Happy Talk

Put on your happy face: Is this the cure for our worry lines?

Finally, a beauty treatment that works – but only for a few minutes, writes Christine Manby

Sunday 18 August 2019 16:56 BST
Gloria Swanson’s Norma Desmond relied on Frownies for wrinkle prevention
Gloria Swanson’s Norma Desmond relied on Frownies for wrinkle prevention

Gwyneth Paltrow recently complained that the ageing process makes her feel like she’s losing her identity. It’s hard to feel sorry for Gwynnie, when it seems that she’s been making a mint out of other people’s insecurities for quite a while now. She charged punters £1,000 a pop to attend her London “Wellness Summit” and I don’t think that price even included a vaginal steam clean. But I’ll grant the actress-turned-guru that it must be more difficult to face the ravages of time when your USP has always been your good looks.

Despite the token casting of the same three women over 40 in roles other than “mother” in at least six films now, Hollywood is still no place to grow old. It’s been thus since before the famous white letters went up in Griffith Park. In the 1950s classic Sunset Boulevard, Gloria Swanson plays Norma Desmond, a silent film actor refusing to accept that she’s past her sell-by date. Nearly 70 years later, not much has really changed despite the arsenal of anti-ageing injectables at the modern actor’s disposal.

Swanson’s Norma Desmond came of “old” age in an era when botulin was still something you got from improperly tinned peaches. She relied instead on a mode of wrinkle prevention that was already 60 years old. To be ready for her close-up, she used “Frownies”.

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