Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Skin in the Game

            We humans spend far too much time thinking about our skin.  Yes, it’s our largest organ, and yes, we see it every time we look into the mirror, but--- okay, it’s hard not to see new wrinkles and spots, hard not to shell out money for products which promise to reverse the very laws of gravity. 
            Most of us fall victim to the incredible promises of a customer-- or better yet, a celebrity-- who tells us this is finally the fountain of youth. Nevermind using sunscreen and drinking water, two proven ways to maintain youthful skin.  We want miracles.


       I was in the drugstore last week, and asked for a new skin illuminator I’d read about in a magazine.  The model in the ad certainly looked luminescent.  Or the photo shopping did.  Either way, I wanted to try it.
            “Oh, yes, right this way,” the clerk said, leading me to the cosmetics section.  “Skin eliminator?”
            Yes, that’s right.  Because we all want to eliminate our skin, right?  “No; illuminator,” I said.
            She stopped in her tracks.  “Oh, no.  We don’t have that.”
            I thanked her for her time and headed to my car.  Then I thought, You mean, they did have a skin eliminator?  I should have let her keep going so I could see this amazing product. 

            One time my daughter and I were at a beach resort, and needed to buy something at a local mall.  I had foolishly forgotten to reapply my sunscreen and was a blistering red.  

            As we headed down the mall, a couple of guys at one of those little kiosks said, “Would you like to try a skin moisturizer?”
            I told him no, thank you, but you know how these guys are.  They’ve got me in a conversation, now.  (The kids keep telling me not to answer, just to keep walking, but that seems rude, so I fall into the trap every time.)
            “Don’t you care about your skin?” he almost shouted after me.  I sighed, my face almost throbbing from the sunburn. 
Nicole turned to me. “You should have said, ‘Look at me.  Does it look like I care about my skin?’”  Excellent point.
The trick is to be smart, and keep from doing things that damage your skin in the first place.  You can spend years dodging the sun, exfoliating, fighting free radicals and eating right, but if you spend a day getting a bad sunburn, it’s like playing CandyLand.  Remember that game?  Suddenly--whoosh!—you’re back at Square One.

Incidentally, the rules of that game seem terribly unforgiving for young children, don’t you think?  Maybe you could make it an educational thing, and tell them this game is about skin care.  Symbolically. 
The real solution, of course, is to embrace our wrinkles and realize we’ve earned every one of them.  It’s a point I make in my play, “Does This Show Make My Butt Look Fat?” which exposes vanity for the senseless thing it is.  And think of the money we’ll save!
Don’t forget to check out my short YouTube Mom videos.  Just go to Bit.ly/15wMi8V  and share them with your friends!

No comments:

Post a Comment