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Shakespeare and Botox

Nov 24, 2011 • 5 comments • 1451 views

I saw Anonymous at the movies this week. I was enthralled by the glimpse into a specific time and place in history so different from my own particular time and place. And I was inspired by the beauty and quantity of "Shakespeare's" work (attributed to the Earl of Oxford, in the film).


It kind of makes sense that an educated man of the court penned the brilliant works of Shakespeare, although I was a little disappointed they are likely not the workmanship of the underclass observing aristocracy, (me being Australian, with our underdog complex and tall poppy syndrome). It also makes my trip to Stratford-upon-Avon and my photo outfront of his birthplace, moot.


Nevertheless, I came out of the movie inspired to write as prolifically as Shakespeare. So I rushed home, straight to the kitchen and made a cup of tea and sat down to read until the urge passed.


This morning I turned again to Shakespeare for inspiration and picked up a leather bound book of his sonnets. I don't mean to dis the king of verse, but I could have been reading Cosmopolitan for all the insecurities it wrought in me when I read,


"When forty winters shall besiege thy brow

And dig deep trenches in thy beauty's field,"


Hang on, this was supposed to inspire me in my abilities, not remind me of the tyranny of age,


"Thy youth's proud livery, so gazed on now,

Will be a tatter'd weed, of small worth held"


Nor was it supposed to re-enforce the idea that physical beauty is a female's depreciating asset!


He goes on to say - and I'm paraphrasing here - tough luck if you don't have a beautiful daughter to bear your image because no one will remember your beauty, or you won't have them to point to as evidence of how beautiful you were in your youth.


Did I mention I have three beautiful daughters... two of whom look like their father and one like their aunt.


Anyways, the whole ode to mid-life-crisis got me thinking: given the opportunity, would forty-year-old women back then be thinking the same thing as forty-year-old women* today?


Would they have pondered with furrowed brow: "To Botox, or not to Botox?" That is the question!




* Disclaimer: This reflection in no way implies that I am forty or close hereto.



image: http://www.medieval-spell.com/Medieval-Fashion.html

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i like your perspective as i too have pondered how the generations ahead will look back in aghast at what price we are paying for vanity. i have studied some on beauty throughout the different periods and all have specific areas of focus. ours i believe is the first to hyper-focus on EVERYTHING. my hopes are that the future generations will embrace natural beauty at it's best, imperfections and all.
12.03.11 •
It's interesting you say about beauty in different periods, as I've been thinking a bit about beauty in different cultures, lately. Women always seem to change something about themselves to qualify as beautiful. I feel another article coming on...
12.04.11 •
Aw, thanks Doug. Glad you liked it.
12.04.11 •
"So I rushed home, straight to the kitchen and made a cup of tea and sat down to read until the urge passed." What a wonderful description of our overwhelming need to self-sabotoge. Well done.
12.06.11 •
Ha! Yes, possibly the one thing I am truly talented at, Judith.
12.06.11 •
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