Angela Jane Lavender
Mixed Media on Canvas
18” x 24”
Meryl Streep - Cancer the Crab
Our society is obsessed with youth and beauty. Neither one is earned. Women especially, try with all their might to fight any signs of aging. Whether it be with anti-wrinkle creams or injections. It seems that once women in Hollywood stopped aging and Botox became more affordable, less and less women appear to have wrinkles.
The goal being to eliminate crows feet, to banish the telltale signs of thinking, like the dreaded “11” or “T” on your forehead. Young girls are posting before and after injections on TikTok as if looking young is an accomplishment.
If nothing else, it is a sign of wealth and status. If you can afford to nip and tuck and hide away the fact that your ten or twenty years older than you appear than you have succeeded.
And although I believe in a women’s right to choose what to do with her body it makes me sort of sad that women feel pressured to eliminate the lines that define her life.
Lines in your forehead? You must have questioned things! You must have thought long and hard and pondered the world around you.
Laugh lines? What joy you must have experienced! Adventures so thrilling your face hurt from laughing so hard!
Crows feet? Who put those there? Your children? Your partner? Pride in yourself? How wonderful to have people in your life who love you.
It’s okay to age. It’s okay to look like it. Aging and wrinkles should be celebrated. For wisdom is earned, experience has value and life doesn’t end when wrinkles begin.
This painting started out as Meryl Streep, but as I aged her with wrinkles she began to look less and less like herself. And the irony of that in contrast to my thoughts while creating this piece are just too laughable to change it.
The personality of a cancer is complicated, much like the road maps on our aging faces put there by time and experience.