Have you noticed the nasolabial fold is not what it used to be? Those lovely little lines from your nose down on either side of your mouth, that crinkle when we laugh, are no longer in vogue… or, as it turns out, in Vogue.
Today I was sitting in the hairdresser, having my own, modest once a month ‘zhoosh’ and as I was turning each carefully designed page, of the September issue of Vogue I realised, all the photos of the women had a same-ness about them… what was it? First of all there are few smiles in Vogue, so that was similar… but there was something else…what was it… Ahaaaaa, all the women were missing their nasolabial folds! And I don’t think Vogue has just discovered some quirk of DNA that has produced a new breed of woman. Either every single photo has been Photoshopped to the nth degree, or women who are genetically predisposed to not moving their faces were on every page. I started at the first page of the magazine and combed every photo, ad or otherwise. Out of scores of photos, there were only hints of ‘said fold’, on two women. That’s one, two! One is a designer who obviously missed the memo about removal of her fold, and the other was a model who was almost smiling and had the slightest hint of some muscular movement under the skin.
Later I examined the latest issue of In Style. It was a little better, but not much. I feel betrayed. How has this been taking place and I haven’t noticed the insidiousness before now? The editors of these magazines are women, so why would they want to make other women feel like the lines on their faces are anything less than wonderful descriptors of a life well lived? It is bad enough that magazines are full of skinny, exceptionally tall, unrealistic looking women, but now, it seems, we should aspire to plastic masks instead of living faces.
I googled ‘nasolabial folds’ and one of the choices that appeared was ‘nasolabial folds causes’. Causes? As if it is a disease? Well, here is what was said on that topic “Nasolabial Folds, known as “laugh lines”, are common facial features that develop and become more pronounced over time. As the skin ages, it loses elasticity and firmness. As a result, fine lines begin to appear and the skin becomes thinner and drier. Habitual movement of facial muscles is the major cause of nasolabial folds. Factors such as chronic sun exposure and smoking can often cause these lines to start appearing earlier. Fortunately, the appearance of facial lines can be reduced with treatment and proper skin care.” Whew, so glad it can be reduced! I only have to stop ‘habitually’ moving my mouth and have it ‘treated’. What agony to go through the rest of my life with lines from laughing. Wouldn’t want anyone to know I’ve enjoyed my life that much!!
Well, here’s what I think. I am not out of touch. The editors of those magazines are out of touch with what is important in life. They have traded what is important for what makes money. Tragic. I enjoy make up and hair care and lovely clothes as much as the next person, but I hope I am authentic enough to use it to express my true self and the life I have had, and not some artificial ideal that shows no character or emotion.
Stop smoking? By all means.