|Comparison shots of Nicole Kidman in 1997 vs. 2008.|
|Huston in 2011 vs. 2012, and Cox in 2007 vs. 2012.|
The result is that both women don’t look very much like they did even a few years ago and, in my opinion, not nearly as attractive as they were or could be.
Let me say that I believe women should be able to do whatever they want to their bodies. Also, I know there is just as much of a belief that we shouldn’t judge women for getting plastic surgery as the notion that criticizing a woman for not being perfect – whether it be overweight or underweight or even dressing shabbily – is bad form.
My point here is to inject my own longstanding position that signs of age like nasolabial folds, laugh lines, and crow’s feet, combined with an individual’s natural beauty, are SEXY. Like, WAY sexier than even young, smooth women. Ladies whose faces are particularly wide eyed and child like -- like Amanda Seyfried, Lily Cole and Gemma Ward -- do absolutely nothing for me.
|Anime alien babies Gemma Ward, Amanda Seyfried, and Lily Cole.|
I’m not saying women age 18 to 24 (or whatever) can’t be really pretty, but for me, just as I think many men get better looking with age – David Beckham, Daniel Craig, Patrick Dempsey – so do women.
A strange but very recent example of this is 30 Rock’s Katrina Bowden, who recently appeared on the cover of MAXIM. Bowden, who was only 16 years old when she auditioned for the role of the nubile and nascent executive assistant Cerie, is now 22. Bowden’s, at the time, complete lack of age lines, knowing expression, and, let’s be honest, curves, made her the perfect choice to portray an un-self-aware sex kitten, whose pubescent jail-bait looks worked as a comedic counterpoint to Liz Lemon’s grown-ass-woman-with-an-ass frustration. That said, I never found Cerie particularly attractive before -- she was supposed to be playing, in essence, a kid, and that’s how she looked. Her cherubic face lacked character, like a CGI creation, which was the point and purpose of her character.
|Babyfaced 17 year old Bowden (left) vs. alluring 22 year old Bowden (right).|
Another good example of age bringing out a woman’s natural beauty is Julie Delpy in Before Sunset. In the original 1994 film, Before Sunrise, Delpy was a pretty girl. In 2004’s Before Sunset, she’s a gorgeous woman. Her face, creased at the lips and eyes with a decade’s worth of experience, has fine-tuned her natural beauty and given her sophisticated definition.
|Delpy's beauty skyrockets between 1995's Before Sunrise (left) and 2004's Before Sunset (right).|
|Drew Barrymore's 36 year old face looks more beautiful than ever in her 2011 Neiman Marcus ads.|
|Smokin' hot grown-ass-women Patricia Clarkson, Helen Mirren, and Mary Steenburgen.|
Everybody, men and women alike, should always take care of themselves. Eat a healthy diet, exercise, dress well -- these things show that you feel you’re worth caring for, which implies confidence. And confidence is attractive. Whereas undergoing a procedure with no healthy benefit -- one that fundamentally changes a lot about your face -- communicates the opposite: a lack of confidence and self love. How could that ever make someone prettier?
I guess I wanted to talk about this stuff openly because I feel like not enough men do. Sure, there’s talk about Cougars and MILFs, but by that definition, Cougar Town’s own Courtney Cox, with (once again, alleged) cheek implants and lip fillers – procedures that can leave people unable to enunciate or express humanly recognizable emotion -- would be the epitome of older female beauty. And that’s the opposite of what I’m talking about.
At the same time, I don’t want to be too hard on Cox and Huston. They are by any definition gorgeous, hard working women who deserve our respect and admiration. And I would hope they have the confidence in their own choices to accept what I say here as my own opinion and nothing more, because it kind of makes me ill to think about someone like Huston, whom I adore for her work as a model in the ‘70s and as an actress in some of my favorite films, being hurt by negative opinions about her face. But clearly it’s not much of a leap for me to say that I think these kinds of choices come from a general pressure that many women feel to look a very particular way. And I can’t help thinking that it might be good to get the opinion out there that not all men want women to look that particular way.
Of course, I’m just a humble co-blogger from the Midwest. I’d love to see the day when somebody like Ryan Gosling goes on Jimmy Fallon and says, “Dude, laugh lines on a woman who is just about 40… SO HOT! Seriously, ladies, keep it natural.”