Keira Knightley's decision not to freeze her forehead shouldn't be such a shock - so why is it?
Keira Knightley having lines on her forehead shouldn't freak me out, yet here I am.
The best corner of the internet is the celebrity before and after analysis on The Skincare Edit, where readers are talked through photos of a star from a late teens' Disney red carpet appearance to her most recent Golden Globes sashay.
Over the years, the hawk-eye Michelle Villett has pointed out trend-driven lips, career investment noses, cheekbones sculpted from filler and the onset of age paralysis. By journey’s end, every woman looks like she can play 27 to 42 indefinitely.
It’s fascinating, depressing, and makes me feel less like a crone at the declining fertility age of 29. I will never look like Jennifer Lawrence. Neither will you. Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t look like Jennifer Lawrence.
Then this week, I was looking at photos of Keira Knightley at the Toronto International Film Festival, where’s she promoting historical drama Colette, and I got a shock. Because the 33-year-old woman has lines on her forehead. It’s disorienting I noticed that immediately. It’s also disappointing. Why does my brain equate skin’s natural unironed state with a painting hung crooked?
I was a writer in women’s magazines for a huge chunk of my now-dwindling twenties. I can spot bad botox and guess at the good kind. I’ve seen both. Neither bothers me. It’s your face.
In London years ago I got talking to an actress' make-up artist. She dispensed beauty advice I follow to this day. She also told me I was to start injections around now, the ‘preventative’ kind of botox. I wasn’t insulted. After all, she’s close friends with one of the most beautiful women in the world. A TV actress over 40 premium glossies declare is ageing beautifully. She’s actually ageing like a science fiction princess at her team’s edited rate.
It’s easy blame my old stomping ground of magazines for my eyes’ comfort with flat and plump in the right places faces. But the Instagram trend for drowning our faces in at-home acids and sheet masque selfies is as culpable for this distaste for ageing. Benjamin Button in a bottle doesn’t exist, yet we cloak our quest as pricey self-care.
Keira Knightley’s decision not to freeze her forehead shouldn’t be revolutionary to me, yet it is. Here is a young woman fronting Chanel campaigns with visible lines. I can’t wait to see her nab every role that isn’t for the 27 to 42-year-old love interest, like her portrayal of Iraq invasion whistleblower Katharine Gun in the upcoming Official Secrets.
I don’t want before and after photos to soothe me anymore. Keira embracing her face’s timeline is already helping me crack a skin-stretching smile. I feel relieved.