Dear Consultitory Characters,

I have a high school reunion coming up and I am desperately trying to look younger. I thought, who better to advise me about looks than people who, due to their fictional status, never had any? Literary characters, what should I do?

Dorian Gray (The Portrait of Dorian Gray): I’m a firm believer in the power of paint in maintaining youth. By which, of course, I mean make up. Lots and lots of make-up. Nothing screams youth like a wrinkle-free face. So, paint on a mask and, I promise you, it’ll be just like you never got older at all.

Humbert Humbert (Lolita): I think its deliciously admirable that more and more women are trying to emulate the sweet nymphet-ness of youth. Rompers, pigtails, short denim shorts to display your long, suntanned legs and your scraped knees. That is what I call dressing to impress.

Frankenstein (Frankenstein): A couple of hops under the knife never hurt anybody…. much

Blanche DuBois (A Streetcar Named Desire): Here’s what you do: take a lemon, squeeze half into a bowl with yogurt. Smear onto face. Take the other half of the lemon. Squeeze into a glass of straight vodka. Drink. Repeat.

Phantom (The Phantom of the Opera): Eye circles? No problem! Just slip into a (literal) eye mask and its like they were never even there.

Bridget Jones(Bridget Jones’ Diary): They say gaining a little weight fills your face out and makes you look younger again. It’s true. They say that. They do.

Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre): Just always walk around with your eyes open really wide to express your youthful naïveté and people will just assume that the old blind guy you’re with is your father and you yourself are as perky as a puppy.

Lindo Jong (The Joy Luck Club): Green Tea. Drink, and it will make you glow. Also, shrinks under eye bags when applied topically.

Emma (Emma): A corset works wonders for a woman pursuing a nubile young figure. Or, you know, Spanx.

Isabella (Measure for Measure)*: No alcohol. No sugar. No smoking or promiscuous sex. If you think you might like it at all, it will age you terribly.

*It stands to reason that many people might have missed this one in deference to some of Shakespeare’s more popular plays, so let me fill you in; Isabella is a woman who is joining a convent, but is worried that the 16th century’s nuns’ rules won’t be strict enough. Aka, she is the dweebiest dweeb who ever did dweeb. In case you were wondering.