Friday, 20 December 2013
To all the silly women this may concern,
I cannot remember a time when you didn't say you looked old despite you convincing me that only recently have you been making this observation. It has always been with a woeful sigh or moan that you pull back the delicate skin on your face and claim that this is how you used to look, when you had skin like mine. May I remind you however that I know for certain your skin was not uncomfortably tight across your cheekbones, tugging the corner of your eyes upwards at the age of 16.
"I look so much better like this," you say, staring pitifully at your reflection. "If I got a facelift this is what it would look like."
"And how ridiculous that would look." I have replied many a time, slightly fearful that a small section of your brain has been washed with the media's nightmarish beauty regime full of scalpels and implants.
It saddens me to know that when you look at yourself in the mirror it is not the bright, wide eyed face that I see but an old, ugly one only visible to you and you alone. I struggle now to tell you how beautiful you are, meaning it truthfully and adamantly, when I know you will not listen. For you, now that the smile lines have started to stay, the end is almost certainly nigh. The smile lines of course that you detest and the world around you enjoys, looks forward to even.
What topsy turviness we have entered into that you believe your wide eyes and pretty smile are not stunning but frightening. That they have been spoilt and hidden by a sea of wrinkles. Wrinkles, might I add for the thousandth time, that are invisible to everyone who is blinded by that kind grin you possess. Your eyes hold such warmth, such intensity and you have lost your ability to know that. Something makes you continue to complain to me how old you look, how ruined. How can you not see? Why would I be lying?
Alas, I know exactly what compels this despair you have for the apparent 'death' of your delicate features. Somebody, somewhere decided the age a woman must reach at the moment they turn invisible. Once a woman reaches this age no matter how pretty, how intelligent, how witty, how funny, how creative she may be the man who deems her undesirable no longer sees her. I know now that you are scared of becoming 'old', a term that should be taken gracefully and with honour, because you are frightened your voice is entirely dependant on itself. And who would hear a woman's voice anyway? Soon with any luck society will forget the female they can't fantasise about, they will become grandmothers and be put away in a cupboard of out of date women.
Why would a woman want anything to do anyway? Her life is over by 50. Even earlier than that, if you like.
I know how ambitious you are. I know that you still have dreams to do big things to go big places. You of all people have taught me that aspirations never fade, people will always dream. You still work hard for things, your life is not over and will not be for many years to come. You are not old. You are not yet tired. Those wrinkles you show me are not there. They don't exist.
So please, let me tell you that you are beautiful. Let me think it. I do know. I can see it.
Let me, for the sake of a new generation of women, not be afraid of becoming old. I want to do it as gracefully and brilliantly as is possible.
You are silly.