I recently stopped smiling in photos. If I do smile, I make sure that there’s soft lighting, I’ve turned my face to “my good side,” and I use a filter before I post online, because why take a photo unless you post it, right?
It’s not that I have no reason to smile—this is the happiest I’ve felt in a long time. The problem is that when I do, fine lines spring up around my eyes that shout: I am tired! I am old!
Even if I’ve slept a full eight hours, the lines show up anyway. And I think they’re here to stay. Blame sun damage, dehydration, or poor moisturizing—whatever the reason, I don’t think any special serum or self-care routine will make them go away no matter how confident their claims. I’m not sure that’s the answer, anyway.
But I’m not going to lie. I looked up Botox and other fillers, only these “solutions” are expensive and temporary. Plus, something makes me nervous about having a needle that close to my eyes.
Do I really want to start investing money and subjecting myself to pain and bruising for momentary vanity? What do I hope a young, line-free face will do for me?
To satisfy this curiosity, I went digging through old photos in my iPhoto library. I thought about putting together a time-lapse video to trace when and how the lines etched their way into my face over time. There were photos from my study abroad trip to Italy in college, and from the time I lived in Maui not long after.
There I was in my New York City apartment and living out my Hemingway fantasy in Paris. As I looked through the photos of my young face, growing nostalgic from the memories, I noticed something surprising.