N is for “No, Thanks”


“Anti-aging” products are a huge industry, and many women my age spend a great deal of money on expensive goop and treatments that promise to stop the hands of time, or at least erase the evidence of time’s passing. Me, I’m more interested in fighting ageism than in fighting wrinkles. I’m not trying to fool anyone into thinking I’m younger than I am; I just want to look like an attractive, interesting, well-groomed woman of my age—53 at the moment. And so, I say “No, thank you” to these:

  • burning my face with acid or lasers
  • injecting my face with poison, plastic, or my own butt fat
  • underwear that squishes my guts
  • punishing diets. God didn’t give us delicious, nourishing food so we could subsist on protein shakes.
  • fake tan. My little spider veins are still visible under the yellow dye.
  • expensive creams. I’d rather spend a hundred dollars on a concert than on a tiny pot of anti-wrinkle cream. A good concert makes me smile, and smiling lights up my face better than any cosmetic product can.

Yesterday, I had lunch with a fascinating group of women in their sixties. Among them was my favorite Zumba teacher, who’s sixty-six and has been teaching exercise classes for decades. Also with us was an actress, age sixty-seven, who still works in films and on stage. Both ladies ate their Mexican restaurant lunch, by the way, including carbs, and both have the look I aspire to: that glow that comes with good health, good humor, and a purpose in life.

So, what anti-aging products really work? I say “Yes, please” to exercise, fresh air, sex, naps, bright colors, music, art, and conversations with fascinating people. And I know that, at my age, it’s best to avoid certain things that my body just doesn’t handle as well as it used to—thing like

  • worry about what other people think, which leads to worry lines on the face. Very aging.
  • keeping up with things that don’t interest me just so younger people will think I’m “relevant.” That cuts into my nap time. Plus, all that clenching my jaw to bit back a smirk—very aging.
  • uncomfortable clothing and shoes—very aging, because grimacing in pain emphasizes frown lines.

Have you noticed how even the oldest woman can look positively radiant with a sincere smile? I think the older we get, the more transformative a smile becomes. So—doing what you love is the best anti-aging beauty treatment there is.


7 thoughts on “N is for “No, Thanks”

  1. alberta

    Yes to every word 🙂 I am proud of my wrinkles everyone an experience, a tale to tell, I bemoan the fact that medication is slowing down the greying of hair as I have a palate of colour I wish to put on!!
    Great post:)

  2. The Girl in Blue Jeans

    Oh My God I loved this post.
    I am in my thirties, and have entered the target group for the companies selling the procedures and products you mention. Sometimes, I am tempted to try them, wondering if it would slow down the process, and make me look ‘better’. I think the keyword is better. Do I look better if I have not one wrinkle on my face in 10 years time? Or do I look better if I look happy and content and like a person who has enjoyed every bit of living – including the experiences, the food, everything. I guess I would choose the latter any day 🙂


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