Beauty tips are redundant for women in their 80s and 90s. Most of us haven’t got the eyesight or the patience to use 40 products and 12 steps just to disguise our faces. Please stop telling me how to look young. That is not how I want to spend my bonus years, my 80s and 90s.
Beauty tips for older ladies
Turn down the lights. There!
That’s the way. Wash your face.
Put lipstick on:
the one that stays.
Then remember how it funnels
into a delta of cracks and gunnels
around your mouth
by the end of the day.
Dab something around the edges
and hope for the best.
Ignore the spaces where
your eyebrows used to be.
Hack off a few stray hairs
and don your glasses. There!
No one will notice, let alone care.
They’ll look at your glasses instead.
You’re done! That’s that.
You look alive, not dead.
You can smile, you can see
so put on your purple hat.
You know who you are.
You know what you know.
The skin is just for fun
so off you go.
“Beauty tips for older ladies” is a joke title, obviously.
“Ladies“? As gawky schoolgirls in class-free, 1950s New Zealand, we were told to sit, eat, walk and talk like “ladies”, whatever they were. “Lady” has always been a weird label outside of England. Nowadays when someone calls me “young lady” I cringe, I wince, I want to bop them on the head!
How about those beauty tips, though? Google “beauty tips for older women” and up come “About 513,000,000 results.” I think they’re mostly serious, too. It’s wonderful, isn’t it? Millions of well-meaning people trying to make us comply with their concept of beautiful. So kind! Thank you! They want us to look — wait for it — young! (By “older” they mean 50+, and today, that’s not old. A 50-year-old skin can still carry a smoky eye. Hey, you there in your 50s or 60s, you look bloody marvellous! Don’t change a thing.)
Well, I’m not young, which is pretty darned obvious. No amount of makeup feathered on by the world’s leading beauty gurus is going to make people say, “Look at that young woman!” And I don’t give a stuff. So I thought I’d share my beauty tips, all two of them. Of course the cartoon represents me using my two beauty tips.
- Wear lipstick — I do, but you don’t have to! Just that I like a splash of colour on the plain grey plain of my old face. There are pitfalls, though… literally.
- Wear glasses. Behind the glasses are carpet bags, weepy tear ducts, turned-out rims, eyelids that are creased and soft and droopy, and whites that are streaked with red. That’s OK too. I’m happy to pay the price for still being alive at nearly 80. It looks a bit weird, but to a Kiwi, old women who have had all the surgery look a bit weird too. (I’m just being honest here: if I lived in a different country, I’d be the odd one out.)