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Women Aging Naturally Exhibit

Have We Lost Touch With the Beauty of Older Women?

Throughout July and into August, a British exhibition called "Infinite Variety" will present images of beautiful women who've aged naturally. Despite the large number of women middle-aged and beyond who have plenty of wisdom to offer, a large percentage of models and actresses who work are in their teens and 20s. On top of that, some stars of the older generation have had plenty of plastic surgery so that they look basically the same as they did 20 years ago, therefore skewing the perception of the true aging process.

So how, then, without realistic role models, are women supposed to embrace their maturity? It's a hard enough road to loving yourself at any age, but it's particularly difficult if aging women are almost totally absent from the public discourse. However, with grand dames like Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, and Judi Dench still very much at the top of their game, maybe the paradigm is changing. Do you think we're moving toward a more full appreciation of female beauty, or are instances like this exhibit just a few twinkles in an otherwise very dark firmament?

Image Source: Thinkstock
amandachalynn amandachalynn 7 years
My Mother in Law is 52, and is very beautiful. She dates and goes out more than anyone I know. She always has men after her, even young ones.(she still refuses to date anyone younger than 45, even with my goading!) She has aged naturally, and very well. I'm turning 26, and as the years go on I feel more beautiful than I did at 20!
smart-blonde smart-blonde 7 years
I, too, know that the youth=beauty idea is not going to go away in my lifetime, but I can't stop time so I embrace the looks I have, whatever age. I think I'm much more attractive at 33 than I was at 23. All of my family tend to age very well, too, so I plan to take that blessing and run with it. To me, a lot of beauty also comes from working with what you have and being stylishly appropriate to your age. My grandmother, who wears flattering colors, clothes that fit, and nice jewelry, looks a heck of a lot better than most of the twentysomethings I see at the mall.
marcied23 marcied23 7 years
i've never looked to society to define beauty for me (since growing up there were so few blacks in the spotlight), I have always looked to my grandmother (who is soon to be 70 and fly) and my mom (who is equally fly) as my role models. they are both aging gracefully and I can only hope to be as beautiful as they are now when i get older.
bibliophile bibliophile 7 years
I'm sick to death of our culture's obsession with youth. I never really noticed it before, but somehow reaching my late twenties has opened my eyes to this obsession and I see how incredibly baby-like all the actors, models, etc, basically all the people we idolize in our culture, really are. I applaud Bella Sugar for covering this topic, and not as an antidote to the aging process, but as a way of embracing it. The woman with the silver hair looks absolutely lovely. I'm 28 and can only hope I look half as beautiful when I'm older.
jocupcake jocupcake 7 years
I remember seeing (an older) Lauren Hutton in a commercial a few years ago and thinking she was so beautiful. Obviously we are inundated with preternaturally youthful images via the media and I do find this kind of sad. Fortunately, I don't think any men worth keeping around are suffering under the delusion that women are going to age like Demi Moore. Smart guys know stuff is photoshopped (heck, they know they sure don't look like the men in CK ads) and they don't expect the women in their lives to come with perfectly airbrushed skin. My guy friends worry about gray hair and baldness. My boyfriend thinks I'm going to look hot with silver hair (no joke). In my opinion, we need to give guys a little more credit.
bryseana bryseana 7 years
I don't think women become "invisible" after a certain age. My mom told me her most exciting years were her 40s and early 50s. She's 60 now. Don't get me started on the fashion industry. Age discrimination is only a fraction of their flaws. Also, I think men may have it just as hard when it comes to age. Whenever a much older man is dating a younger woman people automatically assume it's because he's wealthy or he's going through a midlife crisis.
Marian55 Marian55 7 years
Not much has changed. I'm sick of hearing about Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Meryl Streep. 3 actresses who still work....whoopdi doo... is this all there is? When I turned 50, I became invisible. You will too if things don't change.
onlysourcherry onlysourcherry 7 years
I guess my question is is this really a new phenomenon? Obviously plastic surgery and photoshop haven't helped, but haven't women traditionally been desexualized once they are older (by which I mean older than 40ish)?
misslilad misslilad 7 years
my boyfriend and i both have a crush on helen mirren and my mom is just as beautiful now as she was in her twenties (hope that i get her aging genes)
jenni5 jenni5 7 years
With so much photoshopping lately I don't know that I have seen any pictures like this around at all. Just look at the Lancome ad with Julia Roberts. She's gorgeous but has not one flaw in that ad.
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