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As the owner of a beauty brand aimed at women in their late thirties and beyond, I hear the great many ‘truths’ women tell themselves about getting older.
The most common ones centre on the pro-age/anti-age divide. So many women seem deeply conflicted about whether it’s better to allow themselves to grow older ‘naturally’ using a little anti-ageing cream or taking greater measures such as Botox, fillers or even surgery.
Many report that whilst they no longer enjoy how they look, and possibly also struggle with society’s pressure for women to look younger, the current trend against anti-ageing is leaving many of them feeling that if they do have some kind of work done, that they’re somehow ‘letting the side down’.
There’s fear too. Fear that people will laugh and point if the work is somehow ‘obvious’. Fear that without it they’ll become overlooked and ‘invisible’, just another old lady with no value, and nothing to say.
Whilst it deeply saddens (and if I’m honest infuriates) me that women are still stuck making so many choices based on the approval of others, I can’t help but wonder how much harder it must be for women in the public eye.
Hollywood actress Courtney Cox is a great example. I loved her honesty in ‘Running Wild’, when she told Bear Grylls that she had regrets over the procedures and work she’d had done. She explained:
“I think there’s a pressure to maintain [your looks] not just because of fame, but just being a woman in this business,”
“Getting older, I don’t think that’s the easiest thing. But I have learned lessons. I think I was trying to keep up with getting older and trying to chase that. It’s something you can’t keep up with.”
When you consider how much of my job is scrutinising every element of a woman’s face, you might understand why I felt a bit saddened when I saw a recent film of hers.
She remains a truly beautiful, charismatic woman but her face had lost the emotion and expression a little, and seemed very ‘puffed’ up. It’s one of the things women considering work are most scared of.
Co-friend Jennifer Aniston is very open about her disdain for not only the use of injectable anti-aging solutions for herself, but for anyone. Speaking to Bobbi Brown in a now legendary interview, she revealed why:
“’It just doesn’t help. It’s a slippery, slippery slope. And like we were saying before, they [people who use Botox] just start to lose perspective, it’s their new normal, so it’s a hard one to come back from.’
More recently, she took it a stage further, saying that the idea of other younger women injecting ‘shit’ into their faces scared her terribly. The idea that the generation below might feel forced into pumping their face with chemicals is something she clearly feels deeply about. But is she necessarily right to express her disdain? She’s absolutely entitled to her opinion on it, but isn’t it perhaps easier for a woman named by People magazine ‘World’s Most Beautiful’ at the age of 46 to feel more confident in ageing, than your average woman? And I don’t necessarily believe that all women lose perspective; I have a friend who has been doing Botox for years, just a tiny touch that really freshens, and it hasn’t been a slippery slope.
Jennifer Aniston does after all have access to the best makeup artists, skin therapists, dieticians, and stylists to help out. The average woman may well only have a three-hundred-pound aesthetician to help her out when she starts to appreciate her own face less.
Of course the reverse could also be argued – that in fact being the world’s most beautiful woman means INTENSE scrutiny that the average woman never faces. Just ask Kate Winslet, who has a new article written about her face every time she leaves the house, or Bridget Jones actress Renee Zellweger, who caused a storm with an apparent transformation last year.
So what is the answer? It’s all very well saying ‘ignore the pressure from both sides and go with what feels right for you’. But I’m well aware that it’s simply not always that easy.
Instead, I advise education. Really educate yourself about the choices available to you and ask yourself what the right option for you .. emotionally, psychologically and only for you, personally. Having just turned 50, it is something that I often think about and consider.
Speak to a number of consultants and ask their opinion on what might give you the best results. Be really realistic about what you want to achieve and realise that once you start, invariably you might need to tweak more than one area to get balance.
Ask friends for recommendations and check testimonials. Whilst Botox is generally very well tolerated, fillers can be trickier so check how long results will last.
Start with a great skincare and makeup consultation, along with a diet overhaul, then move up slowly from there – often when you feel better concerns about your looks drop off anyway.
Finally, ask yourself who you’re doing it for. If you’re comfortable with that reason, whatever it is, then go for it. Your face is entirely your decision, and you have to live with it.
Then when you decide – go for it, and don’t worry about what anyone else says.
Founder Studio 10 Beauty
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