Defining beauty

January 11, 2013

Emerson wrote that in 1860, but it has special meaning today, since beauty has become a medically-commercial commodity that he could have never anticipated.

It’s interesting to be the age that I am because the days of trading in whatever beauty I had in my youth are long gone.

Sure, there’s surgical intervention, but I’m never going to choose that, and truth is, I think women who try to look 40 at 60 just end up looking foolish and desperate.

But I do understand why they do it.

How we look is such a huge part of a woman’s identity and probably has been since the dawn of time. Just look what we did to make cosmetics way early on: crushing beetles? poisoning ourselves with lead-based kohl?  Seems like woman arrived on the scene and makeup wasn’t far behind.

Yet, it seems clearer than ever now that beauty is within and shines from within. The women I admire all have become more beautiful to me with age, and I think that’s because they carry their beauty within, and it glows from inside like a candle.

Judi Dench

And while I can admire a young, beautiful woman just as I’d admire a gorgeous work of art, I am a big believer in age-appropriate aging, simply because it puts self-worth in the right place. Or rather, takes it out of the realm of  physical beauty and puts it where it belongs–on the mind, the heart and the spirit.

Sad that these lovely, natural women are the exception in Hollywood and not the rule.

Helen Mirren
Susan Sarandon
“Too old to be in an anti-aging ad?”

11 comments on “Defining beauty
  1. Anonymous says:

    i know, i saw courteney cox on ellen and was horrified; she looks like those real housewives of plastic..esp the lips. horrible

  2. Geek Girl says:

    I could not agree with you more. I am not against having a little help here and there, but not so much that you are hiding your age rather than showing it off.

  3. And even these Women that you show as “Natural” (although I think they are LOVELY) are not natural. Susan Sarandon for sure has had work done..and Helen Miren probably too (but in the prettiest of ways).

    Men look at these pictures and the thought of plastic surgery NEVER enters their minds. It’s very hard for a 50 year old to keep up with that.

    • Emyr derek says:

      Susan Sarandon and Helen Mirren most likely having had plastic surgery??? Is that a joke? You can’t tell the difference between that, and GOOD STYLING??? Does it not occur to you, that both would not be recognizable beyond what could be passed off as “I get that all the time!”
      And that’s SPECIFICALLY due to their AGE!! With it being the Stylist’s job to get them as close to their PRIME (which everyone remembers) as possible!

  4. I just saw an old photo of beautiful Courtney Cox, put it next to a current one and realized how plastic looking she’d become. She was beautiful in the day but in trying to keep that look with “work”, today she looks like a plastic doll.

  5. I recently had a blepharoplasty (eyelift). I didn’t do it to look younger, I did it to look less worn out and tired. I agree with Still Blonde that many women who we look at as “natural” have had a little work done here and there – except possibly Judy Dench. I don’t like the pulled and tightened look, but for me an eyelift completely changed the way I look at myself – now I see a face that looks like I feel.

  6. Ellen Dolgen says:

    Very empowering photos…

  7. Jennifer Comet Wagner says:

    One of the main reasons I don’t think I’ll have any plastic surgery is that as you get older, surgery and anesthesia gets more dangerous. I can’t see risking it for surgery I don’t need.

  8. Jennifer, I’m also fearful of the anesthetic. Wasn’t it author Olivia Goldsmith (First Wives Club) who died on the table having a chin tuck (minor plastic surgery) –from an allergic reaction?

    “Before the surgery had even begun, however, problems developed. “They had literally just put her on the table,” says a hospital source.

    Goldsmith had apparently opted for general anaesthesia, more dangerous and not standard for the operation she was having. At Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat—considered one of the best hospitals for such procedures in the city–
    Goldsmith was in distress even before her surgeon went to work. Nothing that was attempted to revive her seemed to help. “There were spasms,” says a source. “Enormous ones.”

    Within four minutes, she was in a coma from which she’d never awake.”

    THAT’s what scares me.

  9. Yvonne Wray says:

    Love the photos and women you choose to feature here. At 50+ years old when I feel good and am turned on about life that’s the beauty that shines through.

    Ever notice you can see it and feel it in another woman no matter what her age?

    Thank you for your inspired post.

  10. Kelly says:

    having a little work done, IMHO, is perfectly fine and reasonable. My younger cousin has a prematurely wrinkly forehead that throws off the rest of her otherwise youthful look. there is a difference between a little work and that plastic thing that happens. some women go too far. and some are not good candidates for the procedures they get. And I think sometimes really thin women like Cox end up looking plastic because they don’t have fat in their faces but they do suffer the gravitational pull on their skin the same as plumper faces…sometimes worse. There is a certain amazingness that comes from within…from owning your own look and just being happy yourself. and you can like yourself and still need/want/deserve a little botox here and there. or a little lift. or a little whatever. but please…lets not any of us compare ourselves to even the most wonderful of women in hollywood. inspiring yes. realistic? ha.

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