I’m not sure when twenty-one-year-olds started looking so young. Notice I didn’t say anything about me looking older. I’ve just turned thirty-three, in fact, and that should hardly have me spending endless nights deciphering the latest skin-salvaging trends, but it does. On the one hand, older women are hot these days. The Desperate Housewives, for example, and Cameron Diaz. Uh, the union of Demi and Ashton?
On the other hand, with all the attention companies spend on anti-wrinkle research these days, anti-aging researchers may find the cure for much more than just crow’s feet by the time they’re done filling the fountain of youth. The messages are mixed. Older is better if it looks younger, right? Huh?
Don’t worry, ladies, and, um, considering the full manifestation of men’s skin care lines, gentlemen. One night, while surrounded by an entire restaurant full of spring-breakers, I confirmed a theory established while watching Friends reruns prior my thirtieth birthday. My theory? Women get better looking with age.
Looks: The Diane Factor
Let’s start with the Dianes, shall we? Diane Lane is gorgeous and is forty-two. Diane Keaton? Well, some things just didn’t give; she’s sixty-one. Oh, and you don’t have to be named Diane. There is Sharon Stone, forty-nine, Felicity Huffman, forty-hour, Terri Hatcher, forty. My husband thought Marcia Cross was thirty-seven, not forty-three. Helen Mirren, sixty-one, is the queen. In addition, Jennifer Aniston, thirty-eight, gets better with age. And to complete my list of evidence, Sarah Jessica Parker, forty-one, certainly didn’t look like that on “Square Pegs!”
You may think that Hollywood women aren’t a fair comparison and I’m sure you have a point. Still, think about it. I’m sure you know beautiful women of all ages. I do. My mother has amazing skin. My aunt has the figure of a twenty-six year-old. Beauty is everywhere and it isn’t just skin deep. The beauty that age truly brings is a confidence and self-possession that transcends numbers. Older women aren’t worried about the wrinkle/acne combo and neither am I!
Sensuality Increases with Age
We all know that men get better looking with age. Brad, George, Harrison, Sean, even Jack, to name a few. We expect them to get sexier as the decades go by. Now for the disclaimer. I don’t recall hearing people say, “Women don’t get better looking with age,” but the silence pretty much speaks for itself. I may be early for the wrinkle cream debate, but it doesn’t take age to get the general assumption that a woman’s great looks are supposed to decline both after having children, as well as with age.
Obviously, our looks are not our most defining factor, and, with that said we also reserve the right to maintain our attractiveness, sexuality and sensuality well past twenty-two. Personally, I am thankful for the Dianes. They are young, hot, and, more than that, they always appear comfortable with who they are.
How the Outside Reflects the Inside
Have you ever heard anyone say, “She’s let herself go?” In the South they say, “Bless her heart,” and that just isn’t good. I always thought that was judgmental and catty, and I’m not sure I’ve changed my mind. Yet, finally, I think I have a better handle on it. If our outer appearance is a reflection of our “inner appearance”—self-worth, self-respect, dignity, etc.—it is rather obvious when we’re not feeling quite so hot.
Until recently, I never paid that much attention to my appearance. In fact, I once choose a job based on dress code, going for business casual dress code over nylons and heels. Yet my sister has always been the exact opposite. She has always been worth the $300 dress, the inaugural ball gown and the annual Louis Vuitton personal fundraising campaign. Since birth, it seems, she has been infinitely confident, assertive and accomplished. Finally, when my sister started asking to borrow my clothes, I realized that not only had my wardrobe matured, but that my self-worth had also.
Call It Vanity
Call it vanity. Call it premature worry, but feeling hot and beautiful both on the inside and the outside is an important facet of how I view myself. It is connected with my femininity, my sexuality and my self-love and I certainly don’t plan to cash in those chips for a very, very long time. In fact, my ninety year-old grandmother is still gorgeous. She dresses impeccably, understands quality and knows the true meaning of dignity and elegance. (For more on the ninety something crowd, check out Kitty Carlisle Hart!) I may not grow up to inherit her barely-wrinkled complexion, but I like to think I am inheriting her self-respect.