Fairies broke into my bedroom while I was sleeping and inflated my waistline. That’s the only explanation I can think of for the thickening around my middle. It seemed to happen overnight. One day I woke up and there was all this extra me. In a life where so many things have slowed, my body seems to be changing really fast. I have new spots on my face daily, and the wrinkles around my mouth suck my lipstick up my nose.
As a young girl I stood in front of the mirror wishing my boobs would grow, puffing up my chest, hoping for more. Fifty years later I’d like to give some of that back. A lifetime of fashion magazines has taught me that big boobs are fine for sex workers and Hollywood movies. But clothes hang more elegantly on women passed over by the Boob Fairy.
About the same time as the thickening of my waist, my breasts ballooned into button popping mounds that want to spill over the top of my bra and bounce on my ribs. If they were torpedoes I’d be in danger of shooting myself in the foot. My clothes don’t fit the way they used to. I starve myself to try to reverse the process but this new shape seems to be permanent — and I really like food. I think I remember my mother looking this way, but I never thought it would happen to me.
Our whole lives our bodies do things we wish they wouldn’t. Nature has the final word, but she doesn’t choose what’s fashionable. I’d like to pretend I spent a fortune having these lines carved into my forehead. I went to a day spa to have these spots tinted on my hands. My moles were sculpted. My hairdresser took hours dyeing one hair at a time to make these grey highlights. But the truth is I did not curate my look. I woke up like this.
How different my experience of aging would be if I could see myself on the cover of a magazine in the checkout line at the grocery store. Headline: 10 Ways to Make Your Wrinkles Shine. Subhead: Turtle necks are in! I imagine overhearing someone in line behind me say, “Wow, her wrinkles are really cool.”
I want to see women who look like me in the media montage of celebrities, heroes and entrepreneurs. My aging face is not the failure of cosmetics. It’s a statement about self-confidence that says aging is cool. I’m aging by design. This look is earned, not made. You can’t buy these wrinkles. You have to wait for the Wrinkle Fairy to visit you in the night.