I love this quotation. Age is just a matter of perception…right? And I love those sayings like 60 is the new 40, 50 is the new 30 etc. In reality, though, aging gracefully is not for the faint of heart…especially when others have opinions about how you should approach the passing of years.
Your birth year should not define you, your appearance or your lifestyle, but we do get pigeonholed into categories based on age. Along with those demarcations of time comes expectations…
This is the photo Paulina Porizkova posted to her Instagram account on January 1 of this year. She is makeup-free, and her hair is sprinkled with grey. You may remember Porizkova as the Czechoslovakian born model during the 1980s. She posed on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue twice (she still has a killer figure!) and earned a coveted $6,000,000 contract as the face of Estee Lauder. She was once considered one of the most beautiful women in the world.
At 55, there is no denying that she is still beautiful. Most of the comments she received regarding this photo were positive; however, there were still those who felt compelled to dwell on how she has aged and what she should do about it (left).
How can we (those who are not 80s supermodels) find the confidence to age gracefully in a society so obsessed with youth? It took me a long time to find the courage to stop colouring my hair, finally conceding to a no-win situation. I’ve noticed now that my hair is grey, I’ve automatically been slotted into an age category I’d been fighting against for so long…
Finding new role models helps illustrate that it is possible to be beautiful no matter what your age.
Linda Rodin, a natural beauty at 73, says she feels more beautiful now than at any other time in her life. Her hair started going grey at 35. She has never coloured it even though her friends kept telling her she would look younger if she did. Rodin did some modelling in the 1980s and later became a stylist. At 59, she started a beauty company that incorporated oil in cleaners and moisturizers, which was taboo at the time.
Wishing she started wearing sunscreen years ago, she has made peace with her face’s lines and wrinkles. She doesn’t wear foundation, but uses concealer to cover her freckles. Her signature look includes tinted eyeglasses (no need for eye makeup!) and a bold lip to brighten the complexion.
Hoping to have a little “Linda Rodin” rub off on me, I ordered one of her lipstick/lip liner combinations. Fingers crossed that this helps!
This is a lovely shade of pink called “Winks” (her dog’s name). Perfect for spring.
Carmen Dell’Orefice is 89! She was discovered at 13 on a New York City bus and two years later had her first Vogue cover. When she began her modelling career as a teenager, she earned enough to cover the $30.00 monthly rent on the apartment she shared with her mother. In 2008, she declared bankruptcy after losing all her wealth in the Bernie Madoff scheme. It was a necessity that she continues her modelling career to support herself.
Dell’Orefice has had more magazine covers in the last 25 years than at any other time in her career. Yes, she has had cosmetic surgery, the benefit of touched up photographs and the world’s finest makeup artists. Still, she deserves admiration for her work ethic and representation of older women in a highly competitive profession.
“I always say to women that it is more about taste than it is about money when it comes to your looks. Copy nobody and have the courage to express your own personality.” …Carmen Dell’Orefice
Photos (below) of other women who have found their style and embraced their age.
The expression lines on our faces represent the passage of time…an accumulation of our life experiences. Not all those lines represent good times, but I’m guessing many of us wouldn’t give up even a day in our life if we had a choice.
It’s been a difficult year for everyone. Along with the nightmare we’ve been through comes an appreciation for where we’ve been and that we are still standing…while aging gracefully.