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The sheer lunacy of women refusing to look their age

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The sheer lunacy of women refusing to look their age

Post by Katiedot on Sat Dec 17 2011, 11:48

A brief George mention and the fact that this is interesting gave me all the reason I need to post this!

From that well known champion of women's rights, The Daily Mail

The sheer lunacy of women refusing to look their age

By Janet Street Porter

Last updated on 17th December 2011


The sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery this week was another chance to see fabulous pictures of the celebrated actress in her 20s, when she was considered one of the most beautiful women in the world.

That’s how most fans want to remember her — the papers didn’t reprint many images of the star in her 70s, in a wheelchair, the way she really looked for the last few decades of her life.

Indeed, one (male) film critic described her death as ‘a blessed relief’, adding ‘it stops the . . . legacy of her as this kind of grotesque, wheelchair-bound, bewigged, bejewelled kind of monster . . . to refocus back on the beauty and on the kind of skills she had as an actress’.

He was right to celebrate Elizabeth’s talent, but why shouldn’t an old woman appear in public wearing wigs, flashy jewellery and baggy clothes as her health is declining? Should old stars just top themselves, or enter nunneries? That critic’s attitude to beauty is repugnant, but so typical of our age.

My generation, the baby boomers, are in our 60s and are terrified of ageing, looking less perky than we did in our prime — it’s the elephant in the room, the big fear no one wants to talk about.

There are a greater number of old women than ever — and plenty of celebrities in their 60s — but we’re all obsessed with the futile process of attempting to turn back the clock. If they looked the way pensioners really do — wrinkly, saggy and a bit stiff around the knees — they would never make a record, appear in a movie or present a telly programme.

Magazines are full of ads in which well-known women claim to be ‘defying’ time by slapping one kind of cream or another on their cheeks. Utter bilge — but these carefully airbrushed fantasies encourage modern women to spend a fortune on something that’s unattainable: permanent youth.

While the beauty industry calls it ‘looking your best’, I call it ‘acting out a dream’. But many will pay any money and go through any surgical procedure if they can afford it. I find that deeply troubling. Shouldn't we admire Brigitte Bardot as a strong woman who won't conform to stereotypes of beauty?
The problem is that we have no role models — hardly any famous old women look their real age. The only one I can think of is Brigitte Bardot — one of the most naturally beautiful women of her generation — who stopped making films in her 30s, so she had no pressure to work at holding onto her looks.

Over the years she’s gained weight and not bothered much about her skin or her hair and so has been accused of ‘letting herself go’ as if it’s a crime to get wrinkly.

A group of academics last week held a symposium at Birkbeck College at the University of London to discuss the impact of ageing and celebrity, and their findings are fascinating. They concluded that because most famous women refuse to tell the truth about their looks, the rest of us buy the myth that somehow ageing can be defied or arrested in its tracks.

George Clooney, Jack Nicholson and Michael Douglas are revered by fans as they age, go grey and flaunt their wrinkles, but famous women have to work much harder to be chosen by directors and stay working. As a result, most cheat like mad while peddling this preposterous myth that their glowing good looks are down to genes, exercise and healthy eating. Please!

Take Diane Keaton, for example. The 65-year-old star wrote in her autobiography that ‘the exhausting effort to control time by altering the effects of age doesn’t bring happiness’. Yet this is the woman, who appears in L’Oreal’s Age Perfect Hydra-Nutrition Golden Balm advertising campaign, with the line ‘I’m more comfortable in my skin now than I’ve ever been’.

The picture of her is clearly airbrushed — I promise you she looks very different in real life.

Andie MacDowell is another female star who appeared in ads for L’Oreal aimed at older women and looked as if she was airbrushed.

And then, of course, there’s Jane Fonda. The 73-year-old was on U.S. TV last week wearing a similar leotard she wore in the Eighties to promote her latest exercise regime. Fonda, who has written a book about sex and lifestyle for seniors, tells reporters that her looks are down to good genes, regular exercise and plenty of money to pay for a personal trainer.

The truth is that she’s undergone extensive cosmetic surgery and ended up remodelling herself to look eerily like she did 30 years ago. She’s got less muscle tone in her face and is thinner — in fact, she’s starting to end up with the asexual body of a young boy, something that often happens to older women who constantly diet and exercise. She’s continually tinkering with her appearance to try to stop the clock.

According to historian Professor Pam Cook, younger stars such as Nicole Kidman cleverly rebrand themselves as they approach middle age. In 2010, Nicole’s Kidman’s career seemed to be stalling, so she changed her almost-frozen appearance to a more ‘natural’ look and said she’d stopped using Botox.

There’s been a supposed Botox backlash among high-profile women who’ve been pilloried for looking eerily expressionless, and many stars from Kylie to Madonna claim they don’t use it any more. Those who saw Kylie at George Michael’s recent concert at the Covent Garden Opera House were not completely convinced.

These women may not be using a product actually called Botox, but their carefully made-up faces show no signs of ageing whatsoever, are suspiciously wrinkle-free, have taut skin and eyelids that remain strangely undroopy. That look requires regular specialised technical maintenance, not face cream.

Even relatively young celebrities, such as Gwyneth Paltrow, who is 39, do not offer us a realistic way to age. She implies that careful diet, exercise and the right mindset can keep you looking young. But to live Gwyneth’s lifestyle costs a fortune. She spends vast amounts on clothes and never leaves the house looking less than perfect. Paltrow offers us her ‘natural’ look, but it is a high-cost, high-maintenance attempt to not appear like an ordinary middle-aged mum. The money she makes, it’s no wonder she goes to such an effort.

