Can you be a Crone and have botox or cosmetic surgery? This question caused some interesting debate among friends I spent time with over the weekend.
The power of Crone
If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ll know I love the practice of reclaiming the word Crone as we grow older. There’s power both in defusing the insult and in the crone archetype.
So what do we mean when we call ourselves Crone? Lynne Scholefield explored some of the issues in her recent guest post:
I think that the ideas relating to ‘Crone’ offer some interesting possibilities. That is because crones are who they are in their own right and their creativity, their wisdom, their being, does not depend on a man. Getting rid of the dualisms also opens up the possibilities of thinking more fluidly about gender and sexuality generally. I am not suggesting, of course, that women should live lives in which men do not feature, although some women may choose to do this, but that we might try thinking and talking about what it means to be a woman with reference only to women.
There are still not many visual exemplars of women who age honestly. And it’s important that there should be. But what does it mean?
I choose not to dye the badger stripes out of my hair. But I look after my skin. I pay regular visits to the dentist and the optician. I shower and bathe (you’ll be relieved to hear!). I sometimes wear make-up. I enjoy playing with clothes.
I’ve been thinking about why I do some of these things. It’s partly vanity, partly fun, partly health maintenance, partly social expectations (it’s nice not to smell!). But I don’t think I’m doing it to try and look younger.
But so what if I was?
Would our self-defined Crone use artificial means to try and look younger? Can she have her archetype and eat it?
When my aunt was in her late 70s, she told me she regretted never having had the bags under her eyes removed. They’d become prevalent in her 40s and although she was a vital and lively woman until shortly before she died at 84, the under-eye bags meant she looked perpetually tired. And that affected how people treated her.
I’m inclined to think that Crone is a certain age, a certain state of mind, a certain wisdom and a certain light-heartedness, and it doesn’t matter what you choose to do with the externals.
What do you think?