Friday, September 30, 2011

Famous Faces of A Certain Age

Françoise Hardy
Until I do a post on women in their 50s next week, this will be a wrap for faces 60 and beyond (for a moment at least). I cannot thank you enough for the dialog. It's been a fantastic week.

I think we've said it all. The faces -- well done, over done or not touched by sharp, shiny instruments --  speak volumes as you have so eloquently pointed out in your comments. It's a conversation we should have from time to time. I hope you agree.

Barbara Walters
Sonia Rykiel
Tina Turner
Charlotte Rampling
I see myself that by observing these women throughout the week I'm having an important visual readjustment. It has become banal to say how we wish we could see women of a certain age portrayed without major photo shop work, but wouldn't it be refreshing to see the beauty of age?  (OK, with a little re-touching, after all even teenage model's "imperfections" are wiped away after fashion and beauty shoots.) But, do you suppose cosmetic companies re-touch Ines and Jane Fonda and Diane (Keaton) to such an extent because that's what they think we wish to see?

Jane Birkin

Sophia Loren
Goldie Hawn
Blythe Danner
Surely there is a major difference between aspirations and lies.

We can only assume they've done their marketing homework. Why isn't "better" good enough for a cosmetic product? No cream or lotion or gel is going to give us a neck lift, no matter what they say about "improving the oval."
Isabella Rossellini
Nathalie Baye
Recently French television has been advertising a product "guaranteed" to reduce hips, thighs, derrieres (you know, those hot spots) while we sleep (!) Of course I'm tempted, only because it would make a great blog post. Stay tuned, I just might.

37 comments:

angiemanzi said...

I have often asked myself why a woman who wants to be taken seriously feels the need to make herself as unnatractive as possible as though dressing well and looking her best would somehow diminish her intelligence and capabilities. Having just turned 60 I truly appreciate the time you took to point out the beauty of these women who have certainly made their mark on society. And tantissime grazie for adding the gorgeous Sophia and Isabella!

hopflower said...

Also Charlotte Rampling and Nathalie Baye. I do feel the need, however, to point out (like I need to) that Sonia Rykiel is in desperate need of a good conditioner; at least in this picture.

Kathleen said...

Thank you thank you thank you for these posts. I have also just turned 60, which has up to now seemed like an impossibility - how on earth did I get this old - as in I can no longer believe that I am actually Young. I am slowly adjusting to pride in the ravages & privileges of earned time. Your ladies are lovely & oh-so-heartening to see. Cheers to All - we're above ground and still rocking!

Mean Mama said...

Have immensely enjoyed the 60+ faces! THANK YOU!

LPC said...

Tish, as I turn 55 today, I thank you very much:).

Rebecca said...

From these posts, I've gather courage, appreciation, joy and fascination with the age at which I've arrived! We really DO "rock" (as Kathleen noted).

tweedlibrarian said...

This has been a lovely series of posts! It's great to see the varied kinds of aging beauty - some natural, some less so.

I absolutely think the beauty trade thinks we want to see a youthful version of which ever older woman they might be featuring. It'd be nice to see an unadulterated photo of a beautiful women in her natural state. Wrinkles can mean we've laughed, cried, and lived!

Thank you for this wonderful posts!

Mrs P said...

Interesting that you mention touched up photos, in the news today in Britain there is discussion about banning air-brushing, or at least identifying photos which have been re-touched. I think it's quite a good idea, the fantasy of looking the way they do in the glossies is not what matches the way I do in the mirror no matter how much care I take. Fantastic series of posts, can't wait for the over fifties, that's my category. Have a great weekend x

Jane in SF said...

For me the most natural looking women are the most beautiful - Charlotte Rampling and Jane Birkin. And is that really Tina Turner? She might look well-preserved as my mother would say but she doesn't look like her former self. I think spirit becomes more important as women age, not smooth skin.

aBroad said...

I will echo Jane in SF .. those beautiful women with the natural faces, are the most beautiful.

Francois Hardy is amazing ..

aBroad said...

Barbara Walters is in her 70s .. even with years of "adjustments" , she does look good.
My favorite, untouched older face is Helen Mirren .. hair / face / body... she is what she is ~

Lost in Provence said...

Is Françoise Hardy even MORE beautiful now? Quite possibly.

And as for touch-ups, they go to town on Linda Evangelista! She looks like a newborn in recent ads. So of COURSE companies are going to touch up the older ladies--but what kills me is that they think that they are doing us all a service by even showing them!

déjà pseu said...

Ah, you've included three of my favorites: Jane, Isabella and Charlotte. Lovely women all.

Susan Tiner said...

The natural faces of Jane and Isabella and Charlotte look the most beautiful to me. At least I hope they're natural, or very lightly altered.

A bird in the hand said...

Françoise Hardy! Mon dieu! She has aged beautifully.

I love this series. I wish it would just go on.

Pam @ over50feeling40 said...

I have really enjoyed this series and being inspired by these amazing women. I look forward to more!!

Chicatanyage said...

Francoise Hardy looks gorgeous. I aspire to that hair colour eventually. I agree with the other comments that character and spirit wins every time.

Chicatanyage said...

Forgot also to say that Sonia Rykiel looks exactly the same as she did about 30 years ago. That hair is her trademark.

JMW said...

Tina Turner and Sophia Loren - oh, to have those genes!

California Girl said...

Sophia is my favoriute icon from the time I was 16 years old sitting in front of a mirror, applyiing and re-applying my eyeliner to look like her. Ha!

