Not a Good Look?


I wear trendy fashion, cool sneakers, fun accessories, a nose ring, lie about my age and still get mistaken for sixty-something. I’m not even sixty! So I booked an appointment with the beauty doc and flashed my privates. Guess what?!! he offered Botox at reduced rates!! So far no one has commented on how young I look so it probably hasn’t kicked in yet but next time I’m getting extra strength filler and for sure fixing my eye bags. The other day a friend said my teeth looked yellow and I should quit smoking. What next? alcohol? drugs? adultery? No way. But it got me thinking about dental bleaching. Do you know a dentist who’d be interested in the same deal as the beauty doc? – Longine Thut

Dear Longine,

Are you a model, an actor, an influencer, a politician, or even a minor local celebrity? No? Listen, that cut-rate Botulinum toxin won’t reverse the aging process nor will it cure a lack of self-esteem. If immobilizing parts of your face makes you feel even a tiny bit better about yourself, sure, go ahead, exploit the lechery of your “beauty doc.” Just don’t overestimate the benefits. You’d be far more attractive if you acquired a skill of some kind, read a decent book, or watched a good movie instead of those self-help videos preaching lowbrow, pop psychology. It’s mystifying why the podcast gurus you follow advocate “loving yourself” but offer no practical advice on being kind to others, let alone instructions on how to exude grace and confidence through good posture, or how to prevent skin damage by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen. I do recommend dental bleaching for your discolored teeth, but please be aware that it’s not a cure for receding gums. Good luck in finding a dentist who wants to see your hoo-ha.



Congratulate me! I’m getting hitched again! The best decision I ever made was to stop chasing married men and go after the divorced ones. They’re way hungrier for attention! Unfortunately, my hubby-to-be is an employee and not the billionaire boss I was aiming for, but he’s got some savings hidden away from his ex and their brat. And I get to spend it all! On my special day, I want to look young, cool, new, fresh, different from the other times I got married. Do you have any good styling tips for me? – Bridey

Congratulations, Bridey,

Your excitement at finding that special someone is understandable, but maybe don’t share his financial information with everyone? Okay, let’s talk bridal fashion. As a mature bride, think patterns, prints, layers, accessories, all kinds of detail. Concerned about your neck? Wear big-ass dangly earrings AND a whacky fascinator AND a knotted neck scarf AND pop your jacket collar! Pluck those chin hairs, over-line those lips, apply plenty of makeup, and try not to show your teeth and gum line when smiling. For the wedding dress, forget virginal white (obviously) and find something in a forgiving color like navy blue or black and go for an elaborate print, the busier the better, to camouflage those vexing problem zones. Make sure the skirt covers your knees, those treacherous betrayers of age! Actually, expose as little leg as possible—dark, patterned tights are a good choice to disguise cankles, and pointy heels with an overabundance of straps and giant studs will create a further diversion. Just make sure the shoes are at least one size too small—the pain and discomfort will be worth it if your feet appear no larger than the groom’s. On the big day, remember that your geriatric fashion missteps will be viewed with tolerance as long as you’re not wearing denim in any wash, shape, or form. Good luck! Here’s hoping this coupling lasts longer than the previous ones!


the steady electrical hum
of the house I know by heart.
Whatever blackness comes up the stairs tonight
is coming for me.

From “Divorce” by Roberta Bienvenu

Genia Blum is a Swiss Ukrainian Canadian writer, translator, and dancer. Her work has been anthologized, published widely in literary journals, and received Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominations. “Slaves of Dance,” based on excerpts from her memoir in progress, was named a “Notable Essay” in The Best American Essays 2019. Find @geniablum on Twitter and Instagram or visit her website: geniablum.com

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