Of Bob and Blanche and Botoxed Beauty

Helvi Oosterman

Never fancied Bob Hawke, the man, I’m not talking about Bob the Prime Minister here. All those polyester pants and white shoes, and the hair, talk about staying stuck in the time warp…

The imitation put-on, Aussie accent and the rolling of the eyes…give me a break, anyone sharing my birthday should not have a mouth permanently parked at twenty past eight, and that whining voice, please!

Then enters Blanche, a good-looker of a girl, blond, blue-eyed, enviable cheekbones and mouthful of nice teeth; she not just a beauty, but she can write as well, and rather well, they say. I haven’t checked if it is so. Blanche and Bob fall in love, it is not just an affair; they do get married later on, so true love it must be.

Now Bob is Octogenarian and Blanche has reached her retirement age, 66. For some reason she is not happy to age naturally, or as they say, gracefully. To me it seems like she has been blessed with ‘she’ll- keep-her-looks’ gene. Blanche begs to differ though, she doesn’t believe it. She gets busy with Botox and takes even more drastic measures in her quest to stay ‘young’.  This is not possible, she does not have to either; she is not an entertainer like our Kylie, who now looks younger than when she was still only one of our NEIGHBOURS.

Blanche is not someone who is battling to keep her job as a newsreader on Channel Ten, where the youth is the only currency. She’s also married to the much older Hawkie, and him being soo much in love, she’ll be his babe forever without having to look like a baby. Not being in the public eye anymore, (but sitting at home writing stories, some fact, some fiction, if we take Keating’s word for it), it might be time to pull on the old trackies, look dishevelled and get on with the real story, ageing.  

The smooth ironed-out pics in last week’s SMH almost fooled me into believing that Blanche has been successful in her quest of eternal youth; the harsh lights in Kerry O’Brian’s studio told a different story. The permanent wide-eyed-look-of- wonder, the overly luscious lips, made me think it was Hawke who now looked younger, HIS face still expressive, eyes still rolling…Strangely the old boy Bob now appears as the more attractive one of those two.

 Many of us feel sorry for Hazel. The gods have not been kind to her, first ‘Bob and Blanche’, and then her books, Alzheimer’s must have come to Hazel almost as a backhanded blessing…

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