Don't talk about my age or I'll leave the room
Updated: Jan 30
Do you remember Holly Golightly?
She was the tour de force character brought to life by the unrivaled Audrey Hepburn in the movie, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. That infamous character, Holly, was exactly like my mother. I know… you are thinking- not the ideal mother figure! Just like Holly, my mother was beautiful, vivacious, intelligent, and NEVER caught without her lipstick. It was embarrassing to me, of course, but no one ever called her boring!
Her Achilles Heel was the passage of time. She hated aging and did not do it gracefully. Any remark about her real age or aging in general, resulted in her shouting “If you talk about my age for a minute more, I am leaving the room!”
My mother is a big part of my story and had a huge influence on where I’ve decided to place my passion…I grew up with a mother who was unhealthily obsessed with aging and fought it every step of the way. Her approach was unsettling to me because she was so beautiful and youthful-looking back I didn’t understand how or why she let aging consume her the way it did.
“When I am a bit older, I’m getting this all done!” she would say while pulling her skin taught away from her face. But after accompanying her friend to a face lift, she became squeamish at the intensity of it all; in fact, she swore it off.
As I grew older, had kids, got a job, I didn’t have time for lots of regimes and products anymore. You realize when you near 50 that there is a lot of BS out there in the world of beauty and a lot of wasteful packaging. I was so over it. So, I started experimenting with natural products. My first encounter with natural oils came when I wanted to get pregnant at 47. A friend recommended I try an Ayurvedic self-massage called Abhyanga with sesame oil. I massaged myself from head to toe religiously every day and my skin glowed. I felt great, and I got pregnant two months later. I loved the feel of the oils on my skin. I also worked the hormones for all I could during those 9 months to relish this last visit with the pregnancy glow-little would I know that the hot flash glow was soon to follow.
One day I ran into a friend whose face was luminous- pregnant? No, Marula oil! I ran immediately to the store and got some and started mixing it with other oils that I liked, and thus began my desire to find the perfect combination of oils for the skin. I researched what Cleopatra used on her skin-Cypress oil, what the Geisha’s put on their skin- Camellia seed oil- and added them all to a little vial that I slathered on everyday. Soon I was the one people were asking what I was using on my skin.
As I was in the middle of all this concocting I visited my mother one morning and she looked over and said to me, “I can’t believe I am going to turn 80 this summer.” I had to do a double take.
“What did you just say?” I said as if someone had replaced her with an imposter.
I think she realized that if she kept fooling everyone how old she was, no one was going to have pity on her and help her as the old woman she really had become. And she was right. I kept ignoring her limping or frailty because in my mind she looked 20 years younger. I thought to myself, are you really turning 80 and are your really now, after all these years, going to talk about your age? It was like the little boy who had cried wolf, when she finally saw how old she was she wanted to cry out, “I’m 80!” but no one knew what to believe anymore.
So, it comes to no surprise then, in looking back on all this and writing about it, that I would develop an all-natural, plant-based product whose sole goal it was to eschew the industry standards on aging. I know it’s the bane of all women’s existence to age, but who decided that? Why can’t we look at it differently and say hey, that new wrinkle looks cool, or wow, your grey hair is beautiful.
So, when I gave one of my facial serum concoctions to my wonderful business partner Susan and asked her to give it a good name and look, she sent me an image of a bottle that said simply: F*CK FIFTY.
“Too much?” she asked,
“No way,” I responded.
So is it possible to shift the paradigm and look at growing older with a new perspective? And if we succeed won’t we feel so much better about how we age? This truly is the brand mission of F Fifty Beauty: to help women accept and embrace their age and feel good about it. Because frankly it comes down to this: if you feel beautiful, you will look beautiful. Add a little F *CK FIFTY Botanical Face Serum to the mix and you will radiate beauty! We want women, and perhaps that younger version of my mother, to be able to say F*CK aging: this is me and I’m gorgeous.