I’ve been seeing this ad around lately, and I’ve greeted it with a mixture of adolescent hilarity tinged with an undertone of ambivalent awe. It’s aimed at men–particularly older men, and it’s called Cenegenics. It makes many claims: Decreased risk of age-related disease, improved muscle tone, decreased body fat, increased energy, increased sex drive, sharper thinking, etc… Now, I’m not necessarily doubting it, but I do have a healthy skepticism regarding any of these supposedly miraculous products. If it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
The reason I get the urge to giggle and point is due to one thing. Look at the ad. It pictures its developer, 67 year old Dr. Jeffry S. Life. Yes, Dr. LIFE. I’m thinking that the Cenegenics people left off another key result of the program: You might end up looking like a buff Santa Claus. You might end up with the head of a crotchety 67 year old and the body of an Adonis. People might point and stare, and find themselves torn between admiration for your fine form and trepidation at the dissonance between form and mug. It’s kind of weird. It’s like looking at a science experiment gone horribly wrong.
This has been my reaction to seeing the ads. My conflict of emotion is exacerbated by the fact that the good Dr. Life bears a strong resemblance to a man in town, and every time I see this man at church, the childish small voice that can’t pay attention during mass is busy wondering what Mr. X looks like with his shirt off. No! Not in a sexual way, people! It’s just that the resemblance is there to such a degree, that my subconscious deliberates.
I know we live in an age nearly completely engrossed in the young and the beautiful and the fit. It is amazing to see people who are in their golden days running marathons, lifting weights, and staying healthy. And my post today has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that actress Helen Mirren, at 60, rocks a bikini better than do I. Really, I’m not jealous at all. REALLY!
But everything in moderation, right? Call me old-fashioned, but I kind of like the idea of my grandfather being grandfatherly. And as I near the end of my twenties, I realize that with each passing year, it takes a lot more work to look good (or even passable) in jeans.
I guess what I’m trying to say in my usual, long-winded, convoluted way is that no matter what, this Dr. Life spends at least four hours of his day in a gym, and Hellen Mirren (besides being blessed with good genetics) likewise has to dedicate a healthy portion of her time to an elliptical. I do hope that I can stay fit and healthy into my senior years, but I also hope that the desire to look a certain way doesn’t interfere with the things that matter. I hope that I’ll be too happy and fulfilled and busy with my family and friends to devote large quantities of time preparing for my close-up. A mid-life crisis at 67 seems disordered…
I showed the ad to my husband and he said that he, too, could look like that: “Just give me a few minutes with Photoshop.” Ha, ha. Yes. But the ad says right there that the photo is not “digitally enhanced.” So apparently, we’re not the only ones.