"I'll just be letting nature take its course," said makeup artist Wayne Goss, "while using skincare, Retin-A, exfoliants and sunscreen... I'm still going to do all of that... But I'm no longer going to be chasing something because even if the under eyes were so smooth that nothing moved, I still go to bed at night with the same worries, and the same anxieties, and the same fears. None of that changes just because a wrinkle gets removed."
This, from a video response to a recent procedure he underwent, was a compelling and thought-provoking reaction to the endless chase for perfection in beauty.
Replies to the video include 007janerussell's "Lines and wrinkles are so ****** sexy on men", and marissak100's "Thanks, Wayne. Your honesty is sweet. ..and, I agree with your conclusion. I ADORE some evidence of age!! Especially on men. xx". Although these examples are just two of many, they highlight individual difference and hint to a reality where natural signs of ageing are not to be ashamed of.
Earlier in the month, I wrote a blog post called Out With The Old, In With The New: On Anti-Ageing Products and Ageism, which discussed the persuit of beauty as defined by the media and cosmetic marketing companies, and the resulting damage to individual self-esteem. Wayne's post, and the replies he received, highlight that, actually, what people find beautiful might not be a perfect canvas. This is a revelation because it leads perfectly to the question: What is beauty? Only when we can answer this can we understand whether or not what we are doing is worthwhile. Otherwise, our efforts might be akin to chasing a shadow--an expensive one, both financially and in terms of cost to our self-esteem. What if, after all, people really do find wrinkles more beautiful than a line-free face? It would probably be a disaster for the skincare companies, but for individuals, it would mean freedom, liberation, and a return to natural beauty where ageing is revered as a sign of wisdom. Could it be that this was always the case, after all?
Later this week, in a new editorial, I will discuss the psychological theory behind beauty and attractiveness and attempt to answer, as best I can, the question 'What is beauty'. In the meantime, you can watch Wayne's video here.