Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Aging Action Star

I would never want to be an action movie star who’s required to go shirtless or display his naked ass on screen. Once success comes, box office doesn’t allow you to age gracefully. All it takes is one sagging man boob or a drooping ass cheek and the career is kaput.

When you’re in your twenties and thirties, you can pull it off. But as the forties settle in and the fifties are lurking in the not-too-distant future, gravity is no longer a friend but a cruel force that laughs at you as it attacks your previously pumped body.

Sure, you could spend hours upon hours at the gym, and eat twigs and kale, but really, who wants to do that when Ben & Jerry is in your grocer’s freezer tempting you in ways kale never could.  

I was recently working on a film project that starred an action hero famous for being shirtless. As we prepped the production, I had the opportunity to be up close and personal to him, and what I saw made me gasp.

There were deep rooted crow’s feet on the side of the eyes and swollen puffy skin-bags beneath his eyes. Botox or some sort of fat injection gave the upper cheeks and forehead a shine in which I swear I saw my own reflection.

One day while roaming the studio I saw him jogging slowly. He was shirtless. There was significant man-boob going on. I was worried if he jogged faster he might give himself a black eye.

This traumatized me. Here was an action star, one of my heroes, not looking like an action star at all, but like an aging man with a trump-like orange suntan. A make-up artist can only do so much magic.

Damn, I thought, we’re nearly the same age. Do I look like that?

That night when I got home I stripped naked to see if my body was like his, worse, or in better shape.

I ran my fingers around my eyes and felt the crevices of little lines. Oh no.

I lifted my man boob and let it go and saw it jiggle. I frowned.

I turned to the side and jumped up and down and saw things shake that shouldn’t shake at all. I yelped.

I stretched my arms up and bent over to touch my toes. I got as far as my thighs. I sighed… and I cried.

My body is like the body of my action hero… aging. 

Luckily, I take comfort knowing I can hide my aging imperfections with baggy pants, oversized sweaters, and floppy hats. 

He can’t. He’s doomed to hemorrhoid and AARP commercials.

All I can say is… thank god I’m not an action star.