VANITY, THY NAME IS WOMAN


It’s a shame we worry so much about ourselves. I know that men have the same problems, but they don’t seem to agonize over them the way we women do. With so much going on in the world, a few wrinkles on the neck should be riding low on the totem pole.

A little tuck here and there on the face and body gets you back in the race, but there doesn’t seem to be much to be done about the poor neck. Audrey Hepburn simply wore a turtle neck sweater, which worked for me as well for awhile. A nice scarf covers up a multitude of crevasses too.

Men seem to grow nice flabby turkey wattles under the chin, which takes the attention away from all the dips and creases which surely lie underneath. It really isn’t fair either, because while women simply look old, men become more interesting. Just look at Tony Bennett or Cesar Romero. They started out looking like greasy mafiosi and turned out in their senior years to be pretty sexy. It’s quite noticeable now that Tony is singing duets with Lady Gaga.

The mother in law of a friend was a frequent visitor to her plastic surgeon and actually looked quite striking. While sitting at a cocktail party and passing more than the time of day with a decidedly younger man, she stood and walked away. The surprise and disgust on his face was primal. She could do wonders with her body and hair, but nothing could hide the fact that she was no spring chicken.

The thing which really grabs my attention though, are the clothes some women wear trying to recapture a lost youth. The amount of money they spend could be saved if only they had saved their college clothes for 30 or 40 years. The styles keep returning if you are patient. Men don’t have that problem either, because their basic wardrobe never changed.

Women used to watch the skirt length from year to year to see what was in and what was out. I did it religiously each year. If they got shorter, you simply cut off the surplus; if they got longer you were in trouble. I understand they are going longer this year, which is a really good idea. I have worried about all the cute TV personalities with crossed legs in case they went shorter.

Some clever fashion maven some years ago solved the problem of skirt length by advocating pants for women. Some years ago my husband’s boss said to tell one trouser-clad woman to change into a skirt. Dr. A cautioned him to take note that it was then the 1960’s. I was once told that my boss did not approve of jeans. Since my job was teaching a sculpture and pottery class, and since my boss was a good friend, I simply went in and taught my class.

No one seems to have come up with a solution the craggy neck. I’m sure it has puzzled the plastic surgeon business for years. I have begun trying to guess the age of each of the TV women. The hair may be a bright halo on their head, and the makeup has certainly been applied according to the direction which came with it, but you can’t hide the neck.

I roamed through the stores yesterday, looking for the perfect scarf to hide my crags. After an hour or so, I bought two pair of socks and came home.

Author: kaytisweetlandrasmussen83

I am a retired fine arts teacher, sculptor/painter, writer, and a native Californian. I love my family,dogs, horses, movies, reading and music, probably in that order. I have been married forever to a very nice man who is nice to old ladies, dogs and children.

17 thoughts on “VANITY, THY NAME IS WOMAN”

  1. Actually, I think women become much more interesting-looking as we get older. Pick up any good coffee table book of women around the world and you’ll see some amazing faces. I’ll have to notice next time what they do about the necks.

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  2. Of course women become more interesting as they age.

    I can vouch for that by virtue of the fact that my wife becomes more and more fascinating as the years pass: and I have known her for fifty of those years – to the day.

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    1. I must agree with you Richard, I would be in trouble if I didn’t. I am eternally grateful that after seventy years, Dr. A still thinks I am interesting. Men like you both are few and far between, and Glynis and I are among the lucky ones.

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  3. Lipstick and moisturizer, and that’s it for me. Gravity’s starting to do a number on me (although the neck’s still ok) but I’ve decided on my course of action: I’m not going to worry about it. I’d rather be out roaming the hills, or varnishing a rail, or whatever.
    Of course, the fact that I’ve been doing my nails with 80 grit sandpaper for a quarter-century probably has left me a little more casual about some things that I should be, but people don’t flee when they see me on the street, so I think I’m oik.

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    1. I discounted my nails the day I began making mud pies. Then I finished the job when clay and plaster took over. I’m sure you are more than just OK. I often wonder how long a makeup job takes. More than I’m willing to take. With a limited amount of time, left, I can find all sorts of things to occupy myself.

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  4. I am still vain, alas and do whatever I can to retain some semblance of youth. I don’t see any changes on the horizon, either. As my hairdresser once said, ” Don’t go down easily.” Perhaps I will be tortured as time marches on…which it is.

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  5. For men it is not so much the neck worries as for what appears wrinkly much lower. They worry themselves sick about diminishing tumescence. They fill doctor’s waiting rooms, pretending to leaf casually through 1998 women’s magazines getting their prescription for Viagra renewed. Doctor is most understanding, no doubt helping himself freely to the same medication.
    It gets all a bit sad.

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  6. I enjoyed every word of this post and loved the last line because II have behaved in a similar manner many a time, giving up on beauty, or a least camouflage, and going for comfort instead. Have you read “I Feel Bad About My Neck” by Nora Ephron? If not, I think you’d enjoy it.

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  7. Hehe ,,, “passing more than the time of day with a decidedly younger man.” Good one.

    I think it was Barbara Cartland who said, “After 50, a woman can save her body or her face but not both” 🙂

    I’m growing out the hair dye I’ve used in one shade or another for 30 years, and underneath it’s white in some places, grey in others. So far it’s liberating. I’m tired of pretending to have one colour when I have another, and I want people to know me as I am. But people will always outwit one’s intentions. Now they assume I’m dyeing the white/grey bits!

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    1. So many women are growing it out these days and they look wonderful. When my children started school I was much younger than the other mothers in their class so I sprayed silver spray on my hair thinking it made me look older. I can imagine how they laughed behind my back. You are lovely whatever color your hair Narelle.

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