I was reading a recent interview in which fashion titan, Tom Ford, revealed that he hasn’t had any Botox injections since the birth of his son in 2012. Ok, I realise how vapid this sounds and that you don’t care, because truly I don’t either – though, to his credit, the end point of this admission was a lot more profound than it sounds. What really caught my attention is that Tom Ford is 52 years old. Fifty-two?! I mean, holy hell!! I guess it had never really crossed my mind what age he was, but damn! He looks really good.
This, in turn, made me realise that I’ve been thinking this about some celebrities for quite some time now, and something occurred to me. Despite all the advances that we’ve made in medicine and technology which has increased our life expectancy far longer than has been known in history (minus the alleged thousands of years that Biblical characters lived for) and all the flowery assertions that the media has been making that thirty is the new twenty, forty is the new fifteen and so forth, it is still hard for us to accept that anyone over the age of fifty should look good.
Why is that? Is it an inherent belief that we possess, or has the relatively recent boom in Botox, fillers and face-lifts that has sprouted in Hollywood the second a celebrity sees a fraction of a wrinkle conditioned us to believe that? The amazing thing is that the majority of these people don’t even really need the cosmetic work done. It’s just that there is this crippling fear of age – or at least of having it show – that makes them do whatever it takes to try to hold onto their youthful appearance, with the end result that very many of them wind up looking worse than they would have had they allowed themselves to mature naturally.
I’ve gotta ask, why are so afraid of looking like we’re getting older? Yes, maybe the fact that I’m only in my twenties makes me woefully ignorant of this fear, but still… I look at celebrities like Christopher Meloni, who is fifty-three years old and does things to me that the sight of guys my own age can’t accomplish, and I don’t understand the fear. Have you seen Tim McGraw lately? While Taylor Swift’s lyrics “When you think Tim McGraw, hope you think of me” was originally meant to invoke nostalgia, somehow it suddenly seems to inspire some lust, maybe a little envy, and definitely a hell of a lot of wishful thinking.
There’s the age-old diatribe that men always age better than women, but hello! Go google Christie Brinkley, Sandra Bullock or Julianne Moore. These women are gorgeous, and while I won’t go as far as swearing on my life that they’ve never had work done, it isn’t to the extent that their own age and natural beauty have been compromised.
We don’t know what age is going to do with us physically, and I suppose that that’s a huge part of the fear. After all, we always fear the unknown, right? But, pre-emptive cosmetic strikes to alleviate the fear don’t fix the problem. Actually, it sometimes creates it. I can’t help but believe that beauty in older years is not elusive, it’s prevented… and we’re the ones preventing it ourselves.