The Face of Change: Plastic Surgery Between Friends

A woman’s friend gets Botox, while she embraces aging, wrinkles and all.

By Joanne Kaufman
This is partly because I am an extremely pale blonde and just about anything I put on my face makes me look as if I were going to clown school and partly because I haven’t a clue how to apply it. But it’s mostly because I have this take-me-as-I-am-or-don’t-take-me-at-all attitude. To start with the eye-lifts at this point would make me feel very — you should pardon the expression — two-faced.Age AcceptanceAs I go down the list of friends who’ve had Restylane, Botox, and what have you, I find that one thread unites them: They all had the distinct pleasure of going through life beautiful, and they keenly feel what they view as the loss of that beauty. I have not had that particular satisfaction. I am waiting ever more eagerly for what my late mother assured me would happen someday: my growing into my looks. This is not me being charmingly self-deprecating. I am perfectly willing to say I have a good figure and am quite amusing at parties. But the bottom line is that because my looks never paid big dividends, I was never hugely invested in them and thus have no particular incentive to make capital improvements at this late date.It’s all in how I look at it — or don’t. While I have generally regarded my extreme myopia as a liability, as I’ve pushed past 45, it’s become an asset: Unless my nose is touching the mirror, anything that may be happening — marionette lines asserting themselves, stripes tromping briskly across my forehead — is a lovely blur. The fact is, thanks to some decent genes and a well-worn sun hat, I have a fairly young-looking face. That — presto! — others can have one too simply by spending a few minutes at the dermatologist’s seems like cheating. The late great prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn was once asked during an interview whether she would ever have a face-lift. "I suppose I should," she answered. "It would be much kinder to my friends."Friends, don’t be kind to me. You know I won’t be kind to you. Joanne Kaufman also writes for the Wall Street Journal.Originally published in MORE magazine, March 2007.

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