Sunday, January 18, 2009

On looks and ageing

Rosemary McLeod writes a very bitchy column about ageing beauties and what they look like.

We're talking gargoyles like Madonna, 50, and Jerry Hall, 52; women who were beautiful in their youth, but who now have the starved horse look that goes with being older and scrawny.

She concludes;

To paraphrase Keats, beauty is youth, youth beauty. We love it. It's fleeting. You can't get it back. You just have to get over it.

I'll reach the half century mark this year. And I know it's absolutely physically evident because more than once I have been mistaken for my young daughter's grandma. How stupid can young women be? If in doubt wouldn't it be diplomatic to plum for mother? But I expect too much. They have yet to personally experience sensitivity about ageing and what it does to your looks.

Fortunately I never had many - looks that is. Being average looking when you are young can be a source of dismay but believe me, what you never had, you can't grieve over losing.

McLeod is right. Stop looking in the mirror if it bothers you that much. I certainly don't think it is bothering anybody else particularly. In fact if more women accepted ageing gracefully ... more women would. We could all be a little more content. We can all feel a little happier when comparing ourselves to Helen Clark rather than Cher.

Look at it this way. Allowing yourself to be miserable about it is only going to make you look even older anyway. And let's face it. If your physical appearance is all that defines you, and ever has, then you have a lot of catching up to do.


Anonymous said...

Age is in the eye of the beholder! Life is beautiful and too short, so it must be lived to the full.

On the other hand, I wish I were twenty years younger.....not!

Anonymous said...

Looks attract someone, it is personality that keeps them. The problem with these aging beauties is that all they have is their looks, when that goes they have nothing.

Anonymous said...

Awwwww Lindsay.....on behalf of the red blooded male readers and admirers of your good self I will just say that you are not near the top of any lists to be kicked out of bed on a cold night.....


Anonymous said...

Interesting isn't it. I realised at about 40 that I liked the person I turned out to be, and it had little to do with how I looked and a whole heap to do with who I was.

Anonymous said...

Oprah really irritates me -- going on about her weight all the time, like her weight defines her.

These celebs encourgage us to feel as though we only have value to the extent that we are cute, fit, fashionable and young. What about kind,generous, authentic and honest as a new metric for measuring worth?

Lindsay Mitchell said...

James, Thanks. That rates right up there with my husband's unpublished comment, "At least you still have all your own teeth."
Both made me chuckle.

Anonymous said...

The pursuit of beauty is much like buying a new car. Suddenly you discover you are driving last years model. Not only has it dropped in value, its not got the new bling of the newer model. So you either trade up and take a loss financialy, or you decide to stick with your older model knowing its still got plenty of miles left on the clock and save yourself a bundle of cash. Not to mention the heartache which accompanies chasing the dream created by some guru who is paid a fortune to f..k with the mind..


Anonymous said...

Who decided we should all look 20 anyway? Damn it, I earned these wrinkles!


Oswald Bastable said...

As one heads towards the half century and presumably- towards greater maturity- one begins to appreciate the more mature woman.

The younger and inexperienced cringe when I describe a 60-year old woman as 'attractive' hell- she is!

The physical (and oft airbrushed) beauty pictured in glossy magazines is a fleeting thing. It's tasty bait on a hook without a barb.As Mark V said.

A few years back, I went to a reunion of folks I hadn't seen for 25 years. It's funny how the pretty young things of my youth weren't anymore (but were still bitchy cows)and how many of the Plain Janes has turned into fine looking, well-balanced women.