Monthly Archives: June 2016

The Beauty Mantra: Anti-Aging?

The Beauty Mantra: Anti-Aging?

The Beauty Mantra

As a self-confessed, proud Girly-Girl-Product-Junkie-Fashonista-Wannabe, I am truly passionate about the change of seasons—and the dubious need for the new beauty products that accompany each solstice. Summer is the very best of all: the sun feels warm on our faces, kissing them with an optimistic glow—thus requiring a bronzing sunscreen! Summer colors– the glorious pastels of flora and sunsets, and how fabulous that the goddessess of fashion have officially declared pink the new black! Even beauty neutrals take on a shine, as our inner light emerges from beneath layers of all that is dreary about the darker months. For some of us, this emergence is marked by a subtle, peachy cosmetic flush, designed, oddly, to look as though one’s face is utterly unadorned. Oh, it is heaven for me, this reconnaissance with the warmer months: light palettes of floating fabrics, shimmering lotions and potions, mystery cosmetics, largely organic, untested on animals and delivered in dazzling recyclable packaging. The sweetness of flower-based fragrance can–and does– instantly transport me to the garden of my choice. which happens to be the Tuileries, 113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001, Paris, France.

On some level (one clearly not connected to rational thought) I truly believe that if I could only find the right hair product, all would be well in my world. In fact, on a good hair day, if I am wearing the right shoes, I am sometimes prone to the dreamy fantasy that given a chance I could reorganize the world, providing a lifestyle of wellness, grace, world peace, and luxury products for all. And I probably could, because, for the moment, I believe it to be so.

Beauty and belief are pals, no doubt about that. Haven’t we all encountered a passerby who has wowed us with their saunter, implying a confidence that makes them impossible to ignore? Who has not had the experience of inexplicably feeling like they “look good today” and therefore seem to emit a subtle yet attractive magnetic pull? Standards of beauty are reliably ever shifting, thus requiring new and quasi-necessary products (yay!).   Well-thumbed glossy magazines continue to inform us of what is beautiful now. And therein lies a genuine, terrible conflict for my Inner Product Junkie, because what the rage right now is… Anti-Aging.

Anti-Aging? Are they kidding?   Have the Ambassadors of Beauty considered the alternative? A Beauty Mantra that requires the elimination of a natural, developmental process is, well, plainly weird. “Anti-Aging” seems a lot like “Anti-Living” if you ask me—and why purchase any product that makes you feel like you have already lost it?

Is aging a beauty crime?

No! Emphatically no! The crime is in having a Beauty Mantra (“Anti-Aging, Anti-Aging, Anti-Aging”) which does not allow us to enjoy what is unique and lovely about our appearance in whatever stage of life we are experiencing. However old you are today, if the heavens cooperate, tomorrow you will be older. Embrace it! Even babies are aging at an alarming rate, and look how cute they are!

I would be lying through my professionally-whitened teeth if I said I am unwilling to try the newest magic potion that portends to preserve my relatively youthful looks. Anti-aging products are not the culprits; it is the mantra that offends. The beauty gods should help us enhance and enjoy the signs of our age: the unique facial lines that imply years of love and sorrow in one’s life and the many adventures which have accompanied same. Lines born of laughter, lessons learned, and experiences we can call uniquely our own. We have earned our visage. Our faces and bodies tell the tale years of self-development, families growing, children raised, and friends and loved ones so dear that in their eyes, you are always looking fabulous.

“Anti-Aging” must go! We need a new, more powerful mantra that celebrates our true outer—and inner—fabulousness. I am partial to “Uniquely Moi.” Try that one out, and see how nicely it rolls off your tongue.

Uniquely Moi! Now that’s a product line I would embrace! A product line with skin preserving properties—because I am Uniquely Moi!   A clever lip gloss which plumps and freshens—Uniquely Moi again! Exfoliate my dusty skin, smoothe me, seal in my moisture, why not? I’m not Anti-Aging, I’m Uniquely Moi!

I may be on a first name basis with the cosmetic gurus at a few beauty counters, and I may be (am) an easy mark where beauty products are concerned, but embracing the implication that one must be perfectly and presently preserved in order to look—and feel—beautiful is not for me. As much as I enjoy a perfect mascara application, sans under-eye racooning, I can’t say I think about it much throughout the day. Once I’ve used my products, I’ve used them, and they don’t cross my mind again unless someone comments on my radiance or it’s time to wash my face. And I sure don’t spend much time thinking about aging. I am far too busy being Uniquely Moi!


