Thursday, December 2, 2010

In Praise of Older Women

The timeless divine like beauty of Sofia Loren, Helen Mirren, Meryl Streep and Catherine De Neuve all point to the obvious fact that older women have something on their younger lacklustre counterparts. The Lindsays and the countless ambiguous blondes out there are all missing something, fading together into the background like so many worn out blossoms before the winter. What is it? They're young, good looking, with firm bodies and smooth skin, and yet, all of them seem so unspectacular.

There is a certain je ne sais quoi about a woman which makes her a true woman: class. It carries with it a mystique. It can't be defined, but it can always be felt. Those women are more than pretty faces- they are not fly by night operations who are easily erased the next day, they are not replaceable. They are enduring, simply because they carry themselves with true elegance, playfulness and charm.

What ever happened to the days where women dressed to go places? The clutch purses, the gloves, the neatly pressed dresses, high heels, hats? You only see women dressed like that heading to the derby and if anyone came dressed like that to the supermarket, you would frankly think that they're the crazy bag lady. But it's not just a question of style. It's more a social intuition- the ability to know how to be and when to be it, manners, a sense of time and place and please and thank you.

It's no wonder that there used to be a time when men dressed to go places and tripped over themselves opening doors for women like that. And no, yoga bunnies in your $80 seaweed pants, that doesn't include you. You may consider your yoga pants the pinnacle of fashion, but no matter what day and age you live in, no man is going to fall all over himself trying to help that out.

And can you really blame them? A beautifully dressed woman is a piece of art, just like the naked feminine form. The small, delicate steps in heels, the sashay of hips that only women have, the swish of skirts, trailing perfume like roses behind. It's not sexist to appreciate those things. It's not de-liberating to feel that way for women. In fact, women feel more confident when they feel good about themselves. And while yoga may make you feel better when you're doing it, you're not tree posing 24 hours a day, so leave them aside when you step out into real life.

One last example of ageing women having the upper hand on the young, awkward, generic youth? Betty White. That woman has made a comeback in the entertainment industry like you wouldn't believe. Her sass wouldn't be so funny without her class. And only an older woman can have that.

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