Laments About My Looks

Thin Lips and Thin-Skinned

Only the Brave Visit the Plastic Surgeon

Thin lips and thin-skinned

My dear Middle-aged Muddlers, last week as you recall, I “documented” my struggle to combat the shame of a droopy mouth and thin lips.

In my 20s, 30s and 40s, I used excessive amounts of lip liner, lipstick and lip gloss to compensate. I also awkwardly smiled a lot to mask the droop.

In my 50s, I “graduated” to injectable fillers. They were costly. They hurt, but they helped.

Then one day my dermatologist told me that fillers were no longer the solution. Age, genes and gravity were winning. If I wanted a perky pout, I needed stronger medicine. I needed plastic surgery.

Specifically, I needed a corner lip lift, a tricky procedure involving incisions on each side of the mouth with no place to hide the scars. Done poorly, the procedure leaves the patient resembling Batman’s nemesis, The Joker. Having seen pictures of botched procedures, I assure you, that is no joke.

My dermatologist referred me to a plastic surgeon, one of the “pioneers” of the corner lip lift procedure. I made an appointment, cancelled it and called to re-schedule. I repeated this cycle of hope and fear three more times before I ultimately met the doctor. It was time to meet my re-maker. Read more

Nora’s Neck, My Thin Lips

Self-image Bites

Nora's neck, My Thin Lips

The amazing screenwriter, journalist, and author Nora Ephron hated her sagging neck.

I hate my lips.

Nora lamented the pitfalls of maturing – aka aging –in her best-selling book, I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman. As the title suggests, she especially bemoaned her saggy, baggy neckline and her middle-aged need to camouflage the offending body part with scarves.

Well, my nemesis is my lips. However, unlike Nora, my problem isn’t solely the result of aging. It’s a lifelong curse. And unlike Nora’s scarf solution, I cannot cloak my offending feature. For decades, I have suffered in silence, but no more. Today I share my shame. Read more

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Apples are OK. Compliments are Better

A Compliment a Day Keeps the Old Age Blues at Bay

apples and compliments make for good health

My recipe for good health and vitality is not fresh fruit, but vanity. Yes, apples are nice, but compliments are so much better.

Yesterday I had several errands to run and a few appointments to keep. It was a busy day. So, I made an effort, did a bit more than just throw on some jeans. Truth be told, I did a lot more. I, as they used to say, gussied myself up. It paid off. I got four compliments from four different people.

One woman, a make-up artist at Bloomingdale’s no less, told me how much she liked my lipstick.

A passerby on the street complimented me on my cool jacket.

My lunch companion admired my green-lacquer necklace, and the waitress praised my shiny fire-engine-red nail polish.

I rode the BART home feeling pretty good about myself. I met my husband for dinner. He was tired and not feeling great. He offered no compliments or even much by way of conversation. It was a quick dinner, and home we went to a quiet evening of TV and sleep.

I thought about the compliments I had received that day. They were great. I sincerely appreciated them. Truth be told, I needed them the way someone in the Sahara Desert welcomes a sip of water. But they made me think. They were different than the compliments I used to get in “the old days.” Funny how we say “the old days” when what we actually mean is the days when we were young. Read more

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Celebrity Diet: Words to Live By

2 a.m., Any Night of the Week

That’s it. I’ve binged again. Must stop. Must take control. I will go on a Celebrity Diet. Starting right now. Read more

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Do Your Ears Hang Low?

Heavy is the Burden of Earrings and Age

sad dog with droopy ears

Pick up a fashion magazine, any fashion magazine, any day of the week, and you’ll find all sorts of tips on how to keep your skin youthful looking, your body from aging, and your hair shiny and healthy. Sadly, however, there is one aging dilemma yet to receive wide-spread media attention, and that is the problem of droopy earlobes.

? Do your ears hang low?
Do they wobble to and fro? ?

That’s right – droopy earlobes. It is one of those dirty little tricks Mom Nature plays on you. As you get older, your earlobes droop, and all those precious dainty button earrings you have, suddenly don’t look so cute on your now dangling, bobbing, overly-spacious lobes.

What’s a middle-aged fashionista supposed to do?

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My Pain-free, Nonsurgical Facelift

Growing up in Las Vegas, surrounded by exaggerated showgirl images of womanly perfection, a girl gets a harsh sense of her own physical imperfections.

Growing up anywhere in America, bombarded by plastic surgery-altered images of celebrities, a woman gets a clear image of a possible path to physical perfection or at least improvement.

In my youth, I scoffed at the idea of surgical alternations, but now that I’m older, I’m not so sure. Like many a middle-aged woman, I stare in the mirror and catalog a growing litany of facial flaws – jowls, bags under the eyes, thinning lips. Need I say more? And so, I wonder if maybe, just maybe, I should rethink that long-held anti-plastic surgery stance.

Well, amazingly I just found a non-surgical solution to my sagging features and equally sagging self-image – one that restores my former youthful glow and good-(ish) enough looks. And best of all, it didn’t involve a trip to the plastic surgeon’s office.

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Fat Fall Fashion Magazines

I bought Elle magazine this week. I could not resist its siren call. It was the September/Fall back-to-school issue, the fat issue. You know, the issue loaded with more ads and ostensibly more features than usual, touting the latest in Fall fashions and back-to-school styles. It is, in fact, the only time it is acceptable to use the words “fat” and “fashion magazine” in the same sentence, no less the same issue.

I didn’t really look at the cover. I was transported by the magazine’s girth and recollections of decades ago Fall issues when I really cared about hem lines and waist lines and whether bangs were in or out, hot or not, and in a general sense, what was what and all the latest what nots.

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