Wednesday July 11, 2012
If you’re flabby and you know it
By MARY EU
SOMETIMES, age has a way of creeping into a baby boomer’s psyche, making it hard to accept that we are no spring chickens. As we age, our face loses it contours and everything starts to droop until it all ends up around our jowl and neck.
Are we supposed to let age crawl all over us? Just jiggle the fat and swing the bat wings as we move the body? Surely there is nothing regal about being covered with wrinkles and age spots.
My foray into the search for the creme de la creme started when I hit 40 and signs of ageing began to surface. I was a sucker for age-delaying food supplements and dutifully slathered promising creams on my body, determined not to let age wither me. Hubby pooh-poohed their effectiveness and smirked at my nightly ritual.
Sixteen years down the line, I still use anti-ageing products with missionary zeal. I was a hot favourite among beauty promoters at the malls. I would naturally gravitate towards their counters, soaking up their smiles and attention. Like old pals, we greeted each other by name, and like old friends, age has caught up with both promoter and customer.
Still, I’m unrepentant when it comes to products that claim to contain the elixir of youth. They cannot turn the clock back, but they do give us a moment of joy and the satisfaction of not taking ageing lying down.
When it comes to the physical manifestations of advanced years, boomers have to brave the indignities: creaking knees, double chin, hair sprouting from the ears, drooping boobs and receding gums. One’s metabolic rate decreases and it is easy to pile on the kilos. The body convexes where it should concave and the ever-widening girth is the menopausal woman’s bane.
The fashion industry is relentlessly unforgiving of corpulent folds and Victorian bulges. Thus mid-lifers are major consumers of hair dyes, cosmetic dentistry and plastic surgery. Anti-ageing remedies never get outdated. All you need is a bulging wallet and a high threshold for pain.
The upside of ageing is that the nose remains wrinkle-free and hair on the legs does not need dyeing. Armpit hair seems to lose the ability to grow and skin tags become discreet. We embrace these small mercies.
My dear friend, LC, exhorts me to exercise every day. “Better exercise to stay slim and healthy. If we fall sick, who is going to take care of us?”
I agree with her, but due to time constraints, I just do housework instead of taking brisk walks in the park. By the way, the treadmill in my house has outlived its novelty and no one has trodden on it for months.
However, as far as skincare is concerned, I continue to support the industry. Over the years, if I have ever looked younger than my age, it is because I am lucky enough to have had a mother who instilled in me the importance of grooming.
Just the other evening, when I was massaging my face with night cream, hubby asked sheepishly, “Can you spare me some eye cream? The skin around my eyes is dry.”
“Sure, help yourself,” I answered with a smirk, and then patted on the cream with new-found vigour.