Ah, brainstorming. It’s always so beautiful when you look over the different pieces of a story you’re writing and find new ways for them to fit together more effectively. So it has been with Decca’s makeover in my Christmas superstorm story in my near-future science-fictional alternate-history setting.
Originally after she’s widowed I thought Decca Roadhouse, our favorite Antioch dance studio owner, would go for a refresh and rejuvenation of her appearance, pretty much continuing as she was, only spruced up a bit. But it rang a bit hollow; as I brainstormed more and more the possibility of a more drastic transformation was more and more tempting, until this week I’ve decided to just give in to the idea.
No Longer a Girl, but not yet Old
After Christmas when Hernando dies she’ll be in black mourning dress for a while, and probably quite numb from the stress of the expedition. But as a free woman again, she might start to rethink her life. In particular, she’s let herself go a bit over the past few years of being snug and secure in wifehood and running her business: more fine lines, more wrinkles creeping in, more sagging, getting a bit pudgy and flabby to the extent she can’t show off her figure, and letting her makeup slide a bit.
She’s getting older; as of the events of the story she’s 46, though she’s always looked somewhat younger than her actual age. The upshot is that she’s starting to show some wear and tear but is still in the stage of life where she doesn’t have to surrender to the approach of age yet. I’m taking that idea and running with it, supposing that she puts in for a full treatment.
Decca’s Fitness Program: (surprisingly!) Uncharted Waters
A weight-training and fat-burning program to tone up those muscles and tighten up that body of hers again is a priority; not enough for any of the muscle to be obviously visible, but enough to give her soft feminine padding all over her body a suppleness and shape. This is accomplished not only through dieting and gym work but also through amphetamines and mitochondrial uncouplers (similar to our DNP but not as toxic) as well as an anabolic steroid regimen. Yes, they benefit women too, and even in real life we have compounds such as Anavar that build muscle while keeping masculinization to a minimum; in my setting they might have still-more-sophisticated compounds.
Interestingly, while it stands to reason that Anavar at lower doses than used by female bodybuilders could get the results Decca wants, their use for this purpose is very poorly studied. Even online anecdotes from performance-enhancing-drug users give very little coverage of this application. Huh.
Also very poorly studied is how they interact with menopause; at 46 there’s an excellent chance that Decca is in menopause or at least approaching it, with all the attendant effects. Hormonal interactions in this context are fiendishly complicated, but it’s possible that a mild anabolic steroid could help someone like her; bone density, a component of good health, tends to decline after menopause, and these drugs tend to keep it higher, and it’s also worth noting that age-related loss in lean mass and metabolic changes are also counteracted by exogenous anabolic steroids. Higher energy, drive, confidence, and libido are often reported, which she would certainly consider to be a good thing. Menstruation might become more irregular or cease altogether, but for all we know she might consider that to be a positive. Ditto for deepening of the voice; Decca’s voice is rather shrill, so the changes there might be an improvement, though at the dose she’s on any such effects are likely to be minimal (on the flip side, however, everybody responds differently…and I do like the idea of her having a deeper voice post-makeover).
A streamlined New Look
That alone will get her looking better, but she’s going for a transformation into a brand new Decca, so she’s not holding back on getting procedures done. She’ll get laser skin resurfacing or some such for her entire body, to rejuvenate her appearance from head to toe and tamp down those wrinkles and blemishes and so forth. Liposuction work will be done on a wide variety of her problem areas as far as fat goes so she can lose what she wants to lose and lose it evenly so she can achieve exactly the shape she wants, along with tummy tucks (or whatever sort of tuck it would be in each case) to make sure the skin that remains in these areas isn’t loose.
In her face, she won’t hold back on the botox, getting enough in her face to erase her wrinkles and lines, so much so as to not show any lines even when she expresses herself a lot. Also in her face is going in a generous dose of dermal filler, so as to restore some youthful volume and lift up everything that’s sagging in her face. She might even go for a mild facelift surgery in order to counteract this malady in the most effective way. All the tools in the box will be used in a harmonious way.
A generous dose of filler will be put in her lips, to counter the natural thinning of them with age that’s crept up on her; she’ll go for a look for them that’s considerably bigger and more luscious than even what she had when she was a teenager, but together with her spruced-up face it won’t look weird or out-of-place, just a new and different look for her.
She’ll even change her nose substantially, getting a rhinoplasty to make it smaller and cuter, in order to make it match her slimmed-down and streamlined new look in perky and youthful fashion. To her at least it’ll be like her whole face is refreshed and opened up.
