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Be Heard / feature posts / Senior Living

Every Wrinkle Has Its Story! What’s Yours?

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Every Wrinkle Has Its Story!  What’s Yours?

“Every wrinkle has its story,” Dr. Jo-Anne Lema, founder of After Fifty Living, pointed to one on her forehead. “This one belongs to the time my kid ran into the street with two cars coming in opposite directions.”

We all have wrinkles. Wrinkles have a lot of different names like worry lines, laugh lines, frown lines, and crow’s feet. Fighting wrinkles is an old human story. Romans and Greeks mixed crocodile dung with mud to spread on the skin. Victorian women used mercury to look young. Today? J.Lo loves placenta facials, Demi Moore talks about leeches, and many rave about the benefits of vampire facials. Snail mucus, bird poop, and lamb placenta are also popular. There are even chocolate mask facials.

I wonder what stories their wrinkles tell.

I know a man who has a special set of wrinkles for when a pipe burst and his house flooded.

I have a very long and deep wrinkle from when the former guy won the 2016 election.

A Los Angeles woman has a set of wrinkles from the 1994 earthquake.

Why do we try so hard to cover up our wrinkles with creams, lotions, and miracles? Why can’t we be proud of our wrinkles and the stories attached to them?

Wrinkles are usually caused by several things – aging skin, habitual facial (small) muscle contractions like frowning and smiling, sun damage, and smoking. Environmental exposure like dehydration, toxins, and pollutants help the process.

How many of us worried about wrinkles when we were kids laying on the beach, absorbing rays for a sexy suntan or smoking because it looked cool?

There are dozens of different wrinkle creams, treatments, lasers, surgery, and

botox . . . the list is very long. Let’s look at it from another view.

Maybe we should be proud of our wrinkles!

Consider Diane Keaton’s comment in Lauren Zupkus HuffPost article, Diane Keaton Wears Her Wrinkles Or ‘Battle Scars,’ With Pride. “I don’t see anything wrong with face-lifts or Botox or fillers,” Keaton said. “They just erase the hidden battle scars. I intend to wear mine . . .”

Baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, are fighting it. There are 76 million of us and we don’t have to follow the rules. Think of some celebrities that fall in the 76 million – Steven Spielberg, Billy Joel, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Madonna, and Oprah Winfrey . . . it’s quite a list. They go on, past the wrinkles and stories, like so many of us who refuse to be invisible in our golden years.

After all, what’s so great about youth? They might have better bodies but not necessarily more fun. They’re plagued by things like body shaming, face book assaults, and social insecurities. Too often, they just don’t get the world. Yet western culture has made youth into a fetish and aging a shameful experience. Look around. “Old man” isn’t a bad word in Greek. In Native American Indian tribes elders are respected and consulted for their wisdom and life experience. In Korea and China, respect for elders is one of the highest virtues.

What gives here in America?

Perhaps the best story that wrinkles say is that we made it. We learned about life, families, politics, friends, and everything else that has touched us in the last fifty years (or more). We still have a lot to say – especially to young people struggling to make it through the swamp of today’s angry world.

Like Manya Nogg’s book: Age is Just a Number and Mine is Unlisted.

Every wrinkle has a story.

Share yours right here.

Dr. Jeri Fink, author, photographer, traveler, and family therapist, challenges the creaky myths of aging. She believes that now is a creative, exciting time to grow and explore new ideas, people, and places. Visit Dr. Jeri at,,   or to enter her world of discovery, fun, and insights. Her fiction project, Broken, is a series of seven thrillers that defy tradition. She is presently working on Book Web Minis – a series of fun, fast and positive mini books (50-70 pages long) where readers partner with the experts. Check it out at

She tells us: “I challenge the art of writing by merging fact, fictional elements, interactivity, and photography into nonfiction mini books. I draw from my training in social work, experience in individual and family therapy, professional research, and passion for exploring positive psychology. My 32 published books, hundreds of articles and blogs, speaking engagements, and active online presence all reflect who I am today.”

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