Liven up your face

mr__glasses_by_diannasixx, deviantart
mr. glasses, diannasixx, deviantart

For the last month I have been completely entrenched in the process of moving. The chaos of this has left me running on a lot less sleep than normal. Add that lack of snoozing to my winter-pale skin and most mornings I don’t look like the liveliest of ladies. Luckily, however, I have a few tried and true tips on how to fake a rosy, I’ve-had-plenty-of-sleep look when you’re feeling tired and pasty…..

Wait, wait ,wait. This isn’t working out.

I’ve been thinking that, with so many folks with Parkinson’s experiencing “the mask” – the frozen, emotion-less facial features of PD, (see also Stone Face and Keep Your Requip…)  surely there must be some standard  “advice” on adding life to one’s face. Think of how many self help articles that have been published in magazines like Self, Cosmopolitan or Glamour to name but a few. This will be an easy blog to write – google  “life for your face”, “from dull to bright” or “make-me-look-like-I’m-bright-and-fresh-even-when-I’m-feeling-like-crap” – and just like that I’ll have a bundle to choose from. Copy, paste, add a credit and voila! Done!

Well, indeed, I found Bethany Porter’s Five Tips to Liven up a Tired Face and that’s where we started today but, as you can see, it doesn’t really work here. Nor have I been able to find a talliored-to-PD advise piece.

It’s a maddening part of PD – this mask we have to wear. There’s not a lot that we can do to shape this face of stone though we can chip away at it. Facial exercises have helped some retain their facial expressivity to a degree. Making a conscious effort to be more emotive in social settings works for some. I’ve even talked with people who find that an activity like singing has helped them be more expressive and this is reflected in their facial expression.

Personally, since I need glasses, I try to select frames that can bring a bit more life to my face. Not Elton John, clown-type specs – nothing too outlandish – but just some colour and character. I’m never really sure of course how successful this is as  I stumble around the optician’s store in a quest for frames that fit the bill, but I have to come to put my trust in one optician whose opinion and judgement I trust.

For variety, I also sport a beard which comes and goes depending upon a) the season b)how old I feel – it’s increasingly a white beard and c) how sick I am of shaving. I find the later a particular challenge as I don’t have the fine motor skills required to hold and handle the razor. My skin on my face – like the rest of my body is very dry (a side effect of the medicine) and I end up bouncing/hacking/scrapping my face for up to 30 minutes at a time. That you just know can’t be good for “livening up” your face – more like “zombifying” your face!

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, this has brought me to a recent purchase of new frames which I’m slowly adjusting to. Here’s a little collage of some of my past efforts. Some are so small you may find you have to squint and strain to see the frame features . Do me a favour please – while you’re squinting and straining at your computer, take a picture with your webcam and post it on-line! That will not only give you a hint at the expressive abilities of many folks with PD but also should provide a good laugh or two – a cheap elixir to livening up all our faces!




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