Does anyone else think that the characters in Desperate Housewives just look, well… freaky? I’m no longer following the story, but just gawp at the screen, mesmerized by how little their faces move. To my eyes Bree looks like an alien. I can’t stop watching her giant shiny forehead.
What are these beautiful women doing to themselves? It’s got to stop.
H, my great mate has been casting her movie, which she’s shooting on the ski slopes as we speak. There’s a part in it for an over-botoxed mother of the love interest bloke. Should have been an easy gig, right? But casting has been a nightmare. Like you wouldn’t believe. Most of the actresses you’d have thought would have been an obvious fit have wrecked their faces with surgery and they’ve lost any allure they once had. H has got an alarmingly long list of rejected big names, vetoed by the distributors.
Emlyn, sitting next to me on the sofa, doesn’t share my horror. He still ‘would’ with Teri Hatcher.
Doesn’t the Botox worry him? He shrugs. Everyone will have it done, he tells me.
No, I tell him. He’s wrong. I list off my female friends. Some of them are regular Botox junkies, but most of them feel like me. But Emlyn counters by ordering them in who he reckons will succumb to the slippery path of wrinkle-free confidence. Then he adds that the social pressure of all my mates looking younger than me, will mean I’ll inevitably have it done too. In ten years time, it’ll just be normal.
I’m outraged by how little this bothers him. I vehemently deny that I’ll ever alter my face, but in doing so, I feel like I’ve automatically aligned myself with Andrea Dworkin.
As a mother of three girls, I feel it’s my duty to age gracefully, but I feel that my right to do that naturally is under threat in a way that it’s never been for previous generations of women.
The thing is, though, that blokes don’t seem to detect Botox and plastic surgery like women can. There was an email that came round a while ago showing one hundred pairs of boobs. When asked which were false knockers and which were real, women consistently got 100 per cent right. Men couldn’t tell the difference.
But surely, the point is that we’re so evolved as a species we can detect every single type of mood or mood change on a person’s face – and not just a loved one, complete strangers. After all we all buy product based on a picture of someone’s face with a certain expression on it. But I’m starting to think that this only applies to women.
The kids can spot surgery or ‘that cow poison thing’ as the middle one puts it, instantly. So these botoxed women are only fooling the stupid blokes. And in doing so, they step away from womankind taking a cheap pot-shot at our collective natural beauty.
Personally, I think the root of the problem is that women spend far too much time looking in the mirror when they’re sober. Go to the loos in any nightclub or pub and you’ll see women checking themselves out and you can tell as they preen and primp that they’re thinking ‘I don’t look so bad.’ But everyone knows that if you look in the mirror when you’re sober, you just see bags and wrinkles.
I say all this to Emlyn, who shrugs again. ‘You will have it done,’ he says. ‘Chill.’ He seems perfectly relaxed about ageing into a Clint Eastwood-like craggy face himself, but that’s clearly not an option available to me.
But it should be. I want to look great for my age, but I also want to be able to see how my friends are feeling by the expression on their faces. I want to see their wrinkles and rejoice that we’re getting old together.
As Melissa Nathan so brilliantly said in her last newspaper column before she died, ‘“Of course, no one likes the frailty that can come from old age, but guess what? The opposite of age is not youth: It’s death. Age is not the approach towards death, it’s the increasingly precious alternative to it. So, as I grow older, I want to look older, dammit. Otherwise where’s the glory in survival?”
I totally agree. But she didn’t live to see all her mates getting Botox.