Meryl Streep, who is riveting as Maggie Thatcher with dementia in The Iron Lady, knows all about what happens to an actress as she gets older. Meryl, 62, plays Maggie aged 49 to 85, and will surely be nominated for an Oscar, but she told an interviewer that when she turned 40, she was offered only three film roles — all as witches!

But in Hollywood, she commented: ‘Once women pass child-bearing age, they can only be seen as grotesque on some level.’

I had dinner with Meryl recently, and she looked fabulous — with glowing skin, fine hair and a ready smile. Her grace and charm come from within — and she has three beautiful grown-up daughters. She’s a rarity in the film business: a woman who can still take a leading role in her 60s. But where are the rest of the role models?

I used to think that when I got to 60, there would be so many women my age that we’d be able to be ourselves and not mimic the young. In fact, no one wants to admit that women in their 60s who are stylish, well- balanced and normal-sized exist.

Only last weekend, I turned to the fashion pages of the Sunday Telegraph’s Stella magazine to read an article entitled Generation Fashion — How To Make Cocktail Tailoring Work At Any Age. The story ended with women in their 50s and a picture of Julianne Moore. Where are the clothes for me and Meryl? What about mature readers — of whom there will be many — who don’t want to wear a Jane Fonda leotard or Mary Portas leggings, but something age appropriate?

Where are the women on TV, in movies and on the stage who say ‘I’ve had no work done on my face’ and it’s true? What on earth will Cheryl Cole look like at 50? Or any of those girls from The Only Way Is Essex?

That’s why a modern woman’s biggest fear is not living alone, it’s looking her age. We will never admit it, though.

Katiedot
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Re: The sheer lunacy of women refusing to look their age

Post by melbert on Sat Dec 17 2011, 18:13

It is an interesting article Katie, even without the George mention. I can understand, I guess, but too much Botox or surgery just doesn't look human!!! What I really hate is the airbrushing done on ads. Sometimes you don't even recognize who it's supposed to be.

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Re: The sheer lunacy of women refusing to look their age

Post by cindigirl on Sat Dec 17 2011, 18:33

Another woman celebrity who has aged VERY well is Raquel Welch

http://www.ocregister.com/articles/raquel-243944-welch-20s.html?pic=1h,

She is 71 now. She was born in 1940. She claims one of her beauty secrets is not botox but not eating after 6:00 p.m. Oh, if it were only that simple. LOL


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Re: The sheer lunacy of women refusing to look their age

Post by melbert on Sun Dec 18 2011, 01:14

So does that mean I can continue to graze on the garbage shit I eat all day at work? As long as I stop at 6 p.m., I'll look like Raquel!!! Yippy!! I'd rather look like her than me!!!

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Re: The sheer lunacy of women refusing to look their age

Post by Katiedot on Sun Dec 18 2011, 03:58

melbert wrote: What I really hate is the airbrushing done on ads. Sometimes you don't even recognize who it's supposed to be.
Me too! Me too!

There are times when I can't tell which celeb is on the front cover of a magazine, or - even worse - advertising makeup or somesuch because they've photoshopped the hell out of the picture.

The irony of this article for me was that it was published in the Daily Mail which is one of the most mysogynistic publications around. They absolutely hate women.

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Re: The sheer lunacy of women refusing to look their age

Post by Lighterside on Sun Dec 18 2011, 13:59

Is the author an aging female who is bitter or what? I just turned 60 and just last week, someone that I've known for more than 20 years stopped me in the grocery store and as we talked she commented (in front of my husband!) "How is it that you don't look any different than you did 20 years ago when our boys were young? How did you do it?"

I wanted to kiss her right there in the store, for sure, but I have NEVER let anyone stick a needle in my face, not even once.

Now in the past, I've used plenty of the products that can be bought over the counter at any drugstore but most recently the last couple of years, I've been using products from Make Up Artists Choice and I've got to tell you they have products that will keep your skin tight and others that help with collagen growth that actually work.

I know people say it's down to genes but one of my sisters who is 2 1/2 years younger than me, who doesn't do anything for skin care, looks at least 15 years older than me. Now she does have health issues but one of our sisters who is 8 years younger than me is already wrinkling and she also uses no products.

So I believe it's not genes in my case, it's the products I'm using. And there is nothing wrong with wanting to look and feel your best and I do what I can using common sense but I draw the line with sticking needles in my face.

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Re: The sheer lunacy of women refusing to look their age

Post by melbert on Sun Dec 18 2011, 17:43

I just use AloeVera lotion on my face and I have NO wrinkles or laugh lines or smoking lines (yes, I haven't quit yet). Nobody believes that I'm 112 years old!!!!

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Re: The sheer lunacy of women refusing to look their age

Post by cindigirl on Sun Dec 18 2011, 18:37

Mel, you're a fellow nicotine sufferer just like me. I knew there was something about you I liked. LOL

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Re: The sheer lunacy of women refusing to look their age

Post by Lighterside on Sun Dec 18 2011, 18:44

LMAO mel, I didn't think you looked a day older than 75! (just kidding!) santa

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Re: The sheer lunacy of women refusing to look their age

Post by melbert on Sun Dec 18 2011, 21:09

You should see my Mom! At 165, she doesn't have any wrinkles either!

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Re: The sheer lunacy of women refusing to look their age

Post by it's me on Sun Dec 18 2011, 21:43

hu
what genes!

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