Sometimes I look in the mirror and think, “Ah well, that’s it then. Gone.”
A broken capillary around my nose; a rogue white hair sprouting from my scalp; a random nasal hair escaping my nose.
“Youth”, my friends, is waving goodbye.
We are all in the same boat, of course, unless anyone has a portrait in their attic taking the hits a la Dorian Gray. In which case, feel free to lend it to me.
I’m 42 – ancient for those of you in your 20s reading this, but a whippersnapper if you’re 80.
But, still, is this it? A downward trajectory to wrinkles and liver spots? Possibly. But not inevitably.
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For the unexpected hero (apart from red lipstick) or role model in this well-worn story of powerlessness over ageing is… Brad Pitt.
A man who, at 56, looks eminently better than he did at 46. Or 36.
Seriously, have you seen him recently? Gone is the unkempt beard and bloated face, replaced by the kind of impossible looks showcased in 1991 aged just 27 in Thelma and Louise.
Sure, he’s aged – but he looks as handsome as the (Google it now) gorgeously ethereal Joe Black 22 years ago.
There are also plenty of women who provide inspiration for looking better than they did when half their age – I give you Lorraine Kelly and Helen Mirren – but few without the tell-tale signs of Botox or surgery.
When I worked in TV in London, make-up artists often told me Lorraine was the only woman they could name who they would say had had no “extra” help.
After years of procedures, some develop the frozen Hollywood “stuck in a wind tunnel” look and there’s nothing attractive about that.
But Pitt shows none of the signs of surgical enhancement to which others have succumbed. His eyes are more hooded than when he was a young man, but it adds to the sense he’s been there, done it and lived to tell the tale.
Is it not great to know it’s possible? To look better next year or in a decade than we do today?
I might be talking about celebrities, but we’ve all got real-life examples – a neighbour who joined the Charleston branch of Scottish Slimmers, lost 10 stone and found cheekbones; a pal who got divorced, got a new wardrobe and got hot.
The secret to Pitt’s resurrection? Giving up the booze. More power to him. The healthier we are inside, the better we usually look outside. Sigh.
So that’s the plan. For 43. Water and kale smoothies.
For now though, there are some seriously good cosmetics on the market.