This side-by-side image of Barbie, originally posted on Reddit, has been trending all morning online.
A graphic artist had stripped away the heavy blue eye shadow, mascara, penciled-in eyebrows, and hot pink lipstick to reveal a tired-looking woman. The made-under Barbie has thinner lips, laugh lines, puffy cheeks, and bags underneath her eyes. Some say a more realistic image of natural beauty.
It reminded me of a recent freak-out moment that I had on a crowded subway train a few weeks ago. It was a Monday morning, and I was on my way to work with my hair blown out and my “full face” on. We’re talking foundation, eyeliner, mascara, blush, and lip gloss. With a green tea from Starbucks in hand – I skipped my usual coffee because I was feeling rested from the weekend—I was ready to take on the workweek!
And then I caught a glimpse of myself in the subway window. Mojo killed. In my mind, I thought I looked like the Barbie on the left, but in reality, I looked exhausted when I wasn’t.
Even with makeup on, I could see puffy under eye bags, dull mottled skin, and uneven eyes (one eye is bigger than other; It’s my wonky eye!). I was horrified. What happened next was similar to what a PR person does in a crisis. I went into full throttle damage control: I made a series of appointments with the folks at DLK on Avenue, a cosmetic dermatology clinic in Toronto.
I know that great skin doesn’t happen overnight so I gave myself about three months of high-tech skin maintenance to rejuvenate my face. Knocking off, say, 3-5 years. For my concerns, that meant getting a series of three laser skin resurfacing peels spaced a month apart to even out my blotchy and bumpy skin (e.g. smoothing down stubborn milia caused by heavy product use); a single tag-team session of back-to-back microdermabrasion to make my complexion all glow-y, followed immediately by Lumenis One IPL to pulse away sunspots and shrink large pores. And the finishing touch: a couple squirts of Botox to soften my forehead lines and balance out that wonky eye of mine. Luckily I don’t need too much at my age – it’s just baby Botox for me now around my upper face, which makes it easier on my wallet too. But I’m sure that in a few years I’ll be needing more on the laugh lines around my mouth. My mother has deeply etched lines there, so I know I’m doomed. Plus I laughed like a hyena in my teens and twenties.
I’m not going to sugar coat it, aging sucks. Heck, if I could look remotely closer to made-under Barbie, with her symmetrical features and spotless skin, I’d be a happier girl. And one who isn’t afraid of reflective surfaces.
Do you feel you look tired all the time? Let me know below in the comments section.