My cousin, Matilda, is having a midlife crisis. Not only has she bought an electric bicycle, but she’s also taken up swing dancing. Alright, so her crisis is a relatively mild one. But even so, I can tell that she’s been grappling with her identity since hitting 50 a couple of months back.
My sister told me that she’d caught Matilda reading online reviews of an anti wrinkle treatment clinic in Melbourne. That didn’t seem like that big a deal to me, and neither did the bike or the swing dancing, for that matter. It’s the whole bunch of new things in combination, all of a sudden – they seem to add up to a sense of someone wanting to reinvent themselves, and thereby to assuage the aging process.
I guess there’s nothing wrong with that impulse, in itself. It seems natural, at least in the contemporary age, to desire to preserve youth wherever this is possible. The aesthetic industry and its continual stream of new technologies is an interesting one. People want effective, non-invasive cosmetic treatments, and the industry keeps providing them.
Heck, I know plenty of people who’ve engaged with it. My younger brother, Jeremy, used to go to a laser hair removal clinic. In Melbourne, cosmeticians are so on the pulse that you can access almost any treatment under the sun if you know where to look, and he seemed very happy with the results, so good for him. (Just don’t ask me to tell you where he had the hair removed from… because I don’t know either. He wouldn’t tell me.)
My mum, too, has had some kind of cosmetic laser treatment. She was pretty quiet about it (I suppose that’s where Jeremy gets it from), but I understand that it was something to do with reducing the appearance of spider veins.
Maybe I’m from a family of cosmetic heads… I’ve never really stopped to think about it before. I guess it puts Matilda’s new undertakings in perspective. Her approach to anti aging seems like a decent balance between physical activity, fun and cheeky technological assistance.