Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Say When

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  • Lilith __,

    Regarding Mirren vs. Barr...Mirren is slim and handsome, granted, but she's got plenty of wrinkles, grey hair, flabby arms, and makes no attempt to hide her age, or apologise for it. No, we won't all look like her when we're 63, but I hope we can be equally happy with our ageing bodies. Barr tends to cover up her shape rather than reveal it, which is her choice. If I could think of any larger older ladies who do flaunt their figures I'd be championing them too.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3466 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    I've been wondering for a long time when would be an appropriate time to acquaint you all with a very beautiful woman. I don't know her name. All I know is that she is very, very beautiful. A woman who wants us all to Claim Your Beauty and she walks the walk. Warning: Very, very NSFW

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Pat Hackett,

    Roseanne Barr has had some work done. But then again, they probably all have, according to this:

    http://www.bevhills.com/news/2001/09/29/hollywood-plastic-surgeon-confessions/

    My vote for aging fabulously goes to Susan Sarandon.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Biobbs,

    I’d recommend watching the last series of Prime Suspect, where she looks every bit like a barely functional alcoholic at the end of her last tether, ticking off the handful of days to her retirement.

    Oh my God, wasn't that just the best telly ever? I mean, all the Prime Suspects were great, but here we have a protaganist who's aging, unloved, hated by almost all her work colleagues, and not only alcoholic but also desperately needy. What other TV series (apart maybe from Cracker) would dare to do that?

    And this almost 50-year-old has been told a few times that he dresses too 'young' - as in "who are you trying to impress?" Reply: I've always worn clothes like this. They're comfortable and I feel comfortable in them.

    The River Mouth, Denmark • Since Jan 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn,

    Yes, Jackie, I agree with you. She's beautiful because she's herself.

    I went on to read her blog about ghastly February and wondered if she had ever heard of the concept of "family anniversaries", where horrible things like death, serious illness and financial calamities seem