) is reputed to have had one of the great face lifts of all time.

Reasons not to do it:
Faye Dunaway (she's a cut or two away from looking like the Cat Woman).
Mary Tyler Moore (I hear she was or is married to a plastic surgeon. Too bad he isn't as good
as Victoria Principal's ex).
Joan Rivers (nuf said).
Lisa Rinna (her mouth looks funny)
Lauren Bacall (she's never had one and I believe her).

I can make a case for either decision but the funny thing is, the "Reasons Not to do it" are the ones that come most easily to mind. Perhaps that is because there have been so many good ones nobody is really aware of them?

What do you think? I mean, really, what do you think?


Lover of Life said...

I won't have it unless my eyelids cover my eyes. I hate surgery.

Mary Ellen said...

I'm working on trying to inhabit the body I have in the life I have. But - if there was a simple and safe way to get my teeth looking less blah (more crooked and brownish with the years), I might be tempted.

Minka said...

Same for me. But otherwise... cutting? Anesthetics kill the pain (some of it), but they also take some of your memory. And I forget enough already.

Rhiannon M said...

I am not old enough to even consider plastic surgery but your arguments intrigue me.
I have always said that I do NOT want to not look my age, but I also want to ONLY look my age. Right now I naturally look about six years younger than I actually am. If I am 45 and I still look younger, fine with me. If I am 45 and I also LOOK 45, also fine with me. If I am 45 and people keep asking me if I am 65... I am getting work. But, but, just enough to look 45, not to try and look 30.
I've always said that "growing old gracefully" is more about maintaining than denying. My grandmother's droopy eyelids are starting to impede her vision. Both her doctor and I told her cosmetic surgery is a totally good option for that.
So there's two cents from a young person who (in my own opinion of myself anyway) has a good grip on the idea of growing older while feeling good.

California Girl said...

LOL: yes, the eyelids are a biggie for alot of women.

MaryEllen & Minka: I think teeth are important and should be cosmetically altered if you can afford it because we all like to smile and if you are uncomfortable with smiling, you are depriving yourself most of all.

Rhiannon: you're too funny. If I were 45 & asked if I were 65 I'd get the work done too!

Coffee Messiah said...

I had a friend in Berlin who I saw there in '89 while the Wall was still up and she had one and it looked pretty good, although she did not need it.

Went back in'90 after the Wall came down and she looked terrible. It already started to change. She realized she should have left her pretty self alone.

Society tells you change in age/looks is bad, but it isn't.

You have to love yourself inwardly, to Love yourself outwardly ; )


California Girl said...

CM: That's what my therapist keeps telling me!

Coffee Messiah said...

Hey, no charge ; )


by Cole Scott