I despair of women, I really do.
I really fear for women’s sanity sometimes, you know. I’ve always enjoyed reading Liz Jones’ column in the Daily Mail – although I disagree with virtually everything she says. But her latest ‘reveal’ is that she’s had a facelift. At 52.
Well, it’s her money, many might say. And it’s her body – she can abuse it whatever way she wishes. But ye gods, what madness.
Prior to her facelift, Liz looked like a pretty normal woman of her age – a bit tired, maybe, but nothing that ‘a good shag and a sleep’ wouldn’t fix (along with switching from the dead-black hair colour and eyebrow pencil, love – no-one over 35 can carry that off).
Now, she looks like a Stepford Wife – her face a creepy, espressionless mask that reveals nothing of the life she’s lived.
The standfirst rightly says: "Liz Jones, 51, has always hated the way she looks, particularly as she got older…"
"Always hated the way she looks"? Well, that says it all, really. Because no woman who truly valued herself would willingly go under the surgeon’s knife without some horrible, over-riding reason.
I find it particularly shocking that the article’s intro is so positive about what she has done (all the more so because this woman has outlined in terrifying detail her absurd spendthriffery and the colossal amount of debt she’s in etc). Phrases like: "line-free glory", "impressive results" and "brave" are very much telling the reader what to think.
Well, I beg to differ. Being line-free is not glorious – God knows, we EARN our bloody lines. If Liz Jones looks tired at 52, well, DOH. Maybe she should cut down on her hours and do without the IT bag and the IT shoes. Cut out the booze. Do more exercise. If she wants to be brave, maybe she should help someone worse off than herself rather than spending money she hasn’t got on beautifying herself, which is anyway only shoring up an old building that will eventually sink on its foundations, as we all do. Brave is a word we should use for the armed forces, not for this.
I know, I know – at root it’s insecurity, not vanity. Liz Jones’ main problem, I always feel, is that she’s a woman who hasn’t come to terms with looking normal when she’s surrounded by women who are abnormally beautiful and paid to be so (bearing in mind that beauty, of course, is a cultural phenomenon and part of the zeitgeist – many of today’s models would have been considered positively ugly in any other time but our own).
Being surrounded by the ‘beautiful’ people would make anyone feel insecure, and quite likely short, fat and ugly. But this is where you have work to gain some perspective and build your inner character. I feel Liz Jones has never done this. What she’s done instead is buy into every cliché that is thrown at women, and that women seem to fall for, as if we hadn’t had 100 years of free education.Go abroad, for heaven’s sake; learn a language; learn a skill; expand your mind – the thing that makes you a human being.
Women need to resist this pressure to look constantly YOUNG – it is, after all, a hiding to nothing. And there really is pressure to come up to some standard ideal. OF COURSE Liz’s surgeon suggested a facelift – what on earth does she think he makes the most money out of?
My friend H visited a Harley Street surgeon in order to have a mole removed, and the bastard had the cheek to say: "Oh, I think we should fix that nose first…". H, btw, is a slender 29-year-old with the porcelain beauty of a Dresden shepherdess, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with her nose. But even, despite her she was rattled – no woman retains total confidence about her looks.
I notice, too, that Liz Jones mentions that she didn’t tell her boyfriend what she was about to do in case he dissuaded her. Another Gawd ‘elp us, because men, bless ’em, do often actually love us for who we are and don’t want to see us go through the kind of pain and blood loss that a serious assault from a mugger might involve just so we can live up to some imaginary standard of beauty.
Oh well, I could rant on, but will stop here. What now for Liz? Further in debt and still ageing (like the rest of us). When it all catches up with her again, what will she do?
And just to remind us all that you can look fantastic over 50, WITH your wrinkles, here’s Lauren Hutton: happy, smiling, engaged, vibrant…