Does Anti-Aging Work Or Are We All Being Duped?

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Winston Churchill was adamant about never giving up, but on days when I see more gray hairs than black on my head and Cruella Deville in the mirror staring back at me, I am tempted to say the hell with it. Why fight the war against aging with all the effort it entails to dye the hair, eat right, skin care, blah, blah, blah? I mean, think about it. If celebs who have access to the best plastic surgeons in the world can’t pull off looking younger without simultaneously looking like escapees from Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory, what chance have the rest of us got? Maybe it makes more sense to break out the tequila and nachos and live it up while we still can. Que sera sera. Whatever will be, will be.

I have friends who do have chosen the path of least resistance. Let the (nacho) chips fall where they may and who sneer at doing anything anti-aging. They are amazingly indifferent to the miraculous possibilities of kale, kettlebells, bee venom facials, thigh masters, chia seeds, donkey kicks, coffee enemas, night creams, day creams, afternoon creams, fish oil and colon hydrotherapy (to name a few.) In case you are out of the loop, colon hydrotherapy is a flushing of the colon to “evacuate”...er, certain toxins. I am counting on it to eliminate the emotional problems I am having which are apparently physiologically rooted in my intestines. Who knew?

I also have sensible friends who do everything preventive and anti-aging imaginable, including running/swimming/biking 100 hour marathons while subsisting only on celery smoothies and undergoing cosmetic treatments that resurface, rejuvenate, remove, restore and re-equip. Any body part that even considers drooping or dangling is flattened, lifted, peeled, smoothed, tucked, exfoliated and suctioned. They subsist only on organic produce carried by organic mule from the fertile farmlands of the Nile River Valley. The last I saw them, they were fresh from the spa, having undergone dual platza treatments. If you aren’t in the know, the treatment involves being thrashed while half naked with wet tree branches (that explains the twigs and leaves in their hair) to boost energy and tone the muscles. Oddly enough, they both looked curiously exhausted.

Have we all been been duped into wasting our time (the ultimate irony) and money into trying to beat the crap out of getting older by whatever means possible? My bathroom counters are littered with age-preventing, age-defying, age-reversing, age-altering and my newest and most promising, age-deflecting products. Just imagine, a miracle cream with an SPF 1000 radiating an invisible, impenetrable shield over your face, deflecting any lurking free radicals or UV rays aiming for you.

Whoever the creative genius is who coined the term anti-aging, they have managed to sucker entire generations into believing we stand a chance at slowing down or even killing off Father Time. Well, the dude has been around for a long time and he isn’t going down without a fight.

So, is going to battle against aging worth it? A few ladies I know have given up the fight and quicker than you can say anti, wrinkles, flabby thighs and problematic colons have regained the lead. Hmm...on the plus side, they live in sweats, never go up against a mirror anymore and eat the pasta of the day, every day!

Father Time must be laughing his ass off. Or, it could be he has a financial stake in all this anti-aging, miracle potion snake oil. For him it’s an all around win-win. Regardless, I think I’ll give that age-deflecting cream a shot. It’s guaranteed so I think this one may really work. I can’t give up now!

Elizabeth is a writer and blogger at Midlife Eating Disorder, where she ponders healthy aging, binge eating and life.