A few weeks ago Us Weekly "investigated" (i.e.- they did a survey) whether several male celebrities are sexier now than they were when they were younger. Surprise, surprise- almost every one was considered, to varying degrees, to be sexier older than younger. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wondered what the results would be if this investigation were done with female celebrities, and reached the conclusion that the results would have been very different.
Oh, there are some fortunate (and brave) females out there who have fabulous bone structure and gravity-defying boobs who age beautifully, naturally. There are women out there who are proud of ageing gracefully, and I hope that some day I'll be one of them... but the fact is that this is one thing that men have going for them that we women just don't. They generally get better-looking with age.
I really don't think this is entirely something we've been led to believe by the media or some conspiracy meant to belittle women and keep us insecure. Most of these guys look downright goofy in their "younger" pictures. Of course there's a huge psychological aspect to the whole thing, but it's hard to deny that Patrick Dempsey looks better in his "Dr. McDreamy" years than he did as a gawky 20-something, even if you're not looking at him as a potential provider.
Women? Oh, smile lines make us look old. Getting a more prominent jawline isn't so desirable for us, and while the men get sexier, we get Nice n' Easy.
Isn't that depressing? Still, this might might be changing. As we get used to seeing mature women as people who are strong and successful, and if we learn to admire the character that a woman's face gains as she matures, maybe older women will be judged to be as sexy as older men. Can we reject the pressure to try to hold on to the beauty we were born with and embrace the beauty we cultivate through our life and experiences? I think so, but it won't be easy.
Premiere magazine, in an interview with Richard Gere, credited him with making gray hair sexy (on men, of course, not women). Gray hair is a sign that a man is mature, that he has life experience. What I want to know is, when is somebody going to come along and make stretch-marks sexy? Come on, stretch-marks are a sign not only of life experience, but also of fertility, so they should be very desirable, right? Right? Anyone?
Oh, well. I can dream, right?
(Us Weekly- "Are They Sexier Younger or Older" by Caroline E. Davis; issue 609 October 16, 2006
Premiere Magazine- "Idol Chatter- Richard Gere" by Brantley Bardin; November 2006 )