Have you ever awakened in the morning; and felt Old, Fat and Ugly? Granted, we all have our “Bad Days”, but I’m talking about an epiphany here. Where you wake up, look in the mirror; and see your mother staring back at you!
It’s frickin’ scarey, ain’t it? I’m only 46 years old, and as I was leaning over the sink to brush my teeth this morning; I caught a reflection of myself in the mirrors that line my vanity sink. I Saw My Mother in the Reflection!!
Freud be damned; I don’t wanna look like my Mom. EVER. And what I saw in the mirror this morning displeased me, greatly. JOWELS?? I don’t recall ordering JOWELS on my neck! The very cheek of Mother Nature to install JOWELS on my neck, without clearing it with me first! That bitch. It’s just like her.
So, do any Dopers have ''exercises" that will eliminate JOWELS?
I had an even weirder experience. While my sister and I were growing up, it was always said and accepted that my sister resembled our mother a lot, but that I did not – at least not very much. For some reason, my sister was also allowed to wear her hair long, in braids, which I envied, but mine was cut short. Our mother wore her hair short also. As soon as I was of the age where I could do what I wanted, naturally I grew my hair as long as I could. (By this time, Sis had cut her hair short, and has kept it that way since.)
Time passes. About 12 years ago, our mother died, and we were devastated. Around the same time, in what I thought was an unrelated choice, I got my hair cut in a nice short style. A few days later I looked in the mirror and OMG!! My face had turned into my mother’s face.
This was not a bad thing entirely, since I think my mother had a nice face, and we loved her very much, but it was a shocker nonetheless.
I have my mom’s general shape: rounded in all the girly round places. No matter what I do short of anorexia, I’m going to look this way. I don’t like it much because I used to be pretty damn thin. It’s annoying because I can just picture my mother in whatever afterlife there is laughing her (round) ass off.
But get this, I actually really have my grandfather’s body. Very short, stocky, pot belly no matter how skinny the rest of me is. I have HIM to thank for my overall stature and that belly I hate. But at least I didn’t get his honkin’ Hebrew schnozz.
What do I do about it? I spend 6 hours a week in the gym and I eat right, and that’s almost enough. Ah, screw it. At least my face is my own. Apparently I look like my grandmother, but I really don’t know what she looked like when she was young, so I can at least feel like I have my own face, no matter how time ravages it.
This may not help, but when I feel ugly, I find exercise makes me feel better. If I can go for a run or do something that proves my body is useful, I don’t care so much how it (or my damn skin or stupid hair) looks.
There was a TV special on Lifetime or E or some crap recently. The premise was that 40-year old women today look better than the poor soul who aged in less enlightened time. Such BS. Plenty of middle-aged women look great, for their age. But after 35, you know, you don’t look 25. There were a dozen women on the show nattering on: “Oh, at 42/48/52 I look better than ever!” Well, no, they looked like fit, attractive 42-, 48-, and 52-year old women. Unless they’re Earth Kitt or Julie Newmar.
In the face, I’m becoming a cross between my grandmother and my mother, which isn’t too bad. They had good skin, and that helps. The lines are emerging now, ever so slowly.
Physique-wise, I think I’m taking after my grandfather – small boned and wiry-strong, but with a tendency to pudge if I’m not active. I don’t think I could be morbidly obese like my mother – my bone structure couldn’t take it.
Now the hair is my Waterloo. I apparently inherited the “early grey gene” from my father, who was completely grey by the time he was 35. Thanks Dad! I was about 40 percent grey until recently. Ahem.
I’m in my early forties and I’ve never been the most attractive thing around, but I don’t frighten small children.
But I’ve definitely been feeling like an old fart since catching a glimpse of the crow’s feet in the mirror. You kids, turn down the stereo and get off my lawn!
Just today I had my first “deep-cleansing” facial at a salon. I will turn sixty in July and I’ve decided to take better care of my skin. (It’s about time!)
My mother is ninety. Recently I sent a photograph of me with my granddaughter. Mother’s comment was that she had never realized how much I look like her.
NOW she tells me!
The vanity that I use for putting on makeup is the one that she bought in the 1930’s. I’ve looked back from that mirror all of these years. Wouldn’t it be weird to have time-lapse photography of those images!
*truthbot, I’m 20 and I feel like that some days. Pictures of my young mother only serve to reinforce the image. I generally deal with it by sitting in front of my computer for eight hours and taking solace from the fact that my mother still calls me when the printer doesn’t work.
Some women look “better” in their 40s or 50s than they did in their 20s or 30s. Because when they were in their 20s and 30s they had bad taste, bad hairdo, unflattering clothes, were more out of shape, etc. etc. So maybe the 40 - 50 year old won’t have that full blush of youth that they did when they were 20 years younger, but they now have the fashion sense (and common sense) to make the most of what they have.
And besides, how can you even always tell when someone is past 35? I know of women who are over 40 that look under 35. (My sister, for one.)
I have lots of old, fat, and ugly days, but it will take another year or two before I start to panic about looking like my mother. My best avoidance technique is not getting my hair cut. She’s got what it finally struck me is a bowl cut, and has had the same hairstyle all my life. Her hair is very fine and light brown. My hair is almost black, very wavy, and almost butt-length.
I figure as long as I don’t cut it off, I won’t look too much like her.
My epiphany came one day when I was driving and realized the skin on my hand was wrinkled. It was a real shocker because at the time I had a 7 and 4 year old.
Regarding jowls, there’s not much you can do unless you’re willing to have plastic surgery. Loose skin is loose skin and there’s no way to tighten it up unless it’s recently stretched and retracting as with a pregnancy or moderately overweight with a steady weight loss, and doing lots of exercise as the weight disappears. Folks who are extremely overweight and thin up are left with what’s called a paniculum or an apron of skin that just hangs there. The only way to deal with it other than a girdle type apparel is plastic surgery.
I have this horrible picture from my wedding. It’s a candid shot of my mother and me on one side of the picture talking to my aunt on the other side of the shot. We’re sort of right next to each other in profile and lordy our faces look exactly the same. I titled the picture “Two Schnozzes.”
sigh So it’s not just me? I composed a witty reply last night, hit “submit” and got the dreaded error message. Even the hamsters are mocking me. And my jowls.
I can deal with ageing, in general. I realize that my looks and body will change with time. But the jowls took me by surprise. Now, don’t get me wrong. Jowls can have their place. Say, on Kathy Lee Gifford. Or they would be amusing on Doris Day. I was taken aback when they landed on ME!
And my mother and I are completely different types. My mother has olive skin, very dark eyes and black hair. I take after my Norweigien relatives. I’m 5’9", with blonde hair and blue eyes. But my bone structure is changing. My mother’s well-defined cheekbones are emerging onto my face. I’m morphing into my mother.
Give me a curly white perm of a helmet, and I could be my mother.
And Podkayne, we seem to have purchased the same pair of slacks. Yesterday I bought a pair of size 7 Dockers. When I attempted to install them this morning, they had shrank to a size 6! Without any laundering on my part. I smell a conspiracy, yes I do. Our slacks are out to make us feel Old, Fat and Ugly.
I’m almost afraid to take my daily walk today. Small children may point at me and yell in terror “There’s the lady with the too-tight pants and JOWLS!!!”
My mom’s gorgeous, always has been - even now that she’s aging, she’s actually aging gracefully. I’d love to see my mom in the mirror. And even though I’ve got youth, she’s still got beauty, and height, and thinness, and poise.
(I look vaguely like my dad’s side of the family.)