Sunday, September 12, 2010

The very existence of this product makes me sad.

Whenever something moves to me to words and eventually to a post here, I think it’s fair to say that often – although not always - there is some aspect of it that’s confusing, troubling, or otherwise inexplicable. This is how I felt the other day as two colleagues and I walked across 42nd street in New York, on our way to a meeting on Third Avenue.

On a big screen, an episode of The Doctors was playing, and one of the women walking with me heard something like “breast wrinkles” or some such nonsense and we all shook our heads over it. Wasn’t it enough that I worried about my eye lines and cheek lines and neck lines? I was doing my best to stop time and create smooth, line-free, pore-free, glowing skin, at least where I thought the world would take notice. Now I had to think about breast wrinkles, where, on a good day, exactly one other person on the planet would notice?

Turns out, I should be worried. According to the experts on The Doctors, if your breasts measure a C cup or larger, you create wrinkles in your décolletage every night while to have the nerve to sleep. Your breasts may rest against each other as you lay asleep, and as a result of that careless, madcap behavior, you’ll wake up with wrinkly breasts.

But no more. You can purchase something called a Kush and solve your problem. A Kush looks something like a short free weight, although undoubtedly softer and not nearly as heavy. You place it between your breasts – although how it remains there throughout the night was never quite explained – and it will ‘lift and separate’ if you will, thereby preventing breast creases or wrinkles or whatever they’re called from taking hold.

In addition to the Kush, the show featured another device that looked somewhat more severe, almost like a bra with a vertical cushion down the middle, but without cups, that just holds you apart for the night.

The most interesting part of this whole presentation for me was the model who laid in “bed” on stage and demonstrated the features and benefits of the Kush. She looked about 26 years old. Let me just say that if she’s worried about breast wrinkles, I’m worried about fitting into my skinny jeans for the big night I have planned at the Bellagio next weekend, two circumstances that are equally plausible.

Now, I’ll go on the record here and tell you that I’ve never had to consider surgery to reduce the size of my breasts. I’ve never endured back pain because of large breasts. This isn't about that, which is a legitimate health concern for some women. However, I am a woman of a certain age and like Nora Ephron, I feel bad about my neck, as well as other parts of my body. But honest to God in heaven, I never thought about nor worried about the possibility of wrinkled breasts. I never wondered if I should sleep with a device that would help reduce the possibility and appearance of wrinkles on my breast tissue.

And as long as I’m ranting about this, I’ll go you one better. You’re a woman of a certain age, doing your best to stay youthful-looking in a society that values and celebrates young beauty. You want to at least feel like you’re in the game, right? Everyone wants to be told she looks a decade younger than she is and youthful, fresh, smooth skin is one of the keys to getting that compliment. But if taking care of myself, staying healthy, staying strong and trying to stay smooth in the process now includes worrying about breast wrinkles, and separating them every night while I sleep at night, I’m out.

And, by the way, keeping them smooth for whom, may I ask? For you? Doubtful but possible, I suppose. For the Mister? Sad. For who then? Exactly. For society that makes us think we we're all supposed to look - and dress - like we're twenty. Or nineteen.

I guess I feel about this whole idea kind of like I do about my stretch marks, God love ‘em. They are the daily reminder – some days more than others – about the babies I carried and nurtured. Don’t get me wrong: They’re not gorgeous. They’re just me, and they represent a few months of my life that resulted in three of the best parts of my life. And honestly? I don't regret one inch of them. Not one.

So – if in fact it turns out I have to live with wrinkled décolletage as I enter my dotage because I never used a Kush every night, so be it. Just another sign of decades of womanhood – some great and some not so great – but all lived in the real world.

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