Lately I have noticed that with age comes the slow decay of beauty. Imperceptible at first, and slow, but then swiftly comes the notification that before you can kiss it goodbye, it has already gone. Your youth – it just waltzed out the front door. It didn’t even say good night before it abandoned you in this place, ugly forever, although if you wanted to try to win it back, the Olympic efforts of a new gym membership and a new hair stylist and manicures every other week and waxing appointments and facials and small surgical procedures that help fight the small wars of unsightly moles or flips of fat or sagging skin. This is monumental, and momentous, and as you face down the future years, all forty of them, suffering through the fallen self image as an idol of beauty, currently decaying into some wrinkled, plump, pock marked and tired looking beast, you begin to wonder – is this even worth it? You have suckled at the teet of a media machine that fed you milk and milky images of lithe, slender monsters created in laboratories and Photoshop files, and now that the possibility of ever attaining even an inkling of that standard of beauty has escaped you – well. Your mother is preying on your insecurities as a way to sell you more shit, and you realize that in your naivete you were a slave to your own beauty. A trained monkey, and even though you took the bait so willingly, you begin to wonder: what if it hadn’t all been about sex and the need to be validated as a beautiful creature? Maybe then your life would be more meaningful.