By Kyra-lin Hom
I was watching the news program Nightline on TV the other night when it ran a short segment on a new anti-aging treatment called “thermage.” Apparently it’s the new hot thing in cosmetic procedures because it is non-invasive but still manages to penetrate into the collagen without damaging the skin. The treatment is so tricky that the website www.thermage.com even claims no one will ever know you had it. instead, the people around you will just think you’ve been away on a fabulous vacation. Their words, not mine.
Minus the hefty price tag, this does sound like the holy grail of cosmetic procedures. And I really don’t have anything against plastic surgery and the like as a whole. there is a lot of evidence supporting the notion that it can have a very positive effect on people’s lives. however, I do have to wonder about the rising obsession with remaining youthful looking. after all, there is a difference between changing the alignment of your nose and compulsively comparing your reflection to photos from years past, counting every extra line, wrinkle and wilting micrometer. Enter preventative cosmetics.
Prior to watching this Nightline segment, I had never heard of preventative cosmetic procedures. To use an example from a pro-cosmetic surgery website, say you (in your 20′s) go in for your dermatologist appointment or schedules a consultation with a plastic surgeon and asks when you should start thinking about anti-aging treatments. You, like me, would expect the doctor to put up her hands in the universal signal for ‘whoa’ and say you are too young and youthful to even begin thinking about those kinds of things. Well, it turns out that for the most part you and I would both be very wrong.
One of the reasons thermage is all the rage is that it’s being popularly used as a preventative treatment for woman between the ages of 18 and their early 30′s. The medical reasoning is to catch even the faintest lines before they have the opportunity to set their nasty aging claws deep into your skin, possibly leaving scars. It’s a neat idea. I can’t say I wouldn’t be tempted had I an extra $3,500 lying around. Yet I can’t get over the thought process that inspired it. Society is saying that it is no longer okay to age. I can’t get on board with that.
Our culture seems to value sex appeal over respect. And unfortunately we’ve stuck ‘old’ into the same taboo corner as the dreaded adjective ‘fat.’ Ask yourself honestly which is preferable to you: a younger stranger openly flirting with you or politely addressing you as ma’am or sir? I know I’m not proud of my answer. How about you?
How so many people can’t see what’s wrong with this picture amazes me. No one really wants to droop into the facial equivalent of used tin foil, but neither should anyone in their twenties be pining over the skin of their teen years. Your life is written on your face. And as I always say, don’t shy away from living your life. I personally love laugh lines and am actually quite looking forward to having my own because of the kind of life they represent.
If you want to look younger longer, treat your body well. among other things, get plenty of rest; drink lots of water; sleep; eat fruits, vegetables, lean protein and raw nuts; stay away from breads, sugars and processed foods; wear sunscreen; and avoid smoking and excess alcohol and caffeine. it is possible to plan for your future health without shoveling out the big bucks for the high tech.
Dignity and age can absolutely be beautiful. if you agree with me, please, share the love. I know far too many beautiful people who look in their mirrors and only see wrinkles and age spots. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll convince ourselves that aging isn’t something to be quite so feared.
Kyra-Lin Hom is a freelance writer. You can contact her through our editor Ken Robinson at email@example.com