Would you love Aunt Bea more if she had waxed her brows and had her jowls lifted?
Paul McCartney has a new CD out and it's featured prominently at your local Starbucks. Perhaps you've seen this as you've waited for your double decaf whip cinammon extra shot latte. In this photo he wears both his signature pout and his signature mop hair. Both look ridiculous on a grown man. That haircut hasn't looked good on anyone since Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird." No, that's not fair, it used to look great on Paul--but that was four decades ago. He needs a grown-man haircut. This one only accentuates the fact that he is most decidedly in his sixties.
The juxtaposition of a young haircut on an old face is jarring and sometimes even horrifying. Like the woman I saw the other day leaving the gym--she was wearing tennis togs, had long tan legs and long bleach blonde hair. Only upon getting closer to her did I see that she was well into her 70's. The discordant images made me literally gasp in dismay.
Sir Paul and Old Tennis Lady certainly aren't alone. Look at Nora Ephron (if you can without cringing) who in the twilight of her years when she could be directing a thougtful, insightful, move about the wit, and wisdom of older women chooses to write a pathetic book about her aging, crepey neck. And the cosmetic surgery she's had done--what the hell? Her face looks like a Picasso painting. Yikes.
Paul, Old Tennis Lady, Nora, it doesn't have to be this way. You can choose to go a little more gracefully--get an adult haircut, dress like a grown-up, stop talking about your neck and puhleeze, keep the surgery to a minimum. You do have role models. Meryl Streep, Paul Newman, Sean Connery, Sophia Loren, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher. You get the idea.
I know--it's a struggle. Fifty is the new forty and with all the cosmetic procedures that are now somewhat affordable and socially acceptable --and some that are almost expected for god's sake (do I really have to bleach my teeth?)--most of us will consider fighting back mightily like Nora. I mean who among us hasn't stood in the mirror and pulled something back or up or out of the way?
I've been thinking about it lately as I stand in the mirror and lift my parts. It is tempting--a quick procedure and a new look. But I keep thinking about Aunt Bea from the Andy Griffith show. Did you know she was 58 when that show started? Younger than Sir Paul and Nora and four years younger than Goldie Hawn who really, really must get new hair and stop giggling like a 14-year-old. Did Aunt Bea ever stand in the mirror and wish she could still play the part of the young hottie dating Andy? What if she had played that role? Would you remember her now? Why are we so afraid of looking like Aunt Bea when we reach the Aunt Bea years?
Remember this the next time you stand in the mirror and wonder if you should have something nipped or tucked. Would you have loved your favorite aunt one tiny bit more if she'd had a tummy-tuck before you sat on her lap? Would you admire Abraham Lincoln just a smidge more if only he'd had that wart removed and his brows waxed while he was freeing the slaves?
So is fifty the new forty? I don't know about that but when I'm Paul's age (he is now past the much sung-about 64) I hope I will be comfortable wearing a grown-up haircut and an Aunt Bea tummy.