Suffolk Humanists

For a good life, without religion


Posted by Margaret on Monday, May 10, 2004

That splendid actress Anna Massey was interviewed for one of the broadsheets last week about her role as Aunt Jemima Stanbury in Trollopes He Knew He Was Right, which finished on the BBC TV last night.

I love that name Jemima though I can only think of one other, and thats Jemima Puddleduck in the Beatrix Potter stories. Anyway, I digress

Ms Massey was asked about her characters disdain for artifice, such as the girls in the story who wear hair pieces, and she responded by saying, I dont like artifice either. She spoke of people who have botox injections to smooth out facial wrinkles, To me, the most interesting thing about a persons face is the journey it expresses. Ms Massey has a wonderful face, pert and bright-eyed and full of character. Perhaps because my own physiognomy betrays my age and experience, I tend to regard older faces as far more interesting than the bland prettiness of young girls or the smooth good looks of young men, but then Im no longer a pretty young girl on the lookout for good-looking young men O, I dont know though


The thing is about botox, Ive heard, is that it smoothes out your wrinkles, and also your ability to express emotion. We used to call my headmistress at school Old Concrete Face, in that nasty way that horrible schoolgirls did. That was mainly because she always maintained a severe expression, as though she was incapable of smiling. There are smiles and smiles, of course. The one displayed by that stupid America servicewoman abusing Iraqi prisoners (the one whose photo is in all the papers) is the sort youd like to see wiped off.

The thing about faces is that theyre all so different. Apart from identical twins (and even they have subtle differences), every single one of the sixty-four thousand million plus faces on the planet is unique. Whether or not you can understand each others language, or whether or not you even speak to one another, each face displays signs of its owners experience, personality, character and mood. So why, if youre unique, would you want to change your face so you look more like lots of other people? The easiest and quickest way to change it for the better is just to smile as long as its a pleasant smile.

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