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Lynette Fay: 'Ageing well' never gets old

The Friends Reunion got me thinking about 'ageing well'. Social media decided that the stars who had aged naturally and had a few wrinkles looked rough, while those who have had a nip and a tuck here and there looked plastic...

Friends tapped into the zeitgeist 20 years ago
Lynette Fay

I FOUND myself getting quite emotional when watching the Friends Reunion a couple of weeks ago.

The show tapped into the zeitgeist of the '90s in every way.

The daily trials and tribulations of a group of twentysomething friends living the single life, trying to earn a living, trying to find love had my generation captivated week after week.

Hundreds of episodes of the show were made. I have seen them all at least twice.

When I eventually drowned out the over-zealous James Corden who presented this long-awaited television event, I enjoyed the reunion.

Nostaglia kicked in and I was in my late teens, early twenties again. I had completely bought into a lot of the hype of this series - the love of New York, the huge coffee cups, wanting Rachel's hair, Rachel's wardrobe, basically just wanting to be Rachel.

The Reunion sparked much commentary on social media.

One of the many pictures in which the Matt LeBlanc meme has appeared

Two very different conversations caught my attention - the fabulous Mattie Bán memes which took over Irish Twitter for a few days, and the commentary around how the actors look now that they are all in their 50s.

Social media couldn't decide. Those who had aged naturally and had a few wrinkles looked rough, while those who have had a nip and a tuck here and there looked plastic.

These comments got me thinking about 'ageing well'. It's the ultimate compliment for some people.

To be honest, I don't know what 'ageing well' is any more, especially as I get older. More and more lines appear on my face each day, and make me think of the brilliant Janis Ian song I'm Still Standing Here which tells the story of a woman owning and accepting her ageing face because every line tells a story. Do we all accept the lines?

Some people just have great genes. Others have the subtle aesthetic procedures and never admit to them, some have procedures and don't care who knows about it, but I think that most just get on with it.

That is probably why Matt LeBlanc found himself being compared to everyone's favourite Irish uncle and loved by generations, because he had a normal look about him, even though he has had an extraordinary life.

Matt LeBlanc's relaxed attitude to Hollywood cosmetic treatments was clear to see in the Friends Reunion, leading him to trend on Twitter as an 'Irish uncle'

While getting older in the limelight can't be easy, and the pressure to look a certain way is real, cosmetic enhancements and aesthetic treatments are not solely the preserve of the rich and famous.

The demand for these procedures is through the roof. I wonder if it's only a matter of time before those who don't have any cosmetic enhancements on their face or body will be in the minority.

Someone I know has recently started to get Botox, fillers and Profilho - she loves it, looks forward to her procedures, and she owns her decision.

She looks fantastic, and feels even better about herself. You can't argue with that.

I have noticed many more pronounced pouts in the last couple of months.

Personally, I don't get that particular procedure, but each to their own. I do wonder about maintaining these looks, I imagine it would take serious effort.

I will never say never but I remember someone looking at my forehead around five years ago and telling me that I was too far gone for Botox to do me any good. He might have had a point. Perhaps the ship has sailed.

I have noticed many more pronounced pouts in the last couple of months. Personally, I don't get that particular procedure, but each to their own. I do wonder about maintaining these looks, I imagine it would take serious effort 

Thankfully, my internal enhancement debate with myself was paused this week, when I started to watch Mare of Easttown. I am late to this latest pandemic must-see drama series.

It is excellent, and Kate Winslet is exceptionally good. I love her character who is a small town detective who makes her fair share of mistakes - and she looks what I can only describe as 'normal'.

Winslet is an executive producer on the series, and it has been widely reported that she insisted that her body is not altered in any way during scenes of intimacy. The result is that you see a middle aged woman with a bit of a belly - because, shock horror, we all have them.

While some will argue that Kate probably insisted on particular lighting for her scenes, and that she has had a privileged life so she will have 'aged well', I found it really refreshing to see a woman who is the same age as me, with a few wrinkles, looking her age, and looking well for it. Isn't that what we are supposed to look like as we get older?

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