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  • michelle97579

The starting line and a really big question.

Hi. I'm Michelle. I’ve spent my whole career asking questions, but when the tables are turned and I’m the the one in the spotlight, I get squirmy. I like to be behind the scenes, not in front of a camera.


When I met with the amazing staff at Bella Sante a few months ago to discuss how I could participate in their Beautiful You Campaign, I peppered them with all the questions I could think of. And I got some great answers, along with a mandate to get over being camera shy. Immediately.


In a nutshell, I’m signing up to try out skin care treatments that could benefit women in their 50s. This includes non-invasive treatments as well as injectables, microneedling and ultrasound. I’m also testing out medical grade skin care. I’ll take videos and photos of my skin before and after each treatment, and write a blog that has my honest opinions and whether I would recommend the treatment to my best friends. This project will span several months, and Bella Sante will share my progress on their social channels. 

So, unlike the way a med spa might normally show a beauty transformation — a before / after photo and possibly a video of the reveal — this one is going to go deeper and get more personal. You’ll see it all, have a chance to ask questions and get a true idea of what treatments you’d like to try out (and which ones aren’t for you.)


I majored in print journalism in college because the thought of having to talk on TV made me queasy. And now here I am, about to star in a reality show of sorts where everyone who tunes in will see me in ways few people ever will. Bare faced. Close up. Red and blotchy. You’ll see all my wrinkles, pores, horrifying little chin hairs and the occasional blemish (WHY DO PERIMENOPAUSAL WOMEN STILL GET ALL OF THESE, IT IS PATENTLY UNFAIR.)  


I’m still asking myself as I get ready to head to the clinic for my first treatment: Why am I doing this?


Why, indeed. 


I turn 55 next week. I love the time rewind these services can give to my appearance (I joked with one of the staff that they “help slow the WHOAH!” I mutter whenever I find a new wrinkle.) I love that I can look as young as I feel on the inside. And I love that my skin is smoother and healthier looking. I am all in to participate in a program that I know can deliver an incredible transformation. But why in God’s name am I willing to go on camera and let YOU see it all? 


I want to help change the way we as women discuss beauty and fashion in our 50s and beyond. A few of the women I love the most ask me why I want to battle my wrinkles. Why I don’t accept aging as a natural, ordinary process. Why I seem to support the idea that women have to look eternally youthful. 


I can’t help but wonder if they have the same dismay when they see a woman in her 50s who is rocking a full sleeve tattoo, a mini skirt or a rainbow mohawk. 


Because all of these are simply her individual beauty choices — if it’s not for you, don’t do it. Instead of judging a woman for her choice, I hope we can all learn to simply embrace her right to self-expression. If I have to be on camera to help convince women that it’s okay to want to fight wrinkles — just as it’s okay to leave them alone — then I have to get comfortable with being uncomfortable and just do it.


I see beauty and fashion as an art project I can do on my own body, every day. I love to change up my appearance with my clothes, shoes, hair styles and yes, occasionally some Botox. And so, I’m going to get brave, turn on a camera (in my bathroom!) and get real with you about this journey. 


Aging is inevitable. How I choose to deal with my appearance as I age? Well. That’s something I can have some control over.


I hope you’ll stick with me. If the only thing we agree on at the end of the series (besides the need to wear sunscreen even in winter, it’s non-negotiable) is that we as women need to stop judging each other and instead, just do what makes our hearts happy — then I’m chalking this effort as a win before we even get started.


See you all soon.



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