While lying on the floor in agony with a sore thigh muscle my daughter lay next to me, reached out, traced her fingers along my forehead and said, ‘Your wrinkles are pretty, mum’.
Of course, I furrowed my brows in confusion.
Most of the time we women fear children and their crass honesty however my daughter’s surprising words are still ringing in my ear, happily.
Wrinkles are pretty. It’s not something we women hear, is it?
Soon I will be turning 45, and like any middle-aged woman, I’ve had to come to terms with the fact that I’m just not looking that youthful anymore. In fact, my forehead looks like the top of my head got squashed thanks to the years I’ve spent furrowing my brows at pretty much everything. Now my most prominent forehead line above my brows has formed itself into a mono-brow itself. Not kidding.
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I’m aware my face will never restore itself naturally to its 20-year-old flawless state either. And honestly, I wouldn’t think anything of it if it wasn’t for some people’s horrified reaction to wrinkles.
Prior to my daughter’s words, there was one day where after having applied foundation, I noticed my face looked like it had cracked. I decided to go to a local department store make-up counter in search of a foundation that wouldn’t sit in my forehead lines and accentuate them.
A very young sales assistant trying to be helpful offered me a $90.00 big brand foundation and some additional advice – “Why don’t you just get Botox?”, she said, ogling my forehead. Her own frown lines were non-existent. Then she added casually, “I’m just waiting till I turn 20 because I can’t afford it at the moment, then I’m going to start early so I don’t get any wrinkles in the first place.”
I wasn’t sure if she was selling me the foundation or Botox by then. All I could muster was a docile smile and while somewhat shocked, I handed back the very expensive foundation bottle and walked away with an “I’ll think about it, but thank you!”
Yes, my lines are slightly heavier than most, thanks to all those younger years baking myself under the hot Aussie sun and stupidly smoking cigarettes throughout my twenties.
In truth, though, I am actually genuinely happy to be turning 45 and I want to be able to feel the way I look rather than feel ashamed to have wrinkles at my age.
I’m kind of sick of hearing that ‘40 is the new 30’ – a message that screams at women everywhere we turn. We are encouraged to look younger, feel younger and exercise so much more than some of our ageing bodies can handle. Hence my sore thigh muscle…