farewell to youth, but not beauty

That’s the title of a piece in the fluffy Style section of yesterday’s New York Times, the one I turn to first on Sunday mornings. Being 45 puts writer Maria Russo in the “advance guard of Gen-X middle age,” and she describes her pleasure at beginning to encounter realistic exemplars of non-youthful beauty: Ellen DeGeneres, Diane Keaton, the dames of Downton Abbey.  The trend is exemplified by MAC Cosmetic’s new line inspired by 90-year-old style icon Iris Apfel, pictured here in Scarlet Ibis, a “bright, high-drama red that approximates Apfel’s signature bold lip.”Iris Apfel

I’ve written about Apfel and the Advanced Style blog before, and at length about the need to embrace a more open-minded and generous concept of beauty.  “We may prove lucky in our timing,” writes Russo about her generation, “in that not just middle age but even old age is losing its beauty stigma just as we say goodbye to our youth.”  MAC’s bold endorsement and Apfel’s bold lipstick are bold moves in that direction.

5 thoughts on “farewell to youth, but not beauty

  1. I read your snippet on Iris Apfel, and it reminded me of a book I have called How Not to Look Old.  It’s full of tips to help middle-aged women look younger.  They work.  Things like never wear bright red lipstick, wear soft pink shimmery lipstick, so it doesn’t draw attention to your wrinkled mouth and the color doesn’t look like a deep, narrow gash in your face.  Your lips will look younger and fuller in soft pink shimmer.

    It’s true, it really works.  That got me wondering at what point will I stop caring about not looking my age and just wear what I like?  At what point will I like looking dramatic and maybe scary again?  Is Iris simply returning to her girlish enthusiasm for boldness?  (Did she ever forget it?) The sad irony is the author of How Not to Look Old just died, and she wasn’t old.  She was 58.

    How many years did she fret about looking not old but simply the age she was?  Is there no hope for us to relax with ourselves before we have no choice but to relax?  Every time I think I really don’t give a rat’s rear end about what others think, I am reminded that I do indeed.  More Iris, please.  I need a couple of role models to rock my world.

  2. Some people, no matter how old they get, never lose their beauty – they merely move it from their faces into their hearts. ~Martin Buxbaum. Therefore we must remember that saying goodbye to youth does not necessarily mean saying goodbye to beauty. Infact, I have seen this – people of great character, and those who live their life well, remain young even when their age is more. And fashion, though not necessary for beauty,  can certainly complement it if done in a proper way.

  3. This is really a good move. Its necessary to change the attitude of society for old age and make it more optimistic and positive. One must remember though, that youth is not just external, but also internal. Thus, remaining fit and healthy is more important than fashion. And one who lives a good life with great moral values, will remain ever young, that is my understanding.

  4. Should I say this is a ray of light for many? Though, some people may be unaffected by this – quoting Audrey Hepburn – The beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, the figure that she carries, or the way she combs her hair. The beauty of a woman is seen in her eyes, because that is the doorway to her heart, the place where love resides. True beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It’s the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she shows & the beauty of a woman only grows with passing years. So for all the old people, they should realize that as one grows older, the beauty steals inwards. Dont think that you have to say goodbye to your beauty just because you have to say goodbye to your youth. One can remain beautiful just by beautiful thoughts. But yes, fashion which does not harm any living being – like using products which have not been tested on animals (note that some cosmetics harm animals) – will definitely make one appear more beautiful even on the outside.

  5. I like the quote in title farewell to youth but not to beauty. And this is the beauty of the words of writer. These kind of quotes are very much motivational. Never make someone feel old even in 80s of life.

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