Is it me or are we finally looking at our elder beauties in a new light? Every where I look I feel like people are starting to pay attention to the beauty of the older women and men in our society in a different, progressive and admirable way. Or perhaps it’s because my birthday is coming up that I look at aging with a fresh eye. Whatever the reason, I feel like we are finally starting to see aging beauty for all the glamour, wisdom and experience it offers.
First, I was struck by the amazing comments I received in one of my recent Linkedin posts: Age and Decay: A Twist on What We Actually Crave. The fact that we instinctively need to experience the aging process in others is what makes vinyl records, dilapidated buildings and older women so beautiful. And then I came across a scientific study claiming that women don’t want beauty companies to offer them “anti-aging” products, but rather products that make them look and feel awesome as they are now. (Science Daily) Finally, when I came across this story in Los Angeles Racked: “Fashion and Beauty Secerets form L.A’s Most Stylish Older Women,” I knew I must be on to something. The article shares images of gorgeous older women, strutting their stuff, donning eclectic outfits, and displaying amazing hair and make-up (see pics above & below). And what’s even cooler about them? They are all active members of society — working in film, non-for-profits or even modeling!
But why try to stay beautiful? For younger people it promises a mate and eventual propagation of the species. But who needs it as we age?
But maybe there’s another way to think about people’s beauty. Beauty — both inner and outer (frankly, I can’t separate the two) forces us to take notice. It mesmerizes us. It stops us in our tracks and draws like a magnet. Nature has hard-wired us to react this way. For the youth it may have one reason for it’s existence, but for others, another. By admiring and being attracted to an older person’s beauty we can’t help but learn their stories, adopt some of their joie de vivre and hopefully take on their desire to keep building in this world vs let it all go and wait for the end to come. When we see it in the best possible light, beauty’s allure can help us learn something, build for a better future, and see the opportunities before us. We need the beauty of youth AND the beauty of old age.
Nature has made us beautiful creatures at EVERY stage so that we all strive to build a better world — whether that means more babies, more equality, better forms of entertainment, more happiness — and the list goes on. Let’s hope I can adopt some of this lesson for myself as the big day rolls around :).