on ageing

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Two bits of online commentary about ageing that got my goat. Here is my goat, in its usual happy state:

So you can probably appreciate why my goat doesn’t like being interrupted and disturbed from contented munchings and musings.

discuss all natural alternatives to Botox? I am only 30 bit feel I need some lift. any ideas?

A (of assembled hive-mind):
healthy diet, sleep, sunscreen, no smoking.

Ginger elaborations and additions:

sunscreen, sleep, smiling more, worrying (especially #firstworldproblems) less 🙂

Yep to not smoking. And less booze. But, not to be all negative: more sex 🙂

And the longer comment, from The Goat That Got Got:

Ageing is normal, natural, and can indeed be a good thing and its opposite can be a bad thing.

On the anti-ageing front:

(1) antioxidants (ex. vitamin C serums)

(2) sunscreen and practising sun safety/avoidance is major

(3) diet, sleep, lifestyle, stress-avoidance

(4) alas, much is down to genes anyway and no-one can do anything about them

(5) and there IS such a thing as ageing gracefully: lines of expression, experience, and wisdom.

Yes, for women too! It’s a sad fact that the same lines seen on a man’s face are more immediately associated with attributes of expression/expressiveness, experience, and wisdom; compared to on a woman. And these attributes themselves, plus individuality and intelligence, are, alas, even in 2014, still associated more positively with men than with women (see: actors, celebrities). No matter what is or isn’t actually going on in their minds, what they’ve lived, etc.

We are not plastic robots. We are human beings.

Sadly, there’s a lot of ageism and anti-feminism about, and even more sadly, they’re all too often, all too easily conflated. The attitude is spreading to affect men too; already there in some places and cultures (Japan, Korea). Not just sad but tragic: anti-human, inhuman, dehumanizing.

The best way to resist ageing? Resist ageism and anti-feminism. Embrace age: fight the negative connotations, focus on its positive attributes. Lines and wrinkles, sagging, all these “imperfections” just show that you are a human being, alive, with a lived-in and living face.

Ageing rights for all human beings, men and women alike!


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Pause for reflexion and restoring inner calm (coffee and brandy/Pastis/shot of your choice optional)… while some damn fool adds facial yoga to the list of suggestions.

A few minutes later, a different virtual entity asks:

Will be 30 in a few weeks. Forehead lines are starting to appear. Not up for Botox just yet. Help? Is there a way to lessen their appearance? What do I do? Retin A clogs my skin, so I’ve avoided it.

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My answer (in addition to The Caprid Rant above):

A visual explanation / illustration:

This is what a distinguished old woman looks like. One who has lived a life. Can’t bank on being as good an artist, but I would like to live for, and be remembered for, what I did rather than the state of my forehead wrinkles (which have been there since I was 6, due to clowning around at school).

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Louise Bourgeois was one of my favourite artists. She’s also one of the most beautiful people I’ve ever seen. She exemplified (eventually, working through a lot of struggles and pain in her art) être bien dans sa peau. The images above show wit, wisdom, vivacity, joie de vivre, intelligence, sense and sensitivity, humanity, and good plain old-fashioned fun.

Here she is, looking wise:

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In full brilliant flow:

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 2.14.16 PMBeing fabulous, with a different thinking-cap on:

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My favourite image of her, though, is still the famous Herb Ritts portrait:

6926209785_035473a938_bNow, LB is more my sense of stylishness: blacks and greys, shapes and textures, classic, standing the test of time, but always chic, never frumpy. Standing outside of time: style cannot be fashionable, cannot be out of fashion and out of date either. Remember all the tales and myths and legends of people who are charmed and spirited away (or go voluntarily, or fall in love whichever of the two that counts as…) by the fairies (or other Others)? And how everything is marvellous in the other land, but outside time, and time doesn’t pass, or passes differently, or is completely suspended? That’s what happens with style and chic.

Fashion is mundanity.

LB, on the other hand, is marvellous and magical.

For another approach, and a wide array of kinds of marvellousness, see (image links to blog):

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UPDATE (the next day): And a related third item, “Brutally Honest New Revlon Ad Campaign Reminds Customers You Can’t Change What You Are,” from The Onion.

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