No matter the product, if I see the word “anti-wrinkle” or “wrinkle-free skin” on a package in the store, I’m going to buy it. One time, the product turned out to be a shampoo, but I didn’t care; I used it and justified buying it because it unwrinkled my hair.
Over the years, with my continued use of anti-wrinkle skin products for wrinkle-free skin, I thought maybe I could see a difference, but it was ever so small; my eyes still had creases, my forehead deep grooves and my mouth permanent smile lines.
But being a very determined woman, I decided to take matters into my own hands. In the park, on my walks, and on the school playground, I started to observe women who had fewer wrinkles than me. What were they doing that I wasn’t? I needed to know.
And then one day, I was watching the news and saw the First Lady of the United States. She had totally nailed the anti-wrinkle look and I wondered again what was going on.
Did she have a miracle cream and how could I get my hands on it?
Did Mrs. Trump know something I didn’t about having wrinkle-free skin?
That night, after a bottle of my favorite wine and a good laugh with my girlfriends, I studied my face before going to bed. There it was in clear view—how had I missed it? I had wrinkles because I smile too much! Actually, when I laugh, I laugh hard, a real belly laugh.
I looked at the First Lady’s stoic expression in a photo I found online. That was it! If I stopped smiling, I would have skin as smooth as a baby’s bottom. It was so easy, so worth it, AND so cheap. Actually, no cost at all. My husband would be thrilled!
I thought carefully about my strategy to create a life without smiles or laughter.
I had to be careful not to turn my smile into a frown, that would also cause wrinkles. Really, a neutral emotionless face was the goal. Some might even call it “resting bitch face”.
I knew I would have non-supportive friends and family; my eight-year-old would especially take issue with it. Can you imagine his next birthday party with me the stone-faced host?
I told myself I would have to keep my distance from these non-supporters. They wouldn’t understand the sacrifice I had to make.
I applied clear Scotch tape around my mouth during times I knew I would really be tempted to smile, such as at dinner parties; it worked, though due to my sweating face I had to retreat to the washroom often to reapply it. I went to bed early every night and avoided any tickling or joking around with my kids or husband. I avoided all music. I ate neutral foods like salad and spent long, valuable periods of time in front of the mirror perfecting my expression. I did not dare watch anything on TV, YouTube or read The Syndrome Mag.
After a month of sacrifice and dedication to the cause, I examined myself in detail, in the mirror, and there it was, plain as day: I had wrinkle-free skin.
I know my journey is not for everyone, but I can’t help but feel like there are other women out there like me and the First Lady who have successfully mastered wrinkle-free living, one expressionless day at a time.