I wasn’t feeling too well the other day so I decided to stay in.
After months and months of preparation for the July tournament, I thought of giving myself a break by not doing anything baseball related. I rewarded myself with some tv time. And yes, what a treat it was! I haven’t watched tv in a while and staying glued in front of the tv for a couple of hours was a welcome break for me… Though given that I was sick, it proved quite hard to stay awake.
I HAD to stay awake, though because I chanced upon a really interesting Oprah episode that day. It was the episode Legends of the Runway, where the guests were former supermodels like Christie Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs and Stephanie Seymour. There was a segment with Paulina Porizkova, another legend in the modeling industry.
It was an episode about beauty. It was about staying beautiful. Moreso, it was an episode about ageing gracefully. I knew I had to stay awake.
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Last week I saw a picture of myself that was taken about 5 years ago. I stared at it for sometime, as if I was looking at a picture of a total stranger. And the more I stared at it, the more I started thinking that I don’t look like the girl on the picture anymore. Okay, maybe I still look like her, but I feel like I have aged somewhat. I look older now.
Staring at myself in the mirror has always been a past time for me. (So, I am vain… that’s a given. We have already long established that.) However, these past several months, whenever I look at my reflection in the mirror, I always catch myself putting my fingers on my cheekbones — and trying to stretch my facial skin higher, towards the upper ends of my ears. It’s either that or stretching the skin under my jawbone, towards the lower ends of my ears.
It’s something that I used to watch my mom do when I was a little girl — and for the life of me I couldn’t understand why she kept doing that. Now I’M the one doing it. Now I’m the one who’s starting to feel paranoid about what gravity is doing to my facial muscles…
All of a sudden I feel old. All of a sudden I am no longer confident that the facial creams and moisturizer that I religiously slather on my face actually work. My skin is not as elastic as it used to be.
Looking old scares me. Not only does it scare me, it also makes me sad. Somehow, the pull of gravity is also working on my self-esteem.
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I knew I would learn something the moment I saw the former supermodels onscreen with Oprah. (Just an aside, maybe it’s incorrect to call them former supermodels because in my book, once a supermodel, always a supermodel. So scratch the former out.)
They came out one by one. All still very beautiful. They all look fit, too. But somehow, one thing was evident… they also aged, as well. They are no longer the 20-something naive looking pin-up girls. They are not stick thin. They have womanly curves. There’s a certain roundness in their figures… something that is most likely brought about by motherhood. And they have lines on their faces, too!
And now as I looked at her — still pretty, but with facial lines, body curves and all, she looked almost ordinary. Okay, maybe not ordinary, but normal.
And then the realization… they are human beings, after all. Supermodel or not, we are all bound to get old… or older.
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I think the only way we can defy ageing is if we cryogenically preserve our bodies while we’re in our twenties (and then what?!). Or yes, there’s always botox or face lifts… but then for how long? And how many times ’til you realize that you don’t look like yourself anymore — not because you look younger, but because your skin has been stretched so hard that you can’t even show any sign of emotion. There’s quite a thin line between looking young and looking like your face is in a serious state of catatonic stupor.
Yes, even supermodels cannot defy gravity.
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Watching them — the supermodels that they are, candidly talking about their outlook on ageing, I couldn’t help but get awed all the more. These beautiful women have been beautiful all their lives… but they are not as young as they used to be. For sure they have experienced being compared to the younger models. They belong to a cruel industry where beauty is defined by age. And yet they stood proud. They are proud of their accomplishments, proud of what they have become.
These supermodels were unanimous in saying that true beauty emanates from within. It’s about how you perceive yourself. It’s about finding joy and peace and acceptance. It’s also about not just banking on your looks alone, but being able to carry a conversation with other people.
Basically, being beautiful involves loving oneself and being happy with who you are. As one of them — I think it was Paulina Porizkova in her interview segment — reiterates, ‘if one’s self-worth is hinged on one’s looks alone, then that person has a problem…’
I learned something valuable that day.
photos via weheartit.com and yahoo images