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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Thing About Beauty


The Thing About Beauty

The other day I was visiting “Hipstercrite," a blog I try to follow fairly frequently. Lauren, who is in her twenties, posted a piece called “Silver Foxettes.” I was intrigued from the moment I read the title.

The post is about beautiful older women, and Lauren published a list of her favorites, along with photos. Here’s a link to the post: Hipstercrite

Over the last couple of days, I thought in depth about physical beauty, no matter what one's age. I think I am more beautiful at 62 than I was at 40. Imperfect though I may be, is extremely important for me to look in the mirror and see a beautiful face and body, and I have learned to love the way I look. It gives me great strength and a sense of empowerment.

No, I don’t look like a movie star, and my body, well, is rather Rubinesque, but not in a bad way. I love myself, and I wish every woman alive could feel that way. I include teenagers in this statement, but I am realistic enough to understand that they are in a category all their own.

Since I was in my teens, girls have been held to a perfect standard of physical beauty, and have striven to meet impossible criteria of how their bodies should look - skin and bones. We “older” women, at least many of us, grew past that when we reached mid-life, though every day I see woman my age and older whose clothes look as though they came from their daughter’s closet. These woman are rail thin, nipped and tucked ad nauseum.

And in case you think of me as one of those anti-cosmetic surgery zealots, au contraire. I had my eyelids tightened up and a little fat sucked from under my chin. Plastic surgery only becomes the enemy when overdone, when its victims begin to look as though they might melt if they stand too close to the fire.

Please visit “Hipstercrite” and see these fantastic photos of women of great physical beauty. Being 62 myself, I was particularly interested. Like me, when you see these photos, you will begin to think of many others. What about Meryl Streep? Holly Hunter is 50 this year. What about Candace Bergen, Helen Mirren, and Lauren Hutton and Susan Sarandan? What about Dianne Feinstein? What about you and me? We are everywhere, ladies. We are all over the place.

I know this a subject that has been analysed, dissected and written about for years. But after all these years, nothing has changed. As a society, we still value physical beauty more than spiritual and emotional beauty.

It’s a real shame.

© cj Schlottman

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