I have always been fascinated by the changing human face over the course of a person's lifetime. Here in Canada, we have the Queen's face on our $20 bill, and some of the earlier notes that are still in circulation look so different from the recent ones. I think the Queen's face has aged remarkably well. She has lived a healthy, active life. One of her hobbies is going for long hikes with her dogs. She has also been in a long-term relationship, and she is close to her children and grandchildren. All of these things are positive, affirmative life events. Sometimes, though, people lead difficult lives, and their life events show on their faces -- much like in the "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde. In the story, an artist named Basil Hallward paints a picture of Dorian Gray while Dorian is still young and full of youthful beauty. Dorian loved the picture so much, he sold his soul in order to stay young and beautiful, and the picture would age instead.
I used to love drawing portraits of the human face, and I particularly enjoyed drawing portraits of people in their later years, whose faces were filled with wonderful expressive lines that reflected their life experiences. I am currently hooked on a reality television program called "The Real Housewives of Orange County", and the women all look like Barbie dolls. They're all very nice women and still attractive, but in a very artificial way. My favorite is Jeanna Keough, a former Playboy model who has gotten (*gasp*) chubby. She is the least artificial-looking one in the group, and probably the most real in her persona as well.
At each stage of life, the human face has its own beauty. Youth is not necessarily the most beautiful stage, except in the conventional sense. Anyone who attempts to recapture youth really doesn't look younger, they just look strange. Who knows what Cher might have looked like if she had let herself age gracefully. She was attractive as a young woman, but in my opinion she has managed to make herself look like Ozzy Osborne -- with trout lips.
The Queen will be 83 years old on April 21st. As you can see from the first picture to the last picture, her face has changed with each stage of her life, but at 83 years old, it is still possible to be beautiful. And besides, the most effective facelift is a smile...