Wrinkles have become very interesting to me. I am fascinated by advertisements about serums and articles about treatments and department store displays of crèmes that will smooth furrows and decrinkle creases, and balms that will spackle the shit out of your canyons. It used to be that I was fascinated by pore-refining, acne-fighting, oil-sopping medicines and moisturizers. Suddenly that seems like the good old days, when I would get a zit and have to cover it up with a little bit of makeup, or not give a shit and just look like an overgrown teenager. But it turns out you can’t hide wrinkles with makeup, and that is very, very upsetting to me. I have suddenly got wrinkles, and when the hell did that happen?
One of the nice things about being fat–it fills out the lines in your face. Your skin is full, plumped up, luscious and soft. There is no crepeing, sagging is reduced and furrows are more or less eliminated. I spent a lot of time being told that I looked way younger than my whatever number of years were–partially that is because I am a very silly person–but it was also because my fat was nicely rounding out the delicate skin under my eyes and blocking up the lines on either side of my mouth. When I lifted my eyebrows, my forehead did not crumple up into a series of gullies, and I never thought to worry about aging or under-eye creams. I rarely wore sunscreen, because I would never age! I have The Face of Eternal Youth!
It was even almost okay that I was pretty greasy and my pores were not
sexy things, and I was almost guaranteed to have a zit either emerging, flourishing or healing somewhere on my head. Those were youthful
things, too! Young! I am young! So young! At least, that’s how it feels
now, that this is a distant past I am remembering, in which I reveled
in my vitality and fresh-faced, idealistic optimism. Except I just
never paid attention, really. It never came up–aging, wrinkles, things
like that. Why would I waste a moment on thinking about it? Now I
realize that I took my youthful visage for granted! I weep bitterly and
rend my garments.
I am not really so bitter, and my garments are in one piece. Mostly, I
still don’t notice–what would you call it? The age of my face? My
imperfections? I don’t want to call them imperfections, because that
suggests that to get old is to become broken, and oh, that is bullshit.
But I’m buying into the bullshit here because it is beautiful when I notice it in other women, but distressing when I notice the lines in my own face–my unflattering reflection in my
laptop screen, a glimpse of myself in the rearview mirror when I’m
sitting in the backseat of the car. There are two deep grooves on
either side of my mouth, my puppet lines. I hate them so much. I spend
too much time pulling my cheeks back and wondering if tape would work.
A furrow between my eyebrows that surprised me, one day, looking in the
mirror. I rubbed at it, thinking that it was a smudge of something.
No–a fold. I lift my eyebrows, and I am greeted with an accordion
forehead. I lean into the mirror, and there is a network of tiny lines
around my eyes.
They’re mostly laugh lines, and those are supposed to be good things,
right? Lines I’m supposed to embrace as signs of wisdom, joy, a
happy life and so on and so forth. And I try, but sometimes–it comes as
a shock, realizing I look my age. And I want to embrace a magic cream
that will fix it.