Lifestyle & Culture

Here’s Lookin’ at You, Ol’ Girl



Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw doesn’t need a facelift, but she sure could use a little color. / Photo here and on the front (with Kristin Davis) by Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max.By Nancy McKeon

I HAVE NOTHING clever to say about plastic surgery. I just keep thinking about the character Carrie Bradshaw in last week’s episode of And Just Like That.

Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Carrie in this HBO Max reboot of Sex and the City, has some painfully close-up closeups. Yes, she’s still reeling from the death of Mr. Big, but the camera shows us a visage that’s so paled-back and bony as to be mortuary-ready.

And she’s tight, tight, tight. Nothing to be clipped or tugged that I can see (and, at age 56, maybe it already has been? dunno). So, while she could use a bit (a lot!) of color, and surely some filler, she really doesn’t seem to be full facelift material. (The doc in the episode suggests some tweaking around the brow and perhaps a mini-lift, but I don’t know what that is.)

In the end, Carrie says no, or at least not yet. I’m almost 20 years older than SJP, and about eight or 10 years ago I said, Yes, right now!

It wasn’t a facelift; it was far more strategic and far more important to me: I had my chins removed.

That sounds ridiculous, but believe me it wasn’t. I wish I still had my old DC driver’s license, the last existing evidence, I think, for that expanse of flesh below whatever the real chin bone is called.

You ever notice how authors’ book-jacket portraits show them perched prettily, their chin balanced on their hand? Even male authors often manage to pull back jowls with a more muscular “lean” into their fist(s).

I don’t do that anymore. I just sit there and smile.

When people say that plastic surgery is the best thing they’ve ever done, they don’t mean better than marrying their spouse, or bringing children into the world, or signing a nuclear non-proliferation treaty. Not really.

What I, at least, mean is that the surgery meant I could look in the mirror and not feel ashamed, unacceptable. Another 30, 40 pounds off my frame would make the picture better, but so far the solution to that seems to be to avoid full-length mirrors.

There’s a lot of this going around.

A friend of mine, a former co-worker, had a facelift when she was 55, not because she was old or droopy (still isn’t!) but because she didn’t particularly like her nose and also wanted to do “something” before it became apparent that she ought to do something. Also, until her employer’s  situation changed, she had been planning to work into her 90s so she thought a younger look would be better for the workplace.

Another friend just had a consultation with an oculoplastic surgeon. Yes, the old eye lift. The genius of that is that there may some insurance coverage if the eyelid is impairing your vision. (Surely insurers are on to exaggerations in that particular game, no? I didn’t think anything got past them. Sure enough, my friend tells me her doc took a whole bunch of pictures to back his claim.)

So, a nose here, an eyelid there, a chin (well, several chins) there. In The Graduate, Mr. McGuire tells Benjamin there’s a great future in plastics. I would amend that just a bit. And I guess we’ll see if at some point Carrie agrees.

MLB friends, we’ll see you on the other side of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Day on Monday.

Carrie Bradshaw back at her computer at her old window, in And Just Like That. / Photo by Craig Blankenhorn/HBO Max.

7 thoughts on “Here’s Lookin’ at You, Ol’ Girl

  1. Nancy G says:

    So far, I’m doing OK with strategic fillers. But I think an eye lift is in my not- so-far future. Always promised myself if I could afford it, and it makes me feel better about myself, I’m doing it. Though my mom had a full facelift at 50 (her mother’s birthday gift to her) and the aftermath and recovery were really frightening, I think (hope) techniques are much better now.

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Also thinking about the eye thing and hoping insurance will pay.

  2. stephanie cavanaugh says:

    Thought you needed a full lift to dispose of chins. Ah, life without the chin!

  3. Nancy McKeon says:

    Whoops! Now it’s a “depression treatment device.”

  4. Nancy McKeon says:

    Online ads seem to be a moveable feast. Right now I see an ad for Keto foods. An hour from now, who knows?

  5. Judith Weinraub says:

    Can you see the ad that accompanies your post? Yikes!

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      I don’t see the ad that accompanies Nancy’s post. At least I don’t see anything offensive.

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