A Next-Level Figure for her Next Chapter in Life
Her figure too will be enhanced; her breasts will be lifted to counter sagging, and this procedure will be combined with a substantial augmentation. She already got her breasts enhanced when she was very young, having loved and kept the look ever since, but as a widow a few decades later she feels like going even bigger.
Down at the bottom she’ll be enhanced too, getting buttock augmentation for the first time in her life, balancing out the changes in her breasts to create a figure that’s about as even as she had before but with a more pronounced hourglass. That’ll be even more true with the changes in her wardrobe: shapewear such as corsets will be her foundation now, making her waist seem delectably narrow, along big-cupped underwear to hold and push up the breasts even further.
A Hot Touch
Another first for her will be navel and tongue piercings, the latter being a vibrating sort to better pleasure the new men she’ll be intimate with in her new life; her ears, already pierced to begin with, will have earrings on them much more often. It’s a youthful and sexy refresh of her look, and provides a bit of a thrill for her.
Not that there aren’t some concessions to growing into the older side of ladyhood; far from it. She’ll completely change her wardrobe, wearing very modest garments from now on. Dresses that stretch from the ankles up to the neck and completely cover the arms will be her staple, even if they will all be very form-fitting so as to show off her figure. The only skin being shown off with some of the dresses will be her cleavage, but even then the chest will be covered with sheer fabric up to her neck.
Brand New Decca’s Centerpiece: the Mane
But the greatest concession to the older side of ladyhood will be her hair: for decades her signature look has been long ringlets in her natural copper-red color, arrayed loose and tumbling down to perhaps her waist. Which has served her well, but now that she’s in a new stage of her life, wanting to be a brand new Decca, she wants to move past it. But what to do?
Brunette is just blah, too boring, too common. Raven black is just too depressing; she wants above all to brighten up her look and her life. Which would suggest going blonde, perhaps platinum blonde; but in this story I already have several characters who embrace the platinum-blonde image, making it one-note from an out-of-universe perspective, and in-universe it might actually be considered something of a cliché for washed-up older women to go blonde to recapture lost youth.
Which leaves her stumped…until she thinks from a different angle: instead of youth, why not take the color in the opposite direction? So she decides to embrace the platinum white look, turning her hair white as snow and shiny as fresh metal. It’s in slight tension with her more youthful look, but with how luscious and long her hair is the striking contrast if anything just accentuates her vitality.
She could just take her existing ringlets and have them dyed brilliant white, but Decca is unsatisfied with that prospect. She really wants to move past her old married self in terms of her hair, yet she so loves her ringlets and her long mane she can’t bear to part with either of them. She might not have considered this earlier, but at this point in her thinking she gravitates more and more toward making her hair longer. Much longer.
Specifically, as part of her makeover Decca will get drastic hair extensions done, in the same total platinum snow-white color and the same ringlet style, making her mane extremely long, so long she has a sprawling loose Gibson Girl bun of ringlets on top — as big as her head, maybe substantially bigger than that, bangs of ringlets tumbling down on her forehead too — with enough ringlets tumbling down to reach all the way past her back. How far down?
I was thinking at least classic length, which would be all the way down her newly enlarged butt, but why not go all-out with it? Why not floor-length? All the way down to her ankles while she’s wearing heels.
Once it catches the sunlight it’ll really elevate her appearance and make her seem brighter, more brilliant, even fantastic in some ineffable way. And the brightening-up won’t just be limited to her hair.
Hello, Bright Eyes!
Even her eye color is going to change; it strikes me that her natural green eyes are rather tied to her identity as a wife, since her wedding ring’s diamond deliberately matched them and she wore it all the time when she was married to Hernando, so she might want a refresh of that aspect of herself too. Like her hair, she definitely won’t want to change them to be brown or black, but lucky for her there’s a color that’s even brighter than her natural green: blue. So from now on she’ll be wearing cosmetic contacts that make her eyes appear a baby-blue color.
Her makeup will be changing as well. From day-to-day she’s going to be wearing a heavier look — even with her procedures makeup can work wonders to cover up the aging process. Her usual red lipstick will be replaced with an ever-present bubblegum pink color, just that much cuter and brighter. She’ll also be changing her skin tone; tan would make a striking contrast with the white hair, but in this universe tan isn’t in fashion, so perhaps inspired by her cousin Georgia’s Japanese geisha-style makeup (long story…) she goes for a much lighter and whiter skin color, both through makeup and through skin lightening treatments for her whole body, courtesy of immersion tanks that infuse the skin with a chemical compound extracted from wasps (as a fan of the original “Wasp Woman” movie I just had to find some way to work in an homage…).
