Monday, 6 September 2010

The Quest for Eternal Youth. Yawn.

Last week, I was horrified and fascinated in equal measure to see that Demi Moore had resorted to the sort of behaviour usually reserved for 16 year old girls with self-esteem issues (and an inexplicable and insatiable desire for reassurance from random pervs) and posted a picture of herself on Twitter in her undercrackers. Not a professionally taken picture, backlit, lounging casually by her pool. Oh no. It was a point-and-shoot-we-can-clearly-see-the-camera-flash-in-the-mirror job.

Despite appearances, the woman is 47 years old. After 47 years, you’d think if she wanted a bit of attention she’d have enough knowledge to say something fabulously outrageous, controversial, intelligent and interesting, rather than resorting to getting her cosmetically-enhanced baps out.

What beggars belief to an even greater degree, is that The Mirror (gawd bless their total disregard for anything approaching responsible journalism or ventures outside the realms of celeb bodies, paedophilia and Iraq) went with the ‘My, doesn’t she look amazing for her age?’ angle.

I think I can categorically say that Demi Moore doesn’t look ‘amazing for her age’. Not by my definition of the phrase in any event. Helen Mirren looks amazing for her age. Joanna Lumley looks amazing for her age. Growing old with a smidgen of class, perhaps doing a few sit ups, dressing appropriately for your shape, moisturising and having an air of dignity all fall within my definition of ‘looking amazing for your age’. Paying someone to suck out/replace or tamper with all vestiges of the body Mother Nature bestowed upon you in an exhausting and fruitless quest to capture the essence of youth is lazy, dangerous and damaging to the self-esteem of Middle aged women everywhere. Beauty not only comes in all shapes, sizes, races and colours, there’s room for a spectrum of ages too.

Fifty years ago, women rarely shaved their legs (just shoved said pins into a pair of 40 dernier stockings which covered a multitude of sins) and their beauty regime tended to be restricted to a slick of lippy and a bit of pressed powder. Today, we would consider that a lazy way to approach grooming. Even I’d tend towards that opinion. What concerns me is that we are heading towards a time where botox, face peels, implants and even knee skin realignment (a procedure which Demi is rumoured to have undergone) are considered an essential part of one’s beauty regime. Will those who don’t succumb to these invasive and potentially harmful procedures be considered ‘lazy’?

I sincerely hope not. I hope that the backlash against the increasing pressure to conform to a fixed beauty aesthetic perpetuated by projects like Body Gossip save us from a bizarre and plastic future, where women like Demi are hailed as Goddesses without even having to open their collagen-injected mouths.

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