Way back when I was still young and in possession of all my collagen, I was out somewhere with a friend of mine and we saw a woman who must have about 40+. She was in gym gear, skinny. She obviously worked out a lot. Her body looked great but her face looked quite haggard, old. My friend said ‘you see, when you hit your 40’s, you have to choose: your face or your figure’.
Have you heard of this expression before? What she meant is that when you reach 40+, you could get thin, too thin, at the expense of your face. The thinner an older women gets, the more haggard she (can) looks. As you get older, you appear to need a bit of meat on your bones to plump up those lines.*
This might all sound like a whole lot of nonsense, but just have a look at the faces of women who are not stick-thin – they almost always have the most beautiful, unlined skin.
I remember thinking at the time “Bloody hell, what a fucking terrible choice!” I couldn’t think which one I would choose to give up. Face or figure? I wanted them both, dammit!
However, as I head perilously close to 40, it is becoming increasingly clear that the same fate awaits me. Something has got to give.
I have been feeling not-so-thin lately. The scale agrees. However, I keep getting remarks that I am looking thin; people asking me if I have lost weight. I couldn’t understand what the hell was going on. I am definitely not thin or thinner. Then I realized what it was. My ‘fat’ is slipping. My face and chest are getting thinner and my middle is getting rounder. Oh fabulous.
I have a very thin face, and if it gets too thin, I start looking really haggard. Which is not a terribly good look. And lets be honest here – staying stick-thin is a huge pain in the ass anyway, so I’ve decided ‘face’ it is. My mother is happy. She is forever telling me “Tertia, you need some meat on your bones!” But I think all mothers say that because I am most definitely not without some ‘meat’ on my bones. However, the time has come to choose. Face or figure. I think I am going to go with face. Sigh.
It is actually quite nice; this choosing ‘face’ thing. I’ve agonized over my extra few pounds for so long, it is quite nice to give myself permission to leave this bit of ‘meat’ on my (weary / old) bones. All for a good cause etc.
And you know, I have lots of time, because if 80 is the new 40, then 40 must be the new 20. Or whatever.
So, just to let you know. Face has won out over figure. YAY! Fuck gym, pass the wine!
* I am NOT saying that if you are naturally thin or slim that you look haggard. I am suggesting that excessive dieting or exercising can / maybe / might / possibly leave one’s face looking a little lined as one gets older. Nor has this post got anything to do with your weight, whether you are underweight, overweight or just damn perfect. Phew. You’re a sensitive bunch sometimes.