No matter what work she's had done, she looks fantastic and is still one of the most beautiful women in the world.

Angelina Jolie is following in Sophia's footsteps.

Tina Turner is still sassy though I think she's finally settled into her age as she no longer performs or has to show those knock out legs of hers. Love her too.

Karena said...

These fabulous women are all beautiful, confident and want to look good. Most of them naturally so.

I will say I do not fault anyone who does a bit of a nip tuck here and there. It is a very personal matter.

There are days when I would like to!

xoxo
Karena
Art by Karena

LuxeBytes said...

Francoise Hardy is BEYOND.

Just fabulous and gorgeous.

xoxox --
M.

kathy peck said...

Francoise Hardy is gorgeous. Wish I had the nerve to go gray. This has been an amazing week - and shifted my attitude towards my approaching 60th birthday.
Thank you, and hoping it continues and get integrated into your blog in some way.

Debbi@SheAccessorizesWell said...

Thank you for putting all this together. I know it took a lot of time to gather all the photos. It has been very enlightening to see all these women. I too think those that are the most beautiful are the most natural.

helen tilston said...

Tish
This has been most interesting and they all look terrific. We live in a wonderful time when women have a choice of whether to remain natural or have plastic surgery - wonder why they still call it plastic surgery, it has rather a negative connotation?

Thanks again
Helen xx

Jl said...

these all fantastic ladies,it is not usual to see women of their age so glorious but I think I read in one of your posts that you would like to go on the street and take pictures of all the those lovely unknown ladies.
that would be great !
Feminist is you being yourself in best way possible.

Debora said...

I think they're all lovely, and I've enjoyed this post so much. Isn't it funny that we raise our eyebrows a bit to those who've had surgery, but don't think a thing of those who color their hair. I suspect it's because we are more afraid of having wrinkles than gray hair...

Elizabeth Eiffel said...

Looking forward to reading your blog one you "have been tempted". I love the way your words flow.
Have a lovely weekend.

Susan said...

As an avid follower if your blog over the past couple of years, can I say that I have thoroughly enjoyed your last weeks' posts on older women aging gracefully, more than anything you've ever done!!!
What a wonderful salute to such beautiful women in their 60's and beyond...a true inspiration for me, about to cross the line into my 60th year.
"You can take no credit for beauty at sixteen. But if you are beautiful at 60, it will be your souls' own doing"~~~Maria Stopes, scientist, activist and writer.

Lynda said...

Such a rich topic, so many faces to learn from. Here're my thoughts on surgical alterations: They seem to be done to conform to the prevailing look of the times, and to preserve an age, chase a youth, one no longer possesses. As a result, people who've had surgery always look to me to be out of sync with their faces. They never look like their real, or authentic, selves again.

Cher is a prime example of this. She had such a unique, fascinating face as a young singer in the 60s. I don't know when she began having surgery, but now she looks so entirely bland and Stepford-creepy to me I honestly can't bear to look at photos of her anymore. It's as though she's lost her Cher-ness.

A woman who exemplifies the exact opposite of this, who demonstrates self-acceptance of her unusual features, is Anjelica Huston. I can't swear she hasn't had any surgery, but I just googled images of her and she doesn't appear to have had any, for whatever that's worth. I think she's a knock-out, and will only grow better looking with age.

So many people who have their eyes done end up looking the same, from Jack Lemmon to Jane Fonda to Robert Blake and Catherine Deneuve. Some more extreme than others, but all basically the same. And it is not an improvement.

When all is said and done, what it comes down to for me is, what is so awful about having an aging face?

carol said...

Thank you for a week of beautiful faces..

It's not just their physical beauty that has been such a pleasure to observe, it's the beauty of spirit that shines through.

the occasional pat said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed this post and can but agree with the sentiments expressed here. I live in rural France and although I think the hype about French women is hugely exagerated I do agree that those that do take care have an adventureous outlook in what they wear and how they look as they get older.

Lilacs In May said...

Well said Jane in SF. As youthful good looks fade, so mature and wise spirit should supersede.

Avril Leigh said...

Perhaps when you next do the over 60s you could ask your readers to send in shots of themselves so we see "real" faces as they are lived outside the spotlight?

Good wishes, I have enjoyed all these faces.

Sally@DivineDistractions said...

I have just discovered your blog, and I'm so thrilled to have photos of beautiful older women to aspire to. I'm turning 60 this month, and I've vowed to enjoy this next decade of my life to it's fullest. Your blog is a great reminder that I can. My concern is that I can't find a way to subscribe!! Please let me know if I've missed the sign up. I don't want to miss a single post! Thanks, Sally@sallyjdesigns.com

Duchesse said...

What I love about Charlotte and Jane is the absence of those carved-out owl eyes. Agree w/Lynda, no shame in age on the face.

Pearl said...

Beautiful examples. I am surprised by how many there are (foolish me!) that look as if they've had no "work." But that's not to say care--and obviously a group of actresses knows full well that the face can't bounce back from bad diet, no water, too much alcohol and sun after a certain age. Love the lines around the eyes! On a different note, I wonder if you might help me locate someone knowledgable to teach a course in Paris next spring (2013): my university is introducing a course on fashion, history, culture, and media through my department (theatre) and we're trying to locate a teacher with experience in those areas and teaching. If you do think of someone "right," can you have them contact me at pearl2164@gmail.com. If you can't think of anyone, thanks for considering this.

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