As I was trawling the internet today looking for super, life-changingly important things like the benefits and drawbacks of lash extensions and the importance of wearing Spanx under a jersey dress, I came across something that really got my feathers in a proper ruffle. In some spammy ad banner, I saw a link to view a certain number of celebrities who were “aging horribly.” The link, which I will NOT share, featured photos of a bloated and orange looking Mickey Rourke, Meg Ryan’s Joker smile, a post-motherhood Britney Spears, post-rehab Lindsey Lohan, Val Kilmer’s obvious weight issues and various other celeb victims of our image-obsessed society.
I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed by a wave of pity for these people, who, while I may not endorse their lifestyles or life choices, are, after all, mere flesh and blood beings who pull their trousers on one leg at a time, eat, sleep, break wind and – yes, heaven forbid – AGE – just like the rest of us. Granted, some if not all of these people have chosen to put themselves under the microscope of public scrutiny and have enjoyed being “on top” of the beauty pile at some point. But come ON. Would Meg Ryan have destroyed her sweet face if she had not been under such pressure to remain cute? Even when she was entering her fourties? Fifties?
And Val Kilmer… isn’t he allowed a meatball sandwich on occasion like the rest of us?
Ugh. I’m feeling properly peevish about all this, actually. Peeved, most especially at myself for having clicked on the link out of morbid curiousity.
Viewing the before and after shots of some of these celebs I couldn’t help think they were not so much aging “horribly” as – quite simply – aging. Would it be becoming for Pam Anderson to still look 22 at her age? Seriously? And Keith Richards. Honestly, the man is 71 and looks every day of it. Where is the crime in that? Why, oh why must we – myself included – feel compelled to boost our own egos at the expense of others?
Please feel free to comment below, so long as you do so kindly. I’ll be 50 this year, so I’m sure I’d be in someone’s crosshairs for age/beauty criticism if I were that important. As it is, I’m not really, and that is just fine with me. This is not an appeal for flattery – I am well aware I look on the young side of my years. But goodness – isn’t it about time we gave ourselves and the rest of the world a break?
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