Short Thought 121 (anti-aging)

I’ve brought this up before. In a print ad, I saw a campaign for anti-aging Olay© makeup featuring Katie Holmes. Beautiful, youthful Katie Holmes. Worrying about not showing her age (which turns out to be 35). Ahaha! I wonder how old ladies, once they get out their reading glasses and magnifier that is, feel about blurrily seeing such rubbish? “That poor Katie Holmes,” I bet they think, “Look at her, aging so dreadfully. Good thing she got hold of the right foundation.”

30 thoughts on “Short Thought 121 (anti-aging)

  1. Anxious Mom

    Only 4 years to go before I need anti aging stuff? 😳 I may change my mind as I get older, but for now I don’t see why it’s so problematic to look one’s age.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Oh, it’s problematic if you listen to the media: no one will love you, want to have sex with you, hire you, pay you what you’re worth, treat you fairly, listen to what you have to say, and on and on and on. Basically, they scare the crap out of women. And sadly, a lot believe it and begin to look at other women that way too. Can you tell I have an opinion on this?! I mean * Katie Holmes* is supposed to worry??!! Thanks for commenting too. –Colette

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      1. Anxious Mom

        It’s ridiculous how they create these fears, or feed into them anyway, and make a ton of money from it! And like you said, lovely how they use Katie Holmes because if she is supposed to worry, then the rest of us are doomed. Better go out and waste our money on something before it’s too late.

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  2. Deb

    Why does no one understand that anti-aging make-up does not stop aging, or the visible effects. It’s all a temporary fix, and of course simply a way to make $ yet so many women buy into the idea.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      I know!! The only thing I’d say is that I suspect (no proof) is that although it’s not the reason I used it, years of wearing foundation while also being outside a lot has helped protect my face some from sun damage. I’ve only recently started wearing some that has actual sunscreen. I’m hoping to prevent/stall skin cancer and big brown spots; not to pass for 20.

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  3. Kate Crimmins

    I’m in my 60s. I didn’t worry about aging until I turned 60 and there is no point in worrying as it’s a done deal. Many of the ads for anti-aging products are airbrushed anyway. Can I get my face airbrushed? How can you possible look old at 35? Or even 45? Those are great years.

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      Exactly my thoughts. I feel for any woman who is worried about age at 35 or 40 (even while understanding “aging” actresses’ employability and purpose is on the line), because she has a long, tough road ahead of her. And your point about airbrushing is well-taken. Look at the hoopla created when Jamie Lee Curtis posed makeup free or the un-airbrushed shots of Cindy Crawford in lingerie were released. (I think there was another famous one or two but it escapes me now). And yet women, and vulnerable girls go on looking at these images wishing and comparing and feeling deficient.

      Nora Ephron had a great line about how whatever part of your body you disliked at 20, you’ll look back on with fond nostalgia at 40.

      I hate the older-woman bashing because we all get trained, sometimes unconsciously, to be (almost) repelled by aging women. It hurts everybody.

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  4. LadyPinkRose

    How sad that this society is so obsessed about looking young. How is it even possible to look old when you are in your 30’s? Good grief!! So much money is spent on anti-aging products but the facts are, oxygen and gravity will still get you. Yep, that is the truth! LOL

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      I know!!! With all the old ladies walking around – more than ever before – you’d think it would be obvious by now to most observers that WOMEN (and men) GET OLD. Even if Hollywood and Madison Ave make sure we don’t see them, we have plentiful other opportunities. Can you imagine telling someone’s Grandma, if only you’d had Olay‘s© anti-aging makeup or L’oreal©’s youth serum, you could have stayed 33??!! Thanks for your comment!

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  5. Jim Link

    The only anti-aging ad with a sense of humor I can remember was with the young, beautiful Kelly LeBrock hawking Oil of Olay 15 years ago or so. It was still fear-inducing, or insecurity – inducing for women, but Kelly would conspiratorily lean in over her desk, put her (beautiful) face up to the camera and beg the female viewers “Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful!” She then would sing the praises of the product.

    The subliminal message of the ad was simultaneously “Hey, gals, of course you can never be as beautiful as I, but look at the farcical way I make a living. I may be prettier than you, but much more ridiculous ,too.”

