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My Life Story - It's Looking at You

By Ashleylister @ashleylister

I’m not particularly keen on looking in the mirror these days. At the age of 68 & 11/12 the reflection is not what it was 50 years ago, or even, it seems, 50 days ago. Time marches on and my face and body have no intention of being left behind. 

I’d hate to sound like some old stick-in-the-mud, but I can’t help reflecting on the number of cosmetic procedures being carried out these days. I really am a 'live and let live' kind of person. I was brought up very liberally, particularly for a girl of my generation. Hair dye and pierced ears might not have gone down too well at my 1960s grammar school but my mom was pretty laissez faire. So when I had kids I was much the same. We picked our battles - and how the kids chose to look was very low down the list.  

However, I have to say, I’m glad that my daughter was never tempted to change her appearance surgically. Naturally, I thought she didn’t need to, but having seen some of the young girls of this next generation I realize ‘need’ doesn’t come into it. Like all teenagers and young adults, these kids don’t want to be different, they want to look the same as their peers and if that means foreheads that don’t move, and lips that look as though they could unblock a sink, then so be it*. 

Just recently, I saw a call out on Facebook by a young girl. She wanted to know the best place to go for lip plumping.  She was 18, with a beautiful shapely mouth. I was shocked by the number of replies from friends with recommendations. Without exception these friends had that same swollen lipped look. In my eyes, they had all been young and pretty - and individual -before the lip procedures. I guess it’s another indication of the dissatisfaction we women feel about ourselves. In my day it was another coating of mascara or some glossy lipstick. Now it’s all about procedures. 

I have very mixed feelings about this.  I have some sympathy for anybody requesting cosmetic surgery for facial or bodily features that are causing distress, but instinctively, I’m against any surgery that is purely for cosmetic purposes, especially as there is the potential for things to go terribly wrong. I could name names but I won't.  We've all seen the grotesque results of too much surgery.  Where does it all end?  It seems as if it's addictive and that can't be a good thing.

I suppose it comes down to personal preference. Give me a woman with natural looks, over one who is overly groomed any day. Maybe it’s because I’m lazy? Don’t get me wrong, I feel more confident with a slick of make up and my hair at least brushed, but please don’t ask me to do more than that.  As somebody fast approaching her eighth decade I'm sure I could probably be transformed for a few £100K but what would be the point? You’d only have to look at the skin on the backs of my hands to realise I’m no spring chicken. There’s always a giveaway. 

Have surgery to erase my life? No thanks, I’ll stay as I am, warts - and lines - and all.  

My Life Story - It's Looking at You

Life Story by Jill Reidy

This mark here

See, this tiny little crater 

Right there, touch it

That was chicken pox when I was three

And these lines that appear 

As I crinkle up my eyes

See how they fan out from the corners

That’s from a life of laughter 

And a few sad tears

But mostly laughter

Two little furrows between my brows

They’ve been there quite a while,


Either side of the mole

That my mom assured me was a beauty spot

Feel them, they’re deep

They’ll never go

Too much time frowning at the light

Worrying, facing problems 

Late into the night

See my lips

How they’ve thinned and cracked

The cold sore scars still red and raised

And the tiny threads that wind their way 

From lip to nose

Years of tuneless whistling  

Kissing too 

Yes, maybe a little kissing

Babies, children, adults

That's what caused those

Look, these two roads 

That now run deep 

From corners of my mouth to under chin

Like the wooden dummy on ventriloquist's lap 

They’re from singing lullabies

Reading stories as eyes slowly closed

Chatting, teaching, swapping tales


More laughing

And telling you I love you

That’s my face, the story of my life. 

Thanks for reading......Jill

*With apologies to anybody who has been plumped and smoothed so well that I would never even know. 

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