It’s no secret that the “anti-aging” market represents the biggest segment of consumer spending today. No one wants to grow old gracefully, and today men as well as women spend billions and billions of dollars trying to keep their skin taut and smooth, their hair gloriously abundant, their bodies firm and perky, even as the decades roll on.
And it’s not just Boomers who are obsessed with staying young. Today everything from pomegranate juice (yum) to exfoliants are marketed as preventive aging, to people in their 20s, as well as to more mature buyers.
Frankly, it’s exhausting. But we do have a suggestion—a Hamsa, an “eye” pendant, or even a piece of jewelry designed after the life-giving pomegranate!
The Hamsa is a hand-shaped pendant which has been worn across the Middle East, Mediterranean and North Africa for millennia. The “eye” of course is an amulet which resembles an eye, with an equally long history in the same areas of the world. Both are traditional talismans for protecting the wearer from the so-called evil eye.
Coincidentally, I suppose, the eyes and the hands are the first parts of our bodies to show our age. These are the two areas where our skin is the thinnest. Because the skin here is so thin, fine lines and wrinkles show up here first as the result of constant UV exposure, weather, stress and repetitive gestures (smiling, frowning). Hands in particular are tattle-tales when it comes to age, because they contain no oil-glands—they often look older than the rest of us!
Moisture is key to keeping the skin young, as the manufacturers of zillions of skin care brands will tell you. Again, perhaps coincidentally, moisture plays a role in the concept of the evil eye. The brilliant Dr. Alan Dundes, who taught at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote a landmark essay on the history of the evil eye, observing that the ill effect of the “eye” was always dehydration. He surmised that because the tradition arose in the Middle East, where water has always been scarce, the worst possible thing that could happen would be for an oasis or well to run dry, or for drought to blight the land, as is happening in Africa today. This would cause your flocks and orchards to perish. Other metaphorical losses symbolized by moisture-loss—for instance, loss of sexual potency and fertility—are also associated with the “eye”, and guarded against with the Hamsa and eye amulets.
The aging process really consists of several factors—genetics, stress, conditions, attitude. Other than a good skin care regimen, especially eye and hand-cream (our favorites: Dermalogica Hand and Nail Treatment, Intensive Eye Repair, Total Eye Care—http://dermalogica.com), what can really be done? To wear in good health, whatever your age, and to see you safely from one year and one decade to the next, we recommend #gwn-f, a modern silver Hamsa with small “eye”, #ww17, our Diamond “eye” pendant with your choice of gemstone strands, and for even juicier protection, try # Pom5, our Ruby Pomegranate necklace, set in 14karat rose gold.
Getting older? Mazel tov— and go in style.