I recently attended a lovely luncheon conducted at the home of a most gracious host for her Sao Paulo high society friends. The guests consisted of 20 women, most of which were sliding down the tail end of a century.
I mean no disrespect with what I will describe next. All the women were quite accommodating of their younger (there are very few situations of which I get to describe myself in this way these days), barely-speaking-Portuguese aquaintance. I felt privileged to be in this exclusive crowd, it was not an invite I could have secured in Manhattan. However, when I sat down with my plate and looked around the room, I was taken aback.
Five of the women had pretty much the same face. And they were not related (other than, perhaps, by surgeon). Eleven of the woman had features that were similar to each other – a nose, eyes, a chin. Only four women attended with their own faces (or, perhaps, they just had extremely good surgeons). Two of the women at the party I was sure I had seen before. Turns out I had, only on other people.
It was a little unsettling. Did no one else notice this phenomenon? It appeared almost competitive in nature, as most had indications of multiple surgeries over time. An unspoken pageant of who got “best nose” or “tightest eyes.”
I spent most of the lunch wondering what these women might have looked like leaving well enough alone. Most of them would probably have aged quite gracefully and lovely, the ones that didn’t appear to have surgery certainly were.