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I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron – Almost a Book Review

Updated on June 27, 2013

Nora Ephron Dies Aged 71

Author and scriptwriter, Nora Ephron, aged 71, died in June 2012 as a result of pneumonia. Ms Ephron was well known for her romantic comedies including the scripts, 'When Harry Met Sally' and 'Sleepless in Seattle'.

Nora Ephron

I Feel Bad About My Neck
I Feel Bad About My Neck | Source

Nora Ephron Thoughts on Being a Woman

Nora Ephron received mixed reviews about her book, ‘I Feel Bad About My Neck – and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman’. However, it was good enough that Oprah Winfrey felt it worthwhile critiquing on her highly popular television show. Nora Ephron is actually sensitive about her neck from a scar. While the jury may still be out, I think it is worth taking a look at some of the messages she is attempting in this sometimes hilarious, sometimes serious insight into the highs and lows of being a woman as the beauty of youth leaves her. But first, I would like to share my personal experience of moving from a youthful miss to a woman with age.

The Naïveté of Youth – I’m in my Twenties

Is that a wrinkle? Just below my eye. I can’t believe it, but yes, there it is, the start of the dreaded crow’s feet on my face staring back at me in the mirror. Confirmed! I’m an old woman or might as well be. It is there, right in front of me, in front of my very own eyes in fact. And so the journey begins. But wait, there are preventative measures, I can dose myself with creams and moisturisers twice a day, if need be, to fend off the evil that lurks in the shadows.

The Development of Beauty – I’m in my Thirties

The creams I applied in my twenties worked to a certain extent but nothing could stop those persistent fine lines that have now etched themselves into my face in much the same way as an oil painting develops. There is no alternative but to accept the soft wrinkles that kiss the edges of my eyes and, over time, I know I must learn to love what they convey. After all, my smile lines let everyone know I have had a happy life. I smile a lot and that is why the youthful face of my twenties has developed into a painting as exquisite as the Mona Lisa and yet the highlights of my face lets everyone know I have had joy and wonder a plenty in my life.

The Transition – I’m in my Forties

The moisturising has been relentless. As diligent as cleaning my teeth, a ritual takes place, night and day and sometimes in between depending on my external activities. I would be bereft if the sun caught my face without the SPF15+ protection that I was so blasé about in my teens. Alas, it is too late. The damage has been done in my youth. Not only do I remember when, but I have photos to prove that once, long ago, my skin had the alabaster look of only the finest romance novel heroines.

That look is, of course, a distant memory but I still see something that pleases me when I look in the mirror. I know from this day forward I will be constantly seeking the latest in skin care products in a vain attempt to recapture those days of my youth.

The Getting of Wisdom – I’m in my Fifties

Yes, I have the neck that Nora Ephron talks about in her book. Yes, I have many lines in my face that now resembles a road map with all the fine tributaries represented by capillary veins and major roads depicted by thick creases that mark my brow. None of it matters anymore. My husband asks me out to dinner for our anniversary and I attempt to apply some make up the same as I have been doing for the past thirty something years. It takes longer now, to achieve a smooth, even finish with my foundation. Even the mascara struggles to find the fine lashes at the edge of my eye line but at the end of it all, I look fine. My husband says, wow, you look gorgeous – and that’s all that matters.

Do I Feel Bad About My Neck? – as Nora Ephron Suggests

Mostly I don’t even notice it, but yes, occasionally and especially looking at photos. It is the photos that hurt the most. Looking in the mirror is always preferable to looking at a recent photo. Is the camera more severe these days? Does it show more than it used to or is there more to show now?

I’m comfortable with where I am and proud of where I’ve come from. There are a few more wrinkles under my chin and my bosom has decided that Newton was most apt in his theory of gravity, but this is irrelevant. I know as an older woman I don’t have the same expectations from the community as to how I should look. In fact, I can now wear what I choose and create a look to please me without minding about what any one else may think of the final result. It’s a good feeling.

Copyright © 2010 Karen Wilton


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    • Karanda profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Wilton 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Oh catgypsy, isn't it sad that because we have 'gotten old' no one cares what we look like anymore? Even though my young nieces think of me as old, I still think in terms of someone in their twenties - except I don't have to worry what people think of my appearance! Priceless.

    • catgypsy profile image


      7 years ago from the South

      Karanda, thanks for a good laugh...I needed it! Great hub about aging. I feel the same way, that now that I'm in my fifties, I don't care as much about what people you said, it's not as expected of you to look a certain way after you've gotten "old"!

    • Karanda profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Wilton 

      7 years ago from Australia

      Thank you b.Malin for the comment and the two thumbs up! Funny how the ageing male is rarely discussed where as women's fading beauty seems to be constantly in the spotlight.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      7 years ago

      Loved this I too enjoy writing about the phases that we as women go through on the road to MATURITY...what a fun, bumpy, sometimes frightening road it is. Two thumbs up!

    • Karanda profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Wilton 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Thank you frogyfish. I've spent many years trying to remain positive as there is no stopping the ageing train. To be cliched, I am growing old gracefully instead of kicking and screaming.

    • frogyfish profile image


      8 years ago from Central United States of America

      What a delightfully positive attitude! Thank you for sharing it!

    • Karanda profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Wilton 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Thank you brakel2. I resisted the use of face makeup for most of the years of my youth but now feel a little exposed without. Especially that touch of lipstick for some colour. I've started working on a series of hubs on Australia so hope you stop by again and I'll take you on tour.

    • brakel2 profile image

      Audrey Selig 

      8 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Loved your hub. You are so candid and write descriptive phrases. Makeup is my friend. I just adore seeing and working with various shades. I will check these out. Happy writing. I love to hear about Australia.

    • Karanda profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Wilton 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Glad you enjoyed the hub Eiddwen. Personally, I am a long way from being concerned about my looks. In fact, I'm not sure that I ever was fussed, but I do know what I think and feel matters and I am more likely to respond to people who appreciate that part of who I am.

    • Eiddwen profile image


      8 years ago from Wales

      Yes it is what comes from within that counts. I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

    • Karanda profile imageAUTHOR

      Karen Wilton 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Beautifully put Tanya. As we age and the outside beauty fades what's on the inside is what counts.

    • profile image

      Tanya Spoehr 

      8 years ago

      Beauty captures your attention. It's a personality that captures your heart!!


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