Reclaiming Our Individual Faces

One of the interesting side effects of the ‘embracing your age’ beauty trend, is people are foregoing some of the most popular cosmetic procedures, namely botox and fillers.

Keanu Reeves modelling for Saint Laurent when he’s not doing many of his own stunts in the John Wick franchise.

Keanu Reeves modelling for Saint Laurent when he’s not doing many of his own stunts in the John Wick franchise.

We are talking about the celebrity likes of Nicole Kidman and Courtney Cox who have denounced these particular cosmetic procedures in favour of, well, looking their age. Which is no doubt a very, very difficult thing to do when you’re part of Hollywood.

According to an article in this month’s Elle magazine titled “Rise Of The Bespoke Face – Why Fillers Are Officially Over”

Women are now wearing their natural faces with pride, wrinkles and all.

“Where once ice-skating-rink smoothness and big, juicy features were the aesthetic goal, now true beauty comes in the form of a face that wears the patina of age with elegance and pride,” writes Jennifer George. “Wrinkles are the new vogue. That’s certainly the case if one looks across the fashion tundra, where real, aged faces – all delicate lines and sun peppered with sun spots – peer back at us.”

Courteney Cox. Photo via Current Events/Flickr

Courteney Cox. Photo via Current Events/Flickr

It makes sense au natural is popular. It’s a trickle-down effect from the fashion industry’s long-overdue practice of including older models on the runway and in fashion spreads (tip of the hat to Zara, for starters). It’s really cool to see the models of yesteryear back on the runway, looking as beautiful as ever.

Have you seen Amber Valletta, Shalom Harlow, and Stella Tennant lately? Those former supermodels are truly rocking their 40s. Not to mention Helena Christensen, now 50. It’s the same for the men. As Elle pointed out, Keanu Reeves, age 54, is the new face of Saint Laurent. I haven’t seen those ads, yet, as I’ve been too busy watching Reeves kick butt in the John Wick movies (the man does most of his own stunts. Mind you, so did Charlize Theron in Atomic Blonde).

We, as a society, were just getting a little too obsessed with age. Frankly, it was getting boring. In the 2000s we were in the grip of an “anti-ageing epidemic” that urged anybody over the age of 25 to get botox (“prevent those wrinkles from even happening!”) and fillers (“plump up those sagging cheeks!”).

“… An eerie new aesthetic spread across our streets – a sea of faces that bore toddler-round cheeks, tumescent pouts and immobile foreheads,” writes George. “In our desire to run from the tides of time, everybody ended up looking not younger exactly, but… the same.”

This, of course, does not mean throwing all caution to the wind as far as skincare and appearances go. Not at all. Using good skincare products and, as George pointed out, treating yourself to new technologies (lasers, microneedling, etc.) enable you to sport beautiful skin “without making a mask of youth out of it.”

Women, such as Courteney Cox, say they feel much better about themselves now that they’re no longer trying to fight age.

“[I tried] to keep up with time in a way that was anything other than maintenance,” she told Sophia Boyden in this story for Elle.

“So now I just embrace who I am and getting older with what God gave me, not what I was trying to change. I kind of own everything. And the things that I am not as comfortable with myself, they’re the things that I continue to work on to grow and change.”

Amen to that.