Forever young

“Your skin is ageing, every second counts!” Adverts like these are causing panic, mostly among women who feel they are losing the battle against the laws of the universe.

Fortunately, cosmetic companies around the world are entering the realms of science on their behalf. Not only have they discovered how to defy gravity, but they are also experts in time reversal. Some of these institutes for skin technology are affilliated to NASA, sharing their latest surveys on “lift”. And Russian girls, having put the Cold Cream War behind them, are now collaborating with Western women on anti-gravitational explorations.

They’ve also spilled the beans on their weapons of mass destruction — coffee grounds. Rubbed on the thighs, they reduce cellulite.

But what goes on in those high tech laboratories? I would love to be part of an experiment to uplift women. Perhaps I’ll become an independent consultant (the adverts in the magazines always verify findings using these women). I’d be filed under “middle-aged, time- and sun-ravaged mother”.

I presume there would be various departments. The photo lab and the Wrinkle Recognition Area. Further along one would find the Lift and Anti-Sag Room, the Anti-Ageing Faculty and the Anti-Droop Conference Centre. The Cosmetic Time Capsule would be hidden in a secret location.

I would sign a letter of agreement. Obligatory make-up applications to hide any hint of a line or wrinkle which might nullify the cream’s claims. Or, I would agree to a one-off payment to promote the product for a certain period and then to go into hiding so the long-term effect of the lotion can never be assessed by the public.

First, the photos. “Before She Applied the Miracle Cream”. Then they’d send me to the Transformation Plinth, filled with stern women in white jackets. All procedures would be undertaken under the watchful eye of the youthful blonde who founded the institute in 1901.

On the wall, a chart: “81% of women who had this firm-up treatment claimed the anti-sagging effectiveness to be outstanding!”

How does one test for sag? Scans done before and after, measuring the three-dimensional aspects of the face and neck for millimetre precision? Or are all women, away from the stresses of the household, bound to feel refreshed, rejuvenated and renewed after a bit of pampering? Just escaping for a day would uplift most of us.

If my face refuses to “youthen”, I’d be thrown into the Cosmetic Time Capsule. Tucked safely in my capsule, I would lift and then circle the outer limits of Earth’s atmosphere backwards. This would reverse time and suction my face upwards by the gravitational forces of Pluto. The capsule would finally eject me and I would look 20.

But I’ve just read a report which disturbs me. It claims we are wasting our time and money on our faces. The problem lies in our bones. Our cheekbones sag and shrink as we age, taking everything with them. I’m not sure how they discovered this. Probably female sinus sufferers’ scans and x-rays.

“Look at Mrs Nuserum, aged 25. X-rays reveal Sophia Loren-like cheekbones,” says a professor of ears, nose and throats, addressing delegates at a world congress.

“Now, Mrs Nuserum at 55. Alas, her cheeks have imploded!” Was it inevitable or did they collapse under the weight of all that plumping cream?

I don’t mind if my face finally falls. All I hope for is a little lift around the mouth. Gravity defying and timeless, a smile looks good at any age.

From my book The Struggle with the Juggle.

Pic: Truth Lee/AFP