I received some of the best advice of my life when I was only seventeen-years-old. It was as follows: “Don’t forget to moisturize your neck when you moisturize your face.” and “Never let your dress size drop below double digits.”
I know there are tons of you out there who aren’t Amazons (6’1”) like I am, so you may need to adjust the double-digit one to suit your stature. But for me, anything under a size 10 would be freaky, not that I’ve ever been in any danger of such a thing. It’s just that if you don’t get too thin, your body has some natural means to help fill out the inevitable wrinkles. Think of it as God’s Restylane.
You may be wondering why this was such great advice and you may think I’m pretty shallow to consider it one of the best tips I’ve ever gotten. Whatever. I’m as deep as the next gal but I also have a healthy fear of knives carving up my person for purely recreational reasons. If you come at me with a scalpel, you’d better be prepared to take out my gallbladder or cut off a sketchy looking mole. When the face and neck fall, they fall, and will not be lifted up by any artificial means. Hence, I’m doing my best to keep them in place as long as I can.
Having a long history in the fashion business (twenty-one years in New York and Los Angeles), I’ve seen my fair share of cosmetic surgery disasters. One day, I ran into a very famous model, turned actress, from the eighties, whilst shopping in Pasadena. I’m DYING to tell you who it was but I don’t want to get sued, so I can’t. Drat!
Anyway, I swallowed my revulsion and exclaimed, “Wow, you look fabulous! I’m so jealous I could spit!” When in reality, she looked like absolute roadkill. She was way too thin, and her face was in serious fallout from cosmetic procedures.
She blushed (either that or she had some lingering effects from a recent chemical peel,) and drawled, “You’re so sweet!” Then, as a WAY afterthought, she added, “You look great, too!”
What I really wanted to say was, “Here’s the deal, Dani (OMG that’s as much of hint as I can give you!), you look like you’re one carrot stick away from the grave and like your face has been sucked through the business end of a typhoon. Let’s go for a burger and fries before you croak.”
Of course I didn’t say that. I just wished her luck on her next project and ran home to tell my husband how bad she looked. I may have stopped by In-n-Out Burger on the way, but only because I was trying to psychically send her a few calories. FYI, I know that doesn’t really work, but if I keep trying, maybe one day it will. I’m thoughtful like that.
I’m sure Dani stopped off at the I. Magnin ladies’ room and puked up her cucumber lunch in the same vain attempt to help me, as well.
Here’s the deal; I know I can’t stop the hands of time and I know one day I’ll wake up and my neck will be floating in my soup. At such time, I might wear turtlenecks and scarves to harness it in or I might get a big clip from a potato chip bag and just gather up the extra skin. Although, now that we live away from the bright lights and spotlights of La La Land, I’ll probably just let it flap in the breeze like normal folk. Time will tell.
While I’m rusticating away in a nice, simple, ruralish life in the Pacific Northwest, there are a slew of gals in my age group and former milieu that have been nipped, tucked, sucked, and injected into some semblance of a younger model. Just don’t look too closely.
While I truthfully don’t judge them and wish them all the happiness in life, I do wonder how they’re raising their daughters. Young girls cannot possibly look at mid-life mommy all hollowed out and sallow, decked out in skin-tight leather, with a vulva injected where her mouth once was , and have healthy body images themselves. It’s not possible.
As a mother of girls, I walk the thin line of how to share my fabulous tips while making sure they know that looks are pretty insignificant in the scope of life. I want them to always feel great about who they are and I pray they’re better at determining the criteria for those feelings than I was.
I want them to stand tall and proud, with no fear of what food will do to them. I want them embrace life and be ready for any happenstance. I’d love for them to speak three languages and be math whizzes. But I also really, really want to tell them about the moisturizing thing. No sense welcoming the sag before you absolutely have to.
Author Bio: Whitney Dineen is an Amazon bestselling and award-winning author of romantic comedies and middle reader fiction. Her first rom com, She Sins at Midnight, won a silver medal in the 2015 Reader’s Favorite Awards. Her second, The Reinvention of Mimi Finnegan, won Honorable Mention at the London Book Festival, was a finalist in the 2016 RONE Awards and won a silver medal in the 2016 Reader’s Favorite Awards. Her new book, Motherhood Martyrdom & Costco Runs, will be out in May of 2017. Whitney lives in rural Oregon with her family and chickens, who just happen to be named after Barbie Princesses. Sign up for Whitney’s newsletter for more!