A predicament we face today is the menace that our wrinkle-count will one day supersede what we can count on two hands. Breaching the geriatric gates is now comparable to waltzing into one of Dante’s circles of Hell. “Waltzing” is too kind of a term. “Dragged by the undaunted claws of time” seems more adequate. Somehow, society has come to fear the natural and unavoidable process that results in old age. People have resorted to injecting fluids into their flesh to escape the likes of E.T and reach the haven of what can only be described as “White Chicks” (2004) on acid. For those of you unfamiliar with the film reference, two African-American men plaster their faces in such a way that they appear to be white females. The results are quite disturbing. As a society, we partake in various endeavours to slow down the natural process that enables us to physically display the extent of our experience and overall plentitude of life. I’m just curious as to why.
In a world that values physical appearance, wrinkles are warning signs to be avoided at all costs. Aging is inversely correlated to beauty. The basis for this all-encompassing fear of aging is more linked to the importance we dote on beauty rather than the worries we confer on our looming death.
Our fear of aging can also be linked to that lovely fear of ending up alone harbored by many. Of course, not everyone is burdened by the heavy weight of impending loneliness. But those are few in between, and those who crave company are alarmingly numerous. Where I come from, women in their early twenties possess a gnawing desire to get married. They somehow feel that they need to get married before they reach the point of no return, i.e. turning 30. I’ve come to the realization that this anxiety is directly correlated to the aging process. The fear of it. If in some kind of parallel universe we happened to be a non-aging species that maintained our youth, and its superimposed companion, beauty, then women wouldn’t give a damn about getting married. They wouldn’t fear that if they don’t find a concrete settlement of eternal companionship as of now, their beauty will slowly wither away as well as their chances of finding someone who wants them, and they’ll be forever stuck in the decrepit vault of solitude.
Thankfully, just as we come up with cures for diseases, we’ve also come up with some temporary solutions for aging. Here we go, a coalition of activists undertaking a merciless battle against the perilous storm of withering skin and disintegrating cheekbones. If injecting Botox into your flesh doesn’t stretch your face significantly enough, maybe some cream will permeate your pores and grant your countenance the texture of a newborn baby’s bottom. Then again, maybe you could skip a step and just marry whoever comes along, if only to make this whole aging debacle become a mere sign in your rear-view mirror, indicating that you are indeed heading in the right direction. You are driving forward your predisposed idea of a perfect life where you might get old, but you are assuredly not alone.