On aging gracefully…


“Instead, now perhaps we can look at a beautiful woman and know she will be beautiful to the end of her life. She will be different, of course. And yet, like a fine Proustian sentence, she will have gathered time and harvested memory, lived through a million bodily shocks and mental joys and arrived at the perfect embodiment of herself right now. The girl she once was in the summer dress had always known this could happen.” -Andrew O’Hagan

I read a thought-provoking piece in T Magazine yesterday by Andrew O’Hagan titled Laws of Attraction. It’s about women discovering their true beauty with age. He praises the French in their ability to do this. I think it’s something I, as a young American woman, have hardly internalized. I fret about turning 28 next year, about the newfound creases appearing around my eyes — reading this article made my worry seem so baseless. After all, why should only men grow handsomer over time? I’d like to change my attitude about aging and embrace the journey with more self-assurance. Perhaps the piece will inspire you to as well. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Sidenote: The one shortcoming of the piece was that the accompanying photos were all of actresses under forty which seemed to undermine the writer’s message. There were plenty of comments regarding the photos and I’m sure the fine folks at T Magazine took note. I prefer this shot of Catherine Deneuve whose age always conveys an enviable mix of sensuality, grace, and confidence.

(image via)

Keep in touch! Instagram // Twitter // Tumblr // Facebook // Pinterest

15 comments on “On aging gracefully…

  1. Natalia

    Oh yes! I really enjoyed this article, and appreciate its timely entry into my own mental activity on beauty. It reminds me of a pair of lyrics I love: “Everybody’s drilling for a fountain of youth / but sometimes in these fountains they drown.” Thank you for passing this on!

  2. Jade Sheldon-Burnsed

    My husband and I were just discussing this very subject when I came across a photograph of Audrey Hepburn at an older age. We both kept commenting on how elegant and gorgeous she was and how she rocked every age she was. I want to embrace every year of my life like that…

  3. Katie Armour Post author

    Aja – Your comment cracked me up! So excited to turn 34! :)

    Juliane – In full agreement. Nice to remember there’s more to womanhood than what we see in a mirror.

    Natalia – That lyric is brilliant. Glad I’m not the only one that found the piece timely! Thanks for sharing :)

    Jade – Audrey did it best! A wonderful example of beauty emanating from the inside out. I think she was most beautiful in her later years when she was doing all her work with UNICEF and such. What a selfless and lovely being.

  4. Erin

    I read this over the weekend, too (our delivery is curiously split into two days though we only have a Sunday subscription; portions get delivered Saturday, inexplicably) and I noticed the same thing about the photographs! Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing Lea Seydoux and Berenice Bejo as much as possible, but it seemed to subvert the rest of the article.

  5. Antonia

    I, too, read the article and was very annoyed that the photos were all of young women. At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, I am beginning to think that the excitment about these articles is misplaced. “Look, its an article about older women!” Why should such an article be so unique and special? It should be normal to have articles about woman of ALL ages; it should be normal to see photos of woman of ALL ages. Especially since older women (and men) are making up a VERY large percentage of the population.

  6. Lori Jenkins

    Hi Katie – I loved this article. I think I’ve read it 5 times before you posting this :) I’m turning 40 next month and have decided to embrace it. No more thoughts of botox – just focus on being healthy and the best I can be.

  7. Alecia

    Loved this article. It is so hard not to fall into the trap that beauty=importance/worth. Everything in our society sings praises of women not “looking” their age. What is wrong with looking your age? :) I use to get so upset when I was younger that people thought I looked younger than what I was, now as I am the BIG 28 (ha) and I hate that people can actually tell my age. What the? I mean am I always going to be upset with my age? I hope my maturity and confidence grows as I get older and start to realize what a bunch of BS our culture is trying to “sell” to us.

  8. Heather

    I haven’t been able to read the article, yet, but fully intend to over the holiday weekend. Personally, I thought that I would have had a hard time turning 30. With my 37th birthday approaching in October, I can honestly say that I have enjoyed my 30s much more than my 20s. I feel like I came into my own in my 30s (especially since turning 35) and I have a much better idea of who I am and what I want to do. I feel grounded now. Sure, I still have ‘moments,’ but who doesn’t? I’m graduating in December with Masters Degree in my mid-30s in something I am hopelessly passionate about, have grown so much as a woman, started taking much better care of myself in terms of exercise and food choices, started on some incredible new journeys with my husband. I wouldn’t go back to my 20’s. I don’t think I am afraid of aging anymore; not like I was when I was 26. I honestly look forward to 37 and what the year will bring.

    Catherine Deneuve, Audrey Hepburn, Meryl Streep, Marion Cotillard (who happens to be my age) are all wonderful case studies in how to age gracefully.

  9. Noel

    On the morning of my 40th birthday, I woke up to a horrible allergic reaction on my face to a new anti-aging cream. I’m talking Quasimodo. Eyes swollen so much I couldn’t see, skin red and flaking.
    I’m taking it as a sign not to fight so hard. And to appreciate what I have.

  10. Haydee

    I like to think of the aging process as a privilege. Reaching 60, 70, 80, 90+ … a privilege!:) And anytime I’m skeptical about wearing a shorter skirt or my bikini, I always think of what my 75 y/o self would say and she usually says “Go for it! What are you waiting for?!”

    Hope you’re well Katie!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *