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Sunday
May262013

People's Fantasy of Age

I just opened the May 6th issue of People magazine. Magazines nowadays are my retreat during surgical recoveries. This particular issue has Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover as The World's Most Beautiful Woman. An attempt I supposed at leveling the playing field of World's Sexiest Man Alive. Which leaves out dead ones. Which makes me sad.

I like Gwyneth Paltrow. She is beautiful and I like her candor. Even if her Goop site inspires shopping sprees that leave a husband's sundries sullied.

However, when I opened this issue of People, the contents bore an article entitled 'Real Beauty At Every Age'. But surely there must have been an error upon editing the issue. A page cut out that should have clearly been present. You see, the ages of beauty stopped at women's 50's. Just when lasting beauty begins. The kind that never fades. The beauty that comes with having lived. A wisdom that younger women are jealous of and a grace that stops men in their tracks. Then keeps them wanting more. OK, there was one image in the magazine of Jane Fonda in a sequined gown looking forever fabulous. But what about the sampling of women from every age group? I would love to have seen sultry sixties and seventies, elegant eighties, and nineties with faces who have seen so much that their eyes alone tell a story. Perhaps a sampling of women who are are 100, who would do it all over again?

People stopped at fifties. Just when women are starting to live. When children are gone and husbands can see them again. When friendships are deeper than ever and their smiles are more beautiful than ever before. .

The article is on natural beauty. That stops at fifty. When there are fifty years to go.

I understand beginning at twenty. It's the phenomenon older women watch without envy because we know it will be gone too soon. The beauty that makes a magazine write an article about we see.

But if life begins at forty. To stop at fifty is very sad to me.

My Aunt Virginia was eighty when I sat with her on her porch. Her skin a-dew with acceptance and everything I someday hoped to be. I was in my twenties when I stared at her and wondered how anyone couldn't see, that she was the most exquisite species of this world. A woman who is over fifty.

So the next time People writes about true beauty in women of every age - It's simply a request to remember that there truly are - fifty shades of grey. And There is nothing more exquisite than a beauty that never fades.

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