It was in Medellin, Colombia that my dear friend, Beatriz Pizano, amidst women at least a decade younger than her told us “Once you hit 40, you simply stop caring about the way you look.” She said it with her usual confident air as she downed the rest of her aguardiente. It was like she was saying “Go on. Take your youth, bitches. I’m too busy being looked at with adoration to bother looking in the mirror to check my own cleavage.”
At the age of 33, my Jesus year, I am looking forward to this abandonment of vanity and the willingness to embrace the curves, the dents and the lines. I admit to feeling the pull already towards nonchalance about my own decay.
I wasn’t always this accepting of my own body. Here are some humorous moments in the gallery of bodily disaster:
*I admit that I, along with a very small percentage of very stupid people in North America and possibly the world, bought Dr. Ho’s Ab Trimmer. I am not sure what it was about this pithy man in his tank top that swayed me. This, my friends, was not an Ab Trimmer. This was simply self punishment. The idea was, if I really, truly wanted to have the skinny body needed to continue my career as an actor, I would have to increase my workout time throughout the week. But since I was working as a temp during the day and exercising both morning and night, I needed to somehow...I dunno...workout...while working? Yeah. So I bought Dr. Ho’s torture belt, strapped it on, and thought I would be just like those people in his commercials who were mowing lawns, birthing babies and tap dancing – all while trimming their Molson Muscle. Not so. Instead, I would attempt to answer incoming calls at the office while suffering electric shocks to my abdomen. The phone calls often sounded like this:
“Good Morning (ZZZZZ!) How may I (ZZZZZ!) direct your (ZZZZZ!) call? (ZZZZZ!) No, no. Nothing is (ZZZZZ!) wrong sir (ZZZZZ!) Please (ZZZZZ!) let me (ZZZZZ!) put you on (ZZZZZ!) hold (ZZZZZ!) so that I don’t (ZZZZZ!) vomit onto my own lap.”
*I admit that just two summers ago I did the Master Cleanse. Now, just to be clear, I did not do it for weight loss. I did it hoping to find some clarity during an emotionally stupid time. In brief the idea is to not eat anything but two large bottles of water, maple syrup, cayenne pepper and lemon juice for ten excruciatingly awful days. This was no walk in the park for this granddaughter of a pig farmer. By day eight, I was standing amongst about 2000 Filipinos for the Filipinos Making Waves festival before performing with Santa Guerilla. I saw a family of four happily eating some Filipino BBQ and it was like triple X porn. It was grade A sexy. I watched lecherously as this innocent family tore apart charbroiled pieces of pork fat, licked their fingers, then downed it with Coca-Cola. Yes. Yes. I love cola and Filipino BBQ. Fuck. Yes. I went home that night feeling like that one bald dude in the group sex scene in any porn. You know the one. He’s the guy who doesn’t get any action because he’s supposed to be just “watching.” The only thing I ended up gaining after this venture were my boobs. Thank god. I thought I lost them during those ten days. I almost threw a party for them, they were so lovely.
Nowadays, I love snow pants. I enjoy wearing my pajamas underneath said snow pants without my neighbours knowing each time I walk the dogs. I wear scrubs at work, which means, my only fashion choice each day is which undies won’t show through my white pants. I enjoy laughing as Hollywood walks the red carpet to show off their plunging neck lines, while wearing said pajamas.
This doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy high heel time every now and then. I do love purchasing new lip gloss and I do over accessorize on occasion. But now, I do it with a chill and confidence I never had in my 20s. Can’t wait until after 40.