As the owner of a beauty brand designed specifically for women as they age, I’m in the privileged position of hearing a great many ‘truths’ that women tell themselves about getting older. The most common ones centre on the pro-age/anti-age divide. So many of my female friends are deeply conflicted about whether it’s better to allow themselves to grow older ‘naturally’ or to use anti-ageing measures like creams, injectable fillers, wrinkle reducing agents or even surgery. Many report that whilst they no longer enjoy how they look, and possibly also struggle with society’s pressure on women to look younger, the current trend against anti-ageing are leaving many of them feeling that if they do have some kind of work done, that they’re somehow ‘letting the side down’. There’s fear too. Fear that people will laugh and point if the work is somehow obvious. But also fear that without surgery they’ll become overlooked and invisible; just another old lady with no value and nothing to say.
It deeply saddens me that women are still stuck making so many choices based on the approval of others. Women should instead make choices about their looks based on their own needs, with clear advice about safety and consequences. Is cosmetic surgery right for you if you are doing it to please others? Too much of the industry is unregulated and the effects or outcomes can be difficult to understand before the surgery has taken place. Former Friends actress Courtney Cox is a great example of a woman who found this to be the case, expressing her regrets over the work she’s had done. She puts this down to unrealistic expectations—explaining that she was trying to recapture a look long gone—this feeling is very common. If you want to use injectable age-perfecting treatments, or even go under the knife, this is completely okay. But you must take the time to work out what you want from it. If you are looking at pictures of yourself at twenty and hoping you will look that way again, you can only hope for disappointment. If however, you want to look in the mirror and see a fresher more awake version of yourself, this is infinitely more realistic.
Addiction to treatments is another worry and interestingly co-Friends star Jennifer Aniston is the most outspoken about this issue not only for herself, but for anyone. She told Bobbi Brown:
‘It just doesn’t help. It’s a slippery, slippery slope. And like we were saying before, they [people who use Botox] just start to lose perspective, it’s their new normal, so it’s a hard one to come back from.’
But is she necessarily right to express her disdain? She’s absolutely entitled to her opinion on it, but isn’t it perhaps easier for a woman named by People Magazine ‘World’s Most Beautiful’ at the age of 46 to feel more confident in ageing, than your average woman? She does after all have access to the best makeup artists, skin therapists, dieticians, and stylists to help out. The average woman may well only have a three-hundred-pound aesthetician to help her out when she starts to appreciate her own face less.
See also: Non-invasive Cosmetic Procedures
So, what is the answer? It’s all very well saying ‘ignore the pressure from both sides and go with what feels right for you’, but I’m well aware that its simply not always that easy. Instead, I advise education. Really educate yourself about the choices available to you and ask yourself what results you expect, what your budget might be and is cosmetic surgery right for you and your lifestyle?
Speak to a number of consultants about whether cosmetic surgery is right for you and ask their opinion on what might give you the best results. Be really realistic about what you want to achieve and realise that once you start, invariably you might need to tweak more than one area to get balance. Ask friends for recommendations and check testimonials. Whilst botox is generally very well tolerated, fillers can be trickier so check how long results will last.
Start with a great skincare and makeup consultation, along with a diet overhaul, then move up slowly from there—often when you feel better in yourself, concerns about your looks start to fade anyway. Finally, ask yourself who you’re doing it for. If you’re comfortable with that reason, whatever it is then go for it. Your face belongs to you, it is entirely your decision and you have to live with it.
Our thanks to Grace Fodor for her contribution to this article. Studio 10 is an innovative range of age perfecting, skin perfecting and ‘quick fix’ makeup, giving women the ability to look more youthful as part of their daily routine. To find out more about their products visit their website: studio10beauty.com
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