    Or at least I thought so…………

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  6. Angie Mc

    Colette, I don’t know if I just don’t pay enough attention or if most of what I watch on TV is sports so I don’t see much of the beauty product push but…not phased here. Katie Holmes is stunning and the folks who are selling their wares through her chose well. As for anti-aging? Whatever. I’m more about pro-aging 😀

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      My objection, Angie, is in the absurdity of using Katie Holmes to sell anti-aging products. I am well aware of what’s marketed to women and am afraid for the girls & young women coming up now, It’s insidious and the standards impossible

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      1. Angie Mc

        Oh, I get it! And now I remember a piece of the puzzle of why this stuff rolls off my back for the most part. My daughter (age 22 now) shared with me some time ago that from her perspective, anti-aging products (true or not) are for skin care…to feed the skin well so that it stays healthy. These products are for everyone who has skin. In this way, Katie Holmes doesn’t have to be “old” to sell anti-aging products. She’s perfectly positioned to attract a broad audience. Soon I bet we’ll see very young women selling these products. I wonder if/when the term “anti-aging” will be dropped for something else?

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        1. ninamishkin

          I agree, Colette, that an ad featuring 35-year-old Katie Holmes endorsing an “anti-aging” cream is ridiculous. I also agree with the comment above by Kate Crimmins that there’s no reason to be concerned about the appearance of age (if you’re going to be concerned) until your sixties. I would further add there’s no cream in the world that’s “anti-aging.” The signs of age will come eventually, cream or no cream.

          However my post is about something different. The young women your Katie Holmes ad is pitched to are afraid of aging because our Western world is uncomfortable with visible signs of real old age and therefore benches old people and ignores them to the extent they can. (By contrast, Chinese culture venerates the old and their life experience.) I am therefore saying in my piece that an aging woman in the West can choose to let herself be benched and ignored or do the best she can to make other people comfortable with seeing her as a credible, thinking human being. As for my “smarts” and “accomplishments” (your terms), they don’t show unless I staple myself to my resume or CV. It’s the “attractiveness” (your term again) which will keep the welcome mat out for me, and the same is true of the “average” aging lady you speak of in your comment to my post. It’s too bad that that’s the way it is. But that’s the way it is. You can fight it. Or play the game. And the truth is, I am enough a product of my culture to like myself better when I look as good as I can.

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          1. writerinsoul Post author

            Thanks, Nina. I think our two posts dovetailed on different aspects of the same issue. You couldn’t frighten younger women about the prospect of aging unless they suspected the threats had legitimacy (i.e., in regard to how they will be perceived and treated). Your post supports that too; who wants to be ignored, shoved into on the sidewalk, and otherwise marginalized? Where things fall apart is the suggestion by the media that youthful women (like Katie Holmes) would be wise to start obsessing (and spending) over this early. And if aging women weren’t so disdained in our culture, mature women like you maybe would not have to feel they must go to a lot of trouble to be treated equally. And for it’s worth, I would guess the way you speak, carry yourself, and engage with people would reveal at least hints that you are smart, attractive, and accomplished. Thanks for weighing in.

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  7. vanbytheriver

    I hope to arrive at old age. Period. That being said, it would be a huge benefit to get there with dignity, poise and grace. Wrinkles…bring them on. I’ve lived a lifetime, I’ve earned them, and I will embrace them. ❤ Van

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    1. writerinsoul Post author

      I like this, Van. I want to arrive in old age of sound mind & body, however much of each is possible. If I maintain a bit of style and “attractive-for-her-age”, those would be extras. Wrinkles and aged skin will be a given, at least for me. I hope to be taken seriously and treated fairly and have presence, but these are less within my control.

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      1. vanbytheriver

        The women in my family have tradtionally died young…50’s and early 60’s at best. So…it was about perspective for me. When I turned 60, thought I was home free. A few months later,they found a mass that was benign. Another reprieve. Now, I just hope to live long enough to complain about wrinkles. I suspect that you won’t have any trouble being taken seriously, Colette, I know I will insist on it. But, with a sense of humor ! ☺ Van

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        1. writerinsoul Post author

          Geez, Van. How scary. I guess that would have an effect on your perspective. I’ve never faced my own mortality like that. I don’t think I’d take it well. You are kind to think I won’t have trouble being taken seriously but it’s been an issue all along and old women get marginalized and patronized quite a bit. Props to your plan – when I’m pissed my humor tends to vacate me!

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