I’m so mad at the Times right now for ruining my Thursday guilty pleasure (their weird late-week styles section) with Is Looking Your Age the New Taboo? I mean, I guess they had to present both sides, but the pro-surgery/botulism quotes were so idiotic that I want to hunt down these women and bitch-slap some sense into them. For example:

But now that Ms. Burke has turned 50, she is feeling pressure to do something about the changes she sees in the mirror. Wrinkles have started to appear. Grocery store clerks have started calling her “ma’am.”

The woman is FIFTY. It’s okay to have a few lines and for people to stop calling you “miss” once you pass the half-century mark. And this:

“It makes people ask themselves whether age is a matter to be treated like white teeth or a manicure,” said Nancy Etcoff, a clinical instructor in psychology at Harvard Medical School who has studied human perceptions of attractiveness. “For some people, the pressure to keep back a few years of time has turned upkeep into a third career, after work and family.”

Sure, I like to look nice and find that my grooming routine has become more involved over the years (from zero to maybe 10-15 minutes). But the money and time that most women sink into it is really sick. And they rationalize it by saying “society” makes them do it–they don’t want to carve and inject themselves into death masks of their 25-year-old selves, but their hands are tied. So what do they do? They cave and perpetuate the very standards and industries they claim to find so oppressive. I was also really offended by the fact that the Times illustrated the gruesome specter of aging with a photo of an extremely beautiful silver-haired woman with little labels all over her face stating which procedures were needed to make her look younger. As if that would accomplish anything other than to make people whisper “Wow, she’s had a lot of work done.” I swear, all this anger is going to give me wrinkles and gray hair.