I cannot wait to get my increasingly less-youthful looking hands on FACE IT, a new book by two former models who are now shrinks.
From what I am gathering from the New York Times piece on them, Drs. Vivian Diller and Jill Muir-Sukenick specialize in treating if not only the Formerly Hot, then definitely the Formerly Young who are stressing their faces into premature aging (whatever the hell that means) because they feel bad about feeling bad that they’re not looking as young as they used to.
Do you follow the torturous psychological process? I do, because I wrestle with it every day. It’s not bad enough that women feel bad about not looking as “hot” in the eyes of most of the world as they used to, but they also feel bad about feeling bad about it, because they worry that it makes them as superficial as those who get their entire face and body reconstructed part by silicone part so they don’t have to feel bad in the first place.
Great freakin’ position for us non-21-year-olds to find ourselves in, right?
The book seems to address women in their 50s and up, whereas I’ve been addressing when this phenom really starts (in my experience, late-30s, early 40s). But it sounds like they totally get it. In fact, I think that Vivian, Jill and I are of one brain (so much so that I’ve decided to dispense with the formalities). They’re looking at the precise psychological transition that was unsettling enough to make me start this blog.
“After decades of counseling patients, Dr. Vivian Diller and Dr. Jill Muir-Sukenick say that dread about growing older can spur an existential crisis of sorts. Such dread isn’t about vanity per se, but has more to do with a loss of potential and questioning one’s place in the world. It can lead to depression, alcohol abuse or sleep disorders, they say.”
Or, in my case, it can lead to compulsive blogging and book writing about this subject, to the tune of almost 300 posts in the year and a half since this blog was launched. MY FORMERLY HOT LIFE: DISPATCHES FROM JUST THE OTHER SIDE OF YOUNG (September 14, 2010 from Ballantine) has a whole chapter on this:
“Should women simply grow old naturally, since their looks don’t define them, or should they fight the signs of aging, since beauty and youth are their currency and power?” the authors ask in their book.
Note the shrink tendency to ask a question when you just plain want them to give you the goddamn answer–whether you’re paying them $160 for a 50-minute hour or $25 for the book in hardcover.
Still, I love that they’re asking the question.
Photo from The New York Times, by Joshua Bright