Sunday, March 4, 2012

A beautiful age

The Style section in today's NYTimes had an article about cosmetic companies at last picturing women who are mature in their advertisements. The article specifically talked about Diane Keaton and Ellen Degeneris. We think often of beautiful actresses who are not just over 50 but over 60, like Judi Dench and the incredible Sophia Loren. We just saw Meryl Streep and Glenn Close looking wonderful at the Oscars. For we ordinary women who do not have to look smashing on camera and don't spend large parts of our day at spas, with stylists and make-up artists these images flit past our consciousness like pretty little birds outside the window. We aren't going to have face lifts and botox injections and don't have personal trainers. Their world isn't our world.
We look in the mirrors and see faces older than we think we are. We are so trapped inside our own images and ideas that we can't see our own personalities on our faces. But others seem them and many of us are lucky enough to be loved just as we are.

I am among older women -- over 50 but the average age, I'm told, is 73 at the Academy for Lifelong Learning where I take classes and teach a couple of writing courses. The women I see are a sample of women that can be seen almost anywhere in the US in the local supermarket or mall or high school auditorium watching grandchildren perform. They, perhaps, take a little better care of themselves than many for they are smart and attuned to things around them. Most wear make-up, but not so you'd really notice,they take care with their hair and clothes but It's mostly a do-it=yourself look. They look good. I can't think of any who are movie star beautiful, but, of course, they aren't movie stars, they are wives, mothers, grandmothers and some, like me, are even great-grandmothers. They are active and engaged in life, in learning, in sharing with one another,most are active in their community. They are beautiful in quiet ways. Scroll down a little and see how beautiful the poet Szymborska was in her 70s.


Jayne Martin said...

Helen Mirran is another older beauty and I don't think she's had any work done.


June -- I liked what you said about our image to ourselves -- that we identify with when we look in the mirror. I never thought about what image others see in us -- that it is different as it incorporates our personality. I think both men and women are beautiful as they age -- they carry such wisdom in their faces. Good post. -- barbara

Ladydy5 aka: Diane Yates said...

Amen to all you said June!
I say to dh a lot, "God, I am getting so ugly" . He always answers me whether I request an answer or not "No, you are beautiful" Nice huh?