Not my friend

Microsoft Teams is not my friend.

It’s the visual version of a mean voice in my head telling me how hopeless I am. Except it displays my flaws rather than telling me about them.

While I look fairly presentable in real life, on Microsoft Teams I look DREADFUL.

The crevices in my face are so pronounced that I find myself putting my hand over my lower face in meetings to try and hide them.

While searching for a photo last week of a stay at the Ritz-Carlton in my youth, I stumbled across this photo and sent it to DD …

I couldn’t stop staring at it because it showed how unnecessarily hard I was on myself as a young woman.

I thought I was unattractive and unloveable.

After I broke up with my first boyfriend and when I broke up with my husband, I was convinced no one would love me ever again.

It proved to be untrue on both occasions, but I still believed that I was somehow lacking.

(On the other hand, I was bold enough to cut my hair super short and follow my dream of becoming a magazine editor. So there must have been a kernel of self belief hiding in there somewhere!)

Now, at 55, while I try to hide my sagging skin in video calls (mainly from myself), I know my appearance doesn’t define my worth.

And I do not care whether the male gaze is drawn to me. Well, other than DD’s.

The famous Mark Twain quote – “Sing like no one’s listening, love like you’ve never been hurt, dance like nobody’s watching, and live like it’s heaven on earth” – strikes a very loud chord.

There has been much to-do about the latest cover of Sports Illustrated, which features Martha Stewart in a swimsuit looking 20 years younger than her 81 years. Martha reckons very little airbrushing took place.

I am awed that an 81 year old still possesses that much collagen. I didn’t think it was humanly possible.

“I’ve had absolutely no plastic surgery whatsoever,” Martha said. “I have very healthy, good hair. I drink green juice every day. I take my vitamins. I eat very healthfully. I have very good skin doctors. I’m very careful in the sun. I wear hats and I wear sunblock every single day.”

Bwahaha … #cronepower!

The reality is that most of us do not have the time, money or inclination to devote our lives to looking eternally 40.

And we shouldn’t feel we have to.

As someone commented online: “I feel stabby, not because of jealousy, just wondering at what age can women be valued for their achievements and simply for being.”

Admittedly, part of me yearns for a facelift to remove the worst of my crags. But I figure that those who love me see past the wrinkles and appreciate the person rather than the packaging.

That said, I’m not looking forward to today’s work schedule: back-to-back Teams meetings from 9.15am to 3.30pm.

Song of the day: Billie Eilish “Getting older”

One thought on “Not my friend

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  1. I looked at that cover of SI too…..Playboy always used a lot of tricks, I imagine SI does as well….and we all hate something..I wish my parents has sprung for braces when I was young, I hate my bottom now old man’s teeth….but, we are what we are..and no one notices on Zoom anyway right?

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