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When It Comes To The Effects Of Aging, It's Best To Keep Your Chin Up!
I really do feel bad about my neck. About the time I started developing my wattle, Nora Ephron came out with the best-selling book, “I Feel Bad About My Neck.” I really enjoyed reading her funny relatable stories, but I also felt a little sorry for Nora with her neck problem. I did not yet know I should be saving my pity for my own, emerging “neck situation.”
Nora says her dermatologist told her that a woman's neck starts to go at age 43. That is exactly when it happened to me. If you’re reading this, and you are not yet 43, go look at your neck in the mirror and adore it. Take photos of it. Appreciate and cherish it, because it WILL change.
I feel Mother Nature plays some really cruel jokes on women as we grow older. I like to know THE REASON things happen, what was Mother Nature’s intent when designing us. Why, at age 43, did my body feel it necessary to begin to grow a wattle? For 43 years my neck had defied gravity, remained smooth and intact. Seeing that I was growing a wattle that could rival a turkey’s I looked up the purpose of the turkey wattle. Here is what “Wiki Answers” told me:
(The purpose of the wattle is in) cooling the bird, turkeys and chickens. The areas have blood flowing close to the surface and gets more air flow over the blood thus cooling it somewhat. Birds do not sweat.
So does Mother Nature give us wattles to help us with the hot flashes we receive shortly after getting our wattles? If so, Mother Nature, I’d like to register a complaint. Because besides having an impressive wattle, this old bird still sweats! Additionally, if you wouldn’t give us hot flashes at this stage of the game, we could dress in turtlenecks and scarves to cover the suddenly gravity-challenged area!
I thought I had an ingenious idea. Why not use dark, self-tanning cream on the wattle to make it kind of “fade to black?” When I brought this up at book club, we talked it over and decided it would just make the folds and wrinkles become more prominent and make my face look as though it was floating unattached over my body. Short of surgery, I needed a solution. While I have yet to find a full-time fix, I have come across a couple of strategies that can help.
While at the wedding of a good friend, I couldn’t help but notice how amazing her mother looked for her age. When I told her she hadn’t aged a bit, she exclaimed, “Oh yes I have. My neck is terrible. Lemme show you what I have to do for pictures.” she then called her husband over, telling him she wanted to show me how they pose for pictures. Her husband snuck his arm up behind his wife’s back, reached his hand under the hair behind her neck and yanked her neck skin back. “Takes 15 years off!” he happily added. That evening, I witnessed the parents of the bride employing this strategy over and over again for photos, and if they had not told me their secret, I wouldn’t have been the wiser. What a beautiful relationship they have.
If you are in a new group without your husband and do not feel comfortable asking someone to hold your neck during a photo, you can either stretch your chin way out (think Thurston Howell, III) or cutely cock your head and rest your chin on your fist so that your fist and forearm covers the “area.” The important thing is just to be happy, confident, smile, and live in the moment. The good news is right now is the best your neck will look for the rest of your life. Oh, wait. Maybe that’s the bad news.
Tracy Kunzler is the creator of Ungirdled Passion, http://ungirdledpassion.blogspot.com/ and writes humorous greeting cards for Bottman Design, http://www.bottman.com