The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Or is it the more time passes, the more things stay the same? Yesterday, while thinking about what I’d write about today, my mind was cast back to a friend who I hadn’t seen for years, I literally bumped in to, so out of the blue, it took us both by surprise. It’s funny when you see someone from long ago, how one of the first things you both do is mentally size each other up. Have the years been kind? What’s she doing that I’m not? She’s ageing well or, the years have not been so kind. Is this a thing we women do or do guys do it too? I suspect we women are infamously notorious for this. Once sized up, we usually express how good we’re both looking. Well, it’s what we both hope for, isn’t it?
The expectations we put on ourselves, both high and low are projected back onto all the women who’ve passed through our lives.
Makeup can add years to your look or, if done well, take ten years off your appearance.
On this particular occasion I was struck, not by how little my friend had changed, but how little her ‘look’ had changed. As if suspended in time her look was exactly how it always was. Hair, makeup, the way she held herself, even her body shape had remained the same. In some ways, it was comforting to know someone I had not seen in probably 18 years had not ‘let herself go’ as they say and often happens.
There are many reasons why we choose to keep it together, but the older I get the more I know how hard it can be. for some, it’s just too hard and the slow, comfortable feeling of not caring begins to creep into our lives. Or is it because as we age the needs of others are put well before our own. The rigours of raising children for some can take precedence, for me, caring for my mum during the last years of her life took priority over how I looked.
But, back to my friend, who continued to take pride in how she looked and yet, something was not quite right.
What was it? Her ‘look’ that had worked for so many years, had not changed. Everything was the same. Hair and makeup that worked for her once. Now? Not so much.
The subtle art of reinvention.
I am notorious for sticking with things that work, especially when it comes to hair, makeup and beauty routines. Not because I’m such a stick in the mud, it’s just that I’ve tried so many things that once I find something that works it’s a struggle for me to see past it. Right or wrong, it’s kind of how I am.
When it comes to our appearance, no matter how good your skincare routine if as time goes by you don’t adapt your hair and makeup you’ll look more aged than you need to.
Ironically as I was pondering all this and formulating ideas for this article, an image of Pamela Anderson found it’s way into my Facebook feed. I never thought I’d be writing about Pamela Anderson. But, a recent magazine article featuring Pamela was so compelling I had to share it. It exemplifies the need to reinvent yourself if you want to look just that little bit younger than you are now.
When a woman cuts off her hair.
Earlier this year I had noticed Pamela had chopped off all her long blonde beachy hair in favour of a pixie crop. I can only imagine what a big deal it would have been for Pamela.
This is a woman playing with the idea of reinventing her look or perhaps her whole life. I can’t presume to know, but, although a cute hairstyle, if it was a reinvention, Pamela was after then it didn’t go quite far enough. Nothing else about her look had changed.
The recent images which appeared in the magazine NO TOFU and featured here, transform Pamela from an ageing beauty beginning to look tired and hard to someone 10 years younger, (Pamela is currently 48 but I think, looks much older).
I’d go a little further.
Pamela looks amazing in these photo’s but I would have skipped the winged eyeliner and maybe less mascara on Pam’s bottom lashes, it would have softened her look even more, but I can imagine the makeup artist was already pushing her luck on this shoot. Her eyebrows once so thinly drawn on as if channelling the late, great Marlene Dietrich, are near perfect and frame and soften her face beautifully. As for Pamela’s lips, normally overdone, overdrawn and well, just wrong. In this image, they are simple, soft and her lipstick is kept well within her vermilion border (your natural lip line).
Sure, there is much you cannot see, the contouring and highlighting and yes, probably photoshopping is involved in these photo’s, but that’s not the point, it is the pared-back makeup which, photoshopped or not you have to agree is a vast improvement. It is a youthful almost innocent image looking back at us.
I don’t envy the life of an ageing beauty such as Pamela, always on show, under constant scrutiny, forever walking the fine line between a healthy self-image and chronic insecurity. And yet, there is much to learn here in making subtle changes to your appearance that quite literally strips away the years.
Will it last for Pamela? After years of looking a particular way, it may be nearly impossible. But, if it is a metamorphous Pamela is seeking then this could be the beginning. We shall see. I do know one thing, despite this beautiful transformation, I’d love to get my hands on Pamela’s skin, these pics are photoshopped, but on closer inspection, it’s evident Pamela is in need of some good skincare and a chemical exfoliation would be an absolute treat for her skin.
See you next time,