About physical handling of the face.
Preservation robs you of potential. It dooms you to creating ever-fainter echoes of the face you had at 20. Preservation is holding your face back; you can give it strength and intensity heighten its force instead of prettifying the top layer. As your face regenerates it quickly rediscovers its own identity.
Until now you haven’t dared to approach the face with anything more forceful than your ring finger, and you’ve probably never considered it in any way other than how it looks. You're still confused and nervous about what it needs.
Older faces are allowed to waste away. They've taken on the role the female body used to have in 70s beauty contests when it was rotated, examined from several angles, measured and compared. The strength of the female body wasn’t even considered a factor in their fitness; it was all about toning up and flexibility. You were supposed to ask a man to move furniture and put up fences.
The fact that so much of our lives is lived through social media and media shores up the idea of an essential frailty in the face. We see image in the mirror, and we identify media images with the whole fact of a female face. Don't use the mirror for the following massages; get a feel for its dimensions and angles, instead of collapsing it into the mirror image that you think it is, that frail insubstantial object, looking at itself with disappointment, frustration and other feelings that pull the face down. No wonder you don’t think you’re very pretty; you are never seeing your face radiant with joy but always seeing yourself seeing something wrong with it. It drags the face down, making you less attractive.
Also you look weird when you keep face still and peer at it and examine it. Let all that go and you have a shot at infinite variety.
An image has no solidity, no physical self, and if we identify ourselves with it denies us any depth, any sensory connection with it. Many women live their entire lives without considering how their face is feeling, how it feels to inhabit it, touch it, press it. A mirror image or Instagram lines up obligingly for a feature-by-feature unfavourable comparison with a magazine cover and forms the idea of yourself you carry with you. Through handling the face becomes real and substantial to you. Engaging full-on with the face is incredibly liberating. Awareness of the physical reality, its density and resilience take you out of the headspace where it’s an inert, passive recipient of creams, procedures and the hands of experts and you make it your own.
Hands-on work with the skin is a revelation. It feels really good; the skin has been neglected all its life and now it gets to stretch and come to life. Over the days and weeks of challenge you should begin to feel the skin growing thicker and firmer under your hands. It gives you pleasure; that's halfway to love.
If you squeeze and rub the flesh, work it with your palms and knuckles it influences not only how the face develops but also how you put it out into the world. It has a real physical presence. It has significance
You're on the way to the place where your face is no longer wilting under the hostile gaze you turn on yourself and ascribe to others. You can give your face the solidity to stand up against the money-making advertising images whose raison d'etre is to tell you it’s not good enough.