Photo by Wayne Jackson on

Videos keep popping up on my social media apps, tutorials to disguise my hooded eyes. Yes, I’ve noticed them too, in the mornings and in pictures where I’m smiling but something looks different. The hooded eye, they call it. It came for me.

This is a problem the internet wants to help me with. And all the influencers on it. And the tips and products that they sell.

I can’t stop my face from being 47. My hooded eyes rat me out. I notice the names they delineate to our development: crow’s feet. Sun damage. Laugh lines are now called parentheses. As if my mouth is now enclosed, non-essential information. What’s essential to know is the aging that’s happening around it. Beauty tarnished. Invaded. Expiring.

Is it the Grim Reaper coming for my eyes—the hood of death? Death to the power of beauty, the power of femininity? Of the ability to be seen? Perhaps I will like the discretion the hood provides. The disruption even, to that raw, alluring power. The pivot that wrinkles offer, testifying to the power of story. It’s there on our faces.

All the signals that I ignored before are manifesting. The little lines forming around my lips reveal that I am an anxious person. They tell on me, saying “Look at this, you chew your lips all the time!” Wow, I never realized it. Always thinking myself as easy-going, and here I am eating my own flesh. I’ve been nervously consuming myself for years, and now there are grooves in the path my mouth contorts to make it so.

The lines of much laughter are there. Enclosing my mouth, framing my eyes, jetting out like fireworks. All the years of laughing. I’m proud of these.

But I didn’t expect the underneath. Underneath my mouth reveals lines of criticalness. All the harsh judgment of others. It’s there on my face now. Yes, I see those little curves under my mouth. They’ve crept between, too. Between my eyebrows. I see you and I repent.

The burdens I bear have formed dark pillows for my eyes to rest on. They are fluffier in the mornings, giving my eyes time to wake up. I dutifully attempt to conceal them every day. Others do not need to know these burdens. They can only be trusted to be seen and held by a few. Of course, you see them anyway, concealed burdens trying to behave themselves.

All the expressions over all the years, right there on my forehead. I remember people used to tell me that I had a very expressive face. I now look at women my age with smooth foreheads thinking of all the visages they held in over the years. Or perhaps injected.

Perhaps I will try the lid hack offered by these influencers. Perhaps when I do, I will believe that it will tell a different story. That something as simple as make-up can hide what the face demands.