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aging what women of a certain age look like

This is what 84 looks like

Carmen Dell Orefice is billed by this Fortune article as the world’s oldest working model (Baddie Winkle might have something to say about that). Her looks are confectionary: flossy platinum hair, doll-like features, painted-on lips and a complexion like wedding cake icing. Nearly 100% artifice, at least in her modeling photos, which is all we ever see.

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Carmen Dell Orefice, age 85

She’s looked exactly like this for decades — same gravity-defying white hair, same placidly arrogant expression. But as a young model she was an extremely interesting-looking beauty, an Italian girl, which is to say ethnic for that time.

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Carmen Dell Orefice
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aging what women of a certain age look like

This is what 63 looks like

Almost disqualified because she is French (which is cheating), Isabelle Huppert was among the most self-possessed of women at the Golden Globes last Sunday. She doesn’t look “young” or even “young for her age.” Rather, she looks just right: slender, chic, the product of diligent self-care and groomed without looking calcified, which is sometimes the case with older American beauties.

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Isabelle Huppert, age 63: Suits up like a boss
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Isabelle Huppert, age 63: Ice queen
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aging what women of a certain age look like

but maybe not such a good idea either?

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Why A Nude Photo Session in Your 50s Is Not Such a Bad Idea After All

If you get those Living Social emails, you surely have received offers of discounted “boudoir photography” sessions. While I like a deal as much as the next underpaid editor, I’ve always viewed them as a spectacularly bad idea.

Take off your clothes for some stranger in a second-floor studio on Canal Street? Not sure I want to live that social.

Delete. (Come to think of it, this pretty much describes my Living Social bikini wax experience, but I’m almost positive there were no cameras involved.)

Another reason boudoir photography has held no appeal: Mine is not a body built for the boudoir. Not that I’ve ever, knowingly, visited a boudoir, but I’m pretty sure the ladies you’d find there would be womanly, curvy, Rubenesque. By contrast, I possess super-sturdy legs, broad shoulders, narrow hips and a not-narrow waist. I have what I call a Man Back which makes for a bra size that starts, alluringly, with the number 36, only to be followed by a demure “A.” Practically a Man Front, in other words, at least above the waist.

I know in describing my body I’m revealing my body image as well, but the truth is …

Read more at >

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what women of a certain age look like

This is what 81 looks like

Sophia Loren, on the occasion of her 81st birthday
Sophia Loren, on the occasion of her 81st birthday

There’s nobody more beautiful than Sophia as a young woman — the very archetype of the Italian bombshell.

Portrait of Sophia as a young woman
Portrait of Sophia as a young woman

As with so many icons, Sophia is being celebrated at age 81 — and employed, with a Dolce & Gabbana lipstick all her own. But the signs of extensive work she has had done make it hard to look at her: the beestung lips, the waxy cheeks, the drag queen makeup. I’m conflicted.

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aging madonna

queasy fascination

Such an accurate way to describe our feelings about Madonna, especially as she springs into her newest incarnation to promote the release of Bitch I’m Madonna.

“Yes, she’s constantly reinventing herself, but is she evolving?” muses Jancee Dunn in a recent NY Times article.

Bitch I'm Madonna
Bitch I’m Madonna

Is she at risk of becoming famous for being old? For the past 10 years, media coverage can’t set aside her age, even while either hand-wringing over her age-inappropriateness or celebrating her agelessness. What about if we set aside talk of how old she is and critiqued her work — apart from the fact she made that work at (now) 57?

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aging what women of a certain age look like

This is what 87 looks like

Screen Shot 2015-09-16 at 2.25.10 PM

Baddie Winkle loves raver clothes, has 1.1 million Instagram followers and says “I don’t feel old. I have never felt old. I think you can dress any way you want to.”

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aging what i'm reading

don’t be old

Hilariously true poem in the The New York Times by Steve Duenes, called How to Walk in New York City. Best line: Don’t be old.

The numbers refer to animated graphics, which you can see here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/04/23/magazine/how-to-walk-in-new-york.html

Don't break stride.
Don’t break stride.

Don’t text.

Don’t smile.

Don’t be injured.

Don’t break stride.

Don’t hum what’s in your headphones.

Walking in New York is not Mick Jagger. It is James Brown. The beat depends on the day and the hour and the borough and the street. In the Times Square subway station at 9 a.m. on a Monday, it is the opening drum sequence from “Hot for Teacher.”

Don’t touch anyone.1

Don’t bump elbows.

Don’t hold hands. 2

Don’t lose focus.

Don’t leer.

Even as you glide past a luminous stranger, the instant crushes that start and end as subway doors close are fleeting. There is a moment of stirring promise, and then there is only what could have been. Keep moving.

Don’t run.

Don’t hold hands.

Don’t look up at the buildings.3

Don’t say good morning.

Don’t eavesdrop.

Even if you are overhearing a man try to explain the resurrection to a business colleague from rural Japan on Fifth Avenue, don’t listen. Much. You might wander into the path of the M1 bus.

Don’t talk on your phone.

Don’t take pictures.

Don’t change lanes.

Don’t make eye contact.

Don’t step in it.

The idea of stopping at an intersection is a nonstarter. Jockey for position at the front of the group, slowly edging into the street as cars pass within inches of your knees. Never stop moving. Walk in an extended, single fluid motion, even at the deli, where your left hand delivers pre-counted cash to a clerk as the goods are swept up by your right.

The city stride can be triumphant, like the brief high of an athletic upset. If you win when the consequences of losing are steep, then your parade through the city can be like the opening credits of “Saturday Night Fever” — or like David Byrne dancing in that big suit. You may achieve an intense awareness that this moment might be IT. On most days, you’re paying the bills, searching for IT. IT is there, seemingly within your reach, but you can be distracted because New York is the trees and not the forest. It’s the scrum at the bar; the next 10 minutes; the bus that’s not braking or the lunatic shouting directly in your ear. Whatever IT is, you may find it in New York. You may earn it, you may bump into it, you may achieve it or win it by accident or coincidence, and when you do, you better revel in your victory because IT never lasts, and whatever it is — you will surely, ultimately, lose it.

Don’t be an obstacle.

Don’t be sick.

Don’t be old.

Don’t stop.

Don’t look back.

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Uncategorized what women of a certain age look like

This is What 90 Looks Like

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As published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer by Regina Brett

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short – enjoy it..

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and family will.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Stay true to yourself.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.

9. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

10. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

11. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

12. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

13. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it…

14 Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

15. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful. Clutter weighs you down in many ways.

16. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

17. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

18. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

19. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

20. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

21. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

22. The most important sex organ is the brain.

23. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

24. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

25. Always choose life.

26. Forgive but don’t forget.

27. What other people think of you is none of your business.

28. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

29. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

30. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does..

31. Believe in miracles.

32. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

33. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

34. Your children get only one childhood.

35. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

36. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

37. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

38. Envy is a waste of time. Accept what you already have not what you need.

39. The best is yet to come…

40. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

41. Yield.

42. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

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aging what women of a certain age look like

This is What 50 Looks Like

SJP looks

SJP turns 50
SJP turns 50

like a happy mom, which is a beautiful thing.

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what women of a certain age look like

This is What 81 Looks Like

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Last year, I complained that the NYT published a long article on Gloria Steinman’s 80th birthday, with the headline “This is What 80 Looks Like.” Except the image of her was an illustration, so how can we tell what she looks like?

This is what 80 looks like
This is what 80 looks like

They must have heard me — yes, that’s it! — because this year they did a before/after photo. Rock on Gloria.