I’ve been thinking about my eyes a lot lately.
Or rather, I’ve been thinking about my eyelids and the way the skin has started to crumple, leaving an uncircumcised-penis-style fold of extra skin rolled up like the yoga mat I don’t use anymore resting on top of the slash of fluorescent yellow eyeliner I probably should stop using. Looking in the mirror, I lift up the skin— awake! And then I drop the skin—asleep.
Because of a strange quirk of my job—I’m a writer, and one of the things I write about is anti-aging interventions via the syringe or scalpel—I don’t even need to look it up to know the cost of removing this latest unwelcome droop: about $4,000.
I know how to tighten tummy skin, get rid of age spots and stop wrinkles. I’ve gotten to try many of these procedures in the name of journalism. Over the past 12 years, I’ve been the recipient of about $20,000 worth of injections, laser treatments, radio-frequency voodoo and non-voodoo machines. I’ve had my lips plumped, my neck smoothed, my décolleté lightened, my forehead frozen and my eyebrows tattooed on.
But I love it. I love it all. In my mind I’m still max 37 years old—38 on a bad day. If I had the money, I would be at the dermatologist’s once every month. I would be pre-booking my facelift for when I’m 55… okay, 60. I know this turns me into a grasping female Dorian Gray. And most of all, I know it’s a losing battle—it’s like trying to hold up a collapsing cliff.
At some point, everyone accepts their fate, right? That’s the dignified choice (or so we’re told), because all those beauty treatments ultimately don’t last, and eventually even surgery can’t help. Have you ever seen a tight-as-a-drum 80-year-old? No, me neither.
The thing is, nobody really cares how I look. I don’t rely on my face for my work like an actor or a model might, and I have a husband who seems to still find me attractive—he’s even been begging me to stop dyeing my grey hair for years. So I do it for me, and I have no plans to stop.
I figure that eventually the universe will intervene by taking writing about anti-aging out of my job description, effectively bringing an abrupt halt to a vanity I could never actually afford. I just really, really hope I get to write a story about an upper eye lift before it does.
Read more from our aging series—which also features Jann Arden, Marilyn Denis and Elaine Lui—here.