Believe it or not, that is the same girl. I was a naive 16 year old girl who was often photographed by her best guy pal. He's now a professional photographer living Venice, CA. It's clear I was just your run of the mill kid. I'm fairly certain, in that photo, we were sitting in our auditorium before show choir practice. It took seeing this picture to realize what my natural hair color is. My how the years have changed me. Ironically, my son looks nearly identical to me in the then photo. Obviously he has bit more peach fuzz on his upper lip and doesn't wear blush or eyeshadow. I wore contacts back then, too. I've needed vision correction since 4th grade. Cripes, I wonder where those photos are? I guarantee you the hair was far worse and my collars were incredibly big.
It has always been said that the women in our family improve with age. Because I heard this so often and witnessed it with my sisters, I never worried about aging. I looked forward to it because it meant I might actually grow out of the dorky, awkward phase of my life. I'm still a dork underneath the highlighted hair and chic eyewear. Sure, I'm heavier and curvier than I was back then. In 1982 I hadn't given birth to a 9 lb 2 oz baby, either. I was just a kid trying to find my way amongst the insanity after having lost my mother to cancer. Is the innocence and hurt obvious?
I know that I wasn't nearly as self conscious about my crooked smile. I have an eye tooth that is crooked and inset from the rest of my choppers. It's been a blessing that, as we age, our gums recede. I had short, block looking teeth in 1982. Now, my smile seems wider and brighter. I guess that could all have something to do with learning to grin and bare even in the most desolate and destitute of times.
I'm proud of my crow's feet and parenthetic grin. They tell the world I wasn't afraid to smile and laugh. Take that to heart, Victoria "Posh Spice" Beckham!! "There are lines upon my face ... from a lifetime of smiles..." Joshua Kadison wrote that line in his song Beautiful in My Eyes. It's so true in my case. I have had hardships, but I manage to keep bouncing back. That's what living is all about, no? I credit my parents for much of that resilience. I witnessed some hard times growing up, but I never felt like we were the poor family on the block. Well, not until my best friend, who was an only child, pointed out how little I had in comparison to her. She wasn't being spiteful, she just had no idea that everybody didn't manage the same lifestyle she and her parents did.
I hear so many people complaining about the aging process. I suggest to be who you is! Just live and forget what ridiculous expectations are set for us by some doctor in Beverly Hills. He's just out to make a buck by making you feel less attractive. Beauty does come from within. No amount of Botox injections, butt lifts, tummy tucks, breast augmentation or cheek implants can give you the intrinsic values that truly make up what being a human is about. I wholeheartedly feel it's a temporary fix. If there is no love for thyself, then the reflection in the mirror won't be what you need it to be to find peace.
Oh, and for the record, I still get pimples. Some things NEVER change no matter how many candles are placed on our birthday cake.
Peace, Love and Crow's Feet!