From the Mature: Age Is Fixable

It’s beauty or it’s not beauty. That’s it.

June 19, 2015

This article was originally published in the March 2015 issue of Vancouver Magazine.

I was an attractive woman. In my 20s, I modelled. My mother was very fashion-conscious and also very critical of appearance, and I think I have some of that — not to the degree my mother did, but I certainly had vanity. Modelling focuses you on your appearance. It’s just one side of a person, of course, but it was a side that was important to me.

I don’t feel any different today, but then the mirror starts giving a different picture. It’s depressing to feel so young but what you see doesn’t reflect that. That’s not your face you’re looking at. Not the one you remember, anyway.

Things droop. I know it happens. But I didn’t like looking older than I felt; I wasn’t prepared. Everything was going down. My right eyebrow was sagging lower than my left. The corners of my mouth were turning down. My neck was starting to sag. I looked like I was unhappy all the time, and that wasn’t the case! I’m very youthful, very active. I think I should look the way I feel.

My friends told me I shouldn’t bother because I looked fine, but I come from that family that is highly critical of ourselves. It’s a perfectionist thing: it’s beauty or it’s not beauty. That’s it.

You hear horror stories about what happens to people who go in for facial reconstructive surgery — it can go really wrong — but I just had a lot of faith that it would be done right. So I went in and said I wasn’t happy, that I wanted those things fixed. The doctor was very honest about what he could do and what he couldn’t. I had a facelift, a brow lift, and an eyelid lift — blepharoplasty. It was cutting above the eye and right underneath the lower lashes.

I didn’t know if any of my friends had also done procedures. Did I tell them about mine? Absolutely. I have never been shy about that. It’s just the kind of person I am. I’m pretty open about things — I’ve always been a person who was forthcoming about what I think, and that’s why, when I realized there was something I didn’t like and I knew I could do something about it, it was just a matter of going ahead with it. That comes from having a bit of an engineering mind, I believe. There was a problem that could be fixed.

Nobody can tell I’ve had work done. I have to explain it to them; they don’t see it. Yes, I have some scars, but they’re right in the crease behind my ears. No one looks there anyway.

As told to Petti Fong

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