At what age does a boomer’s face “go commando?”

Cindy Baker is a Boomer who knows how old she is. Or to put it differently, she knows how young she’s not. Writing from Bonham, Texas, Cindy addresses the problem a lot of us face: The Crow’s-Feet Chronicles, or as she puts it more simply, When The Face Goes Commando.

New-mom celebrities of the 21st-Century have an entire makeup, wardrobe, and camera staff on hand to snap the first photos of Mom and Baby Puffy Eyes. In the first pictures, there’s never a trace of the moments-earlier neck ligaments that strained from the grunts, those sweaty hair strands that stuck to the face during vigorous pushing, or a saliva-drenched chin that writhed when the baby daddy came close.

NBC's Savannah Guthrie

NBC’s Savannah Guthrie

But the au naturel celebrity who has my vote is Savannah Guthrie, co-anchor on the Today Show, who recently gave birth to a baby girl — Vale. When asked why she didn’t “fix up” for the photo shoot, she responded, “Honestly, it never crossed my mind to have fixed-up hair and makeup. I figured everyone would be looking at little Vale, anyway. So the only makeup I’m wearing is joy!!!” As a bare-faced celebrity, she really bucked the trend. Even non-famous moms get dolled up for their baby’s first photos in the hospital.

Natural raw beauty. Yeah, right. Mommies of the ’70s never bothered with after-birth makeup. I might have agreed to eyeliner if it meant I could use the pencil to gouge the eyes out of the man who caused it all.

Cindy Baker

Cindy Baker

Last year I had a hip replacement and had several visitors at the hospital. Since my whole focus was on the throbbing right side of my body, it never occurred to me that I should make an effort to be presentable to my guests. I had hobbled into the hospital with nothing more than the essentials, and I was careful to leave my valuables in the car. That is, if you call a five-dollar-off coupon to Dollar General, three ones and some change, and a half-eaten package of Cheez-it crackers valuable.

The next day, Lanny Joe brought my purse into my room and said cautiously, “I thought maybe you’d want your purse and I figured you had some makeup and a comb in it.” I. Couldn’t. Have. Cared. Less.

A comb couldn’t have helped me anyway. When I put the pillow to the melon, all bets were off. The back of my head looked like it had been styled with a weed eater and it appeared that I had used a knife and fork to part my hair. Each time the cut-throat physical therapist ordered me to get up and walk, Lanny frantically combed the hair on the back of my head toward the center. Poor guy. It was probably the New Holland-thresher-machine hairstyle that bothered him. Again— Couldn’t. Cave. Cared. Less.

I suppose joy (and maybe Witch-Hazel!) was my makeup in the ’70s, like Savannah Guthrie. Youth is on her side and she looks beautiful just the way she is.

Today? I need a free estimate.

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