Recently I’ve started getting some gnarly pillow wrinkles under my eye. I loooove sleeping on my side with my cheek squished into the pillow, but when I wake up I look like I’m 1000 years old, which at the ripe old age of 27, is not ideal. I’m not against ageing, but in its own time. You best believe I’m dying my hair full grey once I start turning up salt and pepper, but until then, I’m enjoying my (semi) fresh-faced youth.
So to counteract the scrunched-face look, I’ve started sleeping on my back. It’s what J. Lo does. It’s not ideal, and I don’t get the best sleep, and I wake up with a sore back, but I also wake up with no pillow wrinkles. I have to create a borderline throne of pillows in which I lie in the centre of the bed, like an old king dying on his death bed but still giving out orders in a croaky voice. I’ve started putting a pillow behind my knees like I’m getting a massage. In the beginning I slept like an alien that’s biding its time in the freeze tank on his spaceship on his way across the galaxy, but lately I have adopted the ballerina sleeping pose which I find to be the most comfortable until I lose all the blood and feeling in my arms. Yes, the things we do for beauty. Have I taken it too far?
But, like all things in life, there is a knock-on effect. A butterfly effect, if you will. The problem is, when I sleep on my back, I sleep with my mouth wide open. I’m not a snorer, so you don’t have to worry about that, but I am partial to a fair bit of sleep mouth breathing, which if I’ve learnt anything from the non-fiction novel ‘Breath’ by James Nestor is that mouth breathing makes you ugly and sick – on top of the brutal paper mouth that you wake up to before you hoon an entire bottle of water after starting the morning thinking you’re dying of dehydration. So, naturally, I think I’m going to have to start taping my mouth shut (which actually my friend does to cure his snoring!). But am I really going to go that far? Do I really have to tape my mouth shut to stop two little under-eye wrinkles? What’s next?
Then, it got me thinking: ‘What if I bring a boy home? What if I get a long-term partner and I have to fish out some extra pillows from the cupboard so he can sleep precariously placed on the side of my bed while I’m cocooned in my pillow throne, with my slugged retinol on and my mouth taped shut?’ Sexy.
Like how am I ever supposed to find love under these conditions?
At the end of the day, I just have to keep referring to my source of all good life advice, the song ‘Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)’ by Baz Luhrmann – which not only is the title a good piece of beauty advice (and life advice) in itself, but there goes a line, “Do not read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.” In our photoshopped world, we have become sensitized to even the smallest flaws – like my two crow’s feet. But wrinkles are a fact of life, and it’s time I learned to love them. Eventually I must find the balance between wrinkle acceptance and beauty maintenance. In the meantime, I’ll keep you posted on the mouth taping, and in return, you can tell me I look beautiful, even when I sleep on my side. Deal?