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I was looking at the “Stars without Makeup” issue of one of the tabloids today.  If you could take those pictures and run the tape backwards, you’d see what it takes for stars to look like stars—or even themselves. Somebody invented the term “Maintenance” as a catch-all for all the things women have to do to themselves to keep up their appearance. This includes, but is not limited to:  hair color, blowouts and trims; mani-pedis; working out; healthy eating;  tooth whitening; liposuction and plastic surgery.  That’s the short list. Each of these categories has its own set of sub-categories, all of which take time and most of which cost money.  The thing is, the list expands as your years add on. And it’s like a period house—you don’t dare stop, or the roof might cave in.

Back to the tabloids—Julianne Hough looks quite good without makeup, although she looks like she may have haircolor assistance. What is she, 23?   I have one friend in her late sixties who went grey beautifully, works out only by taking a brisk daily walk at sunset,  and whose only “maintenance” item is a manicure.  Due to a medical condition, she cannot have plastic surgery. She looks great, but she was beautiful to begin with and has enviable non-frizzy hair and bone structure.  If I had this level of non-vigilance, I would look like Deputy Dawg — with a manicure.  I wish there was another solution to getting off this hamster wheel.  Or that I were braver.

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