Based on current celebrity beauty standards, the goals are clear: you need to look like you’re in your twenties until you’re thirty-five, then look thirty-five until you’re dead. Also, regardless of age or retirement eligibility, all women should have supple, lineless skin with no evidence of sunspots, muscle movement, or laughter. The only indication that you’ve been on Earth long enough to outlive a household pet should be the look in your eyes, which peer wearily out of your flawless, youthful face like a haunted doll.
To get specific about various body parts: boobs, obviously, should be perpetually high and firm, lips full and plump, and your hair long and flowing with the aid of extensions, even as you enter an assisted living facility, where it will invariably get tangled with your breathing equipment and other life-prolonging devices, which would be annoying if you were not so successfully clutching to the hallmarks of youth with steadfast determination.
But be careful how you cling. Hands and necks are a dead giveaway that you might have vivid memories of the New Kids on the Block, or worse, Studio 54, so you need to do whatever you can to take care of that whole situation. Hand transplants, neck power blasting, the surgical attachment of permanent, elbow-length gloves—don’t be afraid to get drastic. Just go to your local med spa or plastic surgeon, and say, “Help, the passage of time is evident on my body!”
It’s also important to be mindful of changing beauty trends, so you don’t inadvertently age yourself by trying to look young in the old way. For example, right now, filler-plumped, sexy balloon faces are out; gaunt, ageless vampire faces are in. So while just a few years ago, you may have paid some doctor to inject a bunch of goop into your cheeks until you looked like a beautiful, hairless chipmunk, you now need to have that goop sucked out of your cheeks ASAP, so you can look like, well, I guess, whatever the reverse of a chipmunk is. A gazelle? An anteater?
Anyway, it’s important to note that even if you follow this advice and update your body as often as you update your phone’s operating system, the thing about aging as a woman—just like all things related to being a woman—is that there are many, many ways to do it wrong. In fact, you’ve probably aged incorrectly already. Did you not get preventative Botox in elementary school? Did you get so much Botox you were once mistaken for dead? Has your appearance entered the uncanny valley? Are you not uncanny valley enough, to the point you’re walking around, for everyone to see, looking like a human woman who has maybe birthed children, frowned at some point, or been in the sun at least once? Did you furrow your brow while reading any of these questions? Uh-oh, another burgeoning flaw to fix.
If this all seems exhausting and impossible, rest assured: it is. You’re not imagining it. But take solace in the fact that, one day, things will be easier. Eventually, society will progress and finally ditch unrealistic expectations for women’s looks, or, alternatively, some tech-bro startup will figure out the science required to turn women into walking, occasionally talking, 3-D photo filters.
I hope being a filter isn’t too expensive. I’ve already spent a ton of money on hand transplants.