I’ll Be Reading!

I’ll Be Reading!


Writers Read celebrates the spoken word, and I’ve been selected to read at the next live event, “The Great Outdoors,” on Sunday, July 17 from 2:00 to 4:00 PM in New York City.

“The Great Outdoors” will feature twelve writers reading short, original pieces on the theme. My piece is called “Ducky Madness and the Diaper Bag,” in which the etiology of my bird phobia will be revealed.  The show will be recorded at Nancy Manocherian’s the cell, a 21st Century Salon, at 338 West 23rd Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. Writers and guests will mingle during a 30-minute intermission with light refreshments. Visit the website or check out recent videos by clicking the link below:

Seating is limited, and ALL EIGHT previous events quickly SOLD OUT. Please order your tickets today by clicking the link below:

I hope to see you there!



Elvis Has Left the Building


IMG_3016People think I’m playing when I tell them about my up-close and personal relationship with Elvis. Its tiresome, but I press on, because Elvis is a true anthropological event, and for reasons unclear to me, I live in a state of deep, cheerful immersion in the zeitgeist. I breathe the popular culture, fascinated by all of it, particularly the soundtrack, and having survived the breakup of the Beatles in my very formative years, that’s saying something.

Elvis was in the building, and so was I, July 1975, the New Haven Coliseum. While it wasn’t my idea exactly, it seemed sort of kitschy cool to go see him, so we did. I was in a uniquely superior moment of my life, 17, just graduated from high school and pretty certain about pretty much everything. I knew way more then than I ever have since. And Elvis, he was all white-spangled jump suit and sweat-drenched red silk scarves, and women as old as my Grandma Sally were fainting in his presence. He was lean and loose-limbed and swivel-sexy, wearing crazy-ass white reptilian cowboy boots and that sublimely chiseled face. Elvis of the pouty lower lip, the dimpled grin, the hard line of man-chin and, of course, that voice. Smoking hot honey, molten, and I am serious when I say so. He was impossibly old–40– but I felt him straightaway, and though we were in the $10 seats, I was sure he felt me, too. That was one of Elvis’s gifts, his ability to emit a personal, pheromone-driven connection so strong that every girl-child and woman in the house was certain his gaze was laser pointing directly at her. It was really something. Most unexpected, but it is the truth.

Elvis was in that same building again, July1976, and while it wasn’t my idea exactly to repeat the adventure, I was definitely down for another spin of that album. A lot can happen in a year. I had just completed a wretched first year of college, and came home depressed and anxious and utterly unable to locate myself. Elvis sounded like a good place to start. And he was all blue-spangled jump suit and sweaty white silk scarves, and bloated to excess like a balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. A terrible parody of himself, that in some weird way mirrored my own bewilderment in a world that, just a year prior, had been resting securely in the palm of my dominant left hand. And he was stoned as fuck, careening around the stage, mumbling that he couldn’t help falling in burning love with me, endlessly elevating his buzz till he couldn’t remember any of the words. It was horrible to watch, and I am serious when I say so. Even from the $12.50 seats it was extravagantly evident that the magic had departed.

I came home ruined and sobbed for both of us. My Elvis was gone, and I could feel his confusion, watching him stumble around in a stupor, in a world where one short year prior he was The King. It was humbling yet strangely inspiring. Somehow, I emerged from that summer almost whole, found a path, and took a tentative first step in understanding that I, at 18, knew next to nothing.

Elvis left the building soon after. He died. And I mourned, because something epic had exhausted its nine lives in just 42 years. It would not come round again. And though I knew very little, I knew it was a tragedy that would pain me always, and it has.

I would brush up against Elvis once more, March 1997, now 39, and starting to know a little bit about a couple of things. Through no achievement of my own, I found myself in LA at the Academy Awards. At the Governor’s Ball, which is an obscene glut of excess, I found myself seated next to a woman who was reportedly among Elvis’ last loves. An elegant blonde, she was cool and warm and remote all at once. It was said she was living with Elvis shortly before he checked out of Graceland, and who knows? Maybe she escorted him out of the building herself. No one mentioned Elvis; no one dared. He was so present, so absent, and it was so reminiscent of the shit show I had witnessed back in the day. Having learned a few things by then, I slipped away to a gilded bathroom stall and wept.