Completing the brighter look will be another change for her new wardrobe: she’ll just be wearing white from now on, exclusively bright neutrals devoid of color, bar perhaps flowers pinned to her outfits regularly. Given the pink lips she’ll be sporting some of her new whites might have a pinkish tinge to match. Her nails will be done up only in white or pink color from now on.
The Total Package
Between all these changes she won’t even look like the same woman she was as a wife, which is exactly the intention: a brand new Decca. The net effect will be a very striking, bright, and pure look, one befitting a woman who leads a luxurious and indulgent lifestyle. Which might be a description of new Decca!
A Brand New Life for a Brand New Decca: Adventures in Winemaking
She’s quite the wine connoisseur and drinker, and might be after a wholesale change in lifestyle after her mourning period is over. So a winery to live in and work on would be a perfect fit for her. A small winery might be a good choice, a place she can have mostly just to herself; as for location, Slovenia would be the obvious choice: Slovenian reds are her favorite anyway, and she already regularly vacations in the country with the triplets, having enjoyed skiing and wine-tasting tours with them for decades.
I’ve decided that she’ll establish her winery in the Julian Alps, which is not a traditional wine-growing area but has a climate suitable for the cultivation of pinot noir; in this timeline it’s possible this area is in use. Triglav is the peak most associated with the mountain range, and the climate there is much too cold, but south-facing slopes in the more outlying lower-elevation valleys might have microclimates that make them prime spots.
It surprised me to find out that the prevailing climate in Ljubljana, the capital and largest city in the country, as well as the eastern sections of the country (the Slovenian section of Lower Styria) is remarkably similar to southwest Virginia’s highland country, Decca’s own home region! In the eastern part of the country even the landscape is familiar. But Decca chooses the Julian Alps anyway owing to the closer proximity to ski country and the Mediterranean coastline as well as the more beautiful and spectacular landscapes. The area I have in mind is roughly 40 miles from both Ljubljana and Trieste. In any case the location is more northerly (46 degrees latitude), so she gets to enjoy longer days in the summer than in her former home. Not to mention the European ambiance and lifestyle…
Which might include a lot more sexual satisfaction. Even before Christmas 2045 struck Decca had renovated her Old Dominion Dance Studio to be suitable for turning it over to an augmented-reality video-game arcade, with play centered on dance, a la our timeline’s “Dance Dance Revolution”, which served to attract a younger crowd…and perhaps a hotter one as well? Aha.
The idea intrigues me of Decca getting over Hernando and having a reverse harem of hot boys; there are certainly plenty of good-looking teenagers right at her studio available for her to seduce, and as a widow she’s hot for some sexy action. She was a virgin until she met Hernando, and has never been out on an actual date; instead Hernando just showed up at her place of business and they chummed there. Her lovemaking with him was tender and comforting, quite satisfying during the seasons he wasn’t out of town storm chasing and unavailable; she doesn’t regret her marriage, but she really feels up for a change to a hotter and more intense sex and dating life, something she’s missed out on up to that point. Over the coming years she’ll burn her ex-husband out of her sexual memory forever.
Which she’ll have plenty of time to do; among the youth who came in to her new arcade program is one Henrietta, a survivor of the tornado outbreaks on the Plains who takes up residence at the mall, working up to become a top dancer and instructor at Old Dominion Dance Studio, becoming so attached to the place and to Decca that she becomes her protégé, enabling the owner to become more and more part-time in Nashville as she trains up Henrietta to take her place.
As Henrietta becomes cemented as Decca’s successor, even to the point of her arraying her red hair in ringlets just like young Decca’s, Decca herself spending longer and longer hot weekends with hot boys she jets off with to Europe, one right after the other pleasuring her as she lays about her winery caressed by the Mediterranean climate, ultra-long white hair tumbled about as she guzzles her red wine, no doubt frequently visited by her cousin Georgia, who also sports a look like young Decca’s (and unlike Henrietta looks just like her) and her baby boy Gunston, who by this point have moved out of their vacation home in the Shenandoah and instead live on a sailboat in Japan.
It does all sort of ruin the Southern vibe for them to all be (as the saying goes) Happier Abroad by the end, but it does help to put a neat and pretty little bow on their whole biographies, doesn’t it? And it is a delightful bit of character development; movement and change like this often makes for a much more interesting story, and I honestly find Decca’s form of retirement to be a fantastic idea. It’s such a change, but it’s all so her, and I think it’ll all make for some dynamism for the back half of the story, after the climax that is the Christmas superstorm is over and done with but before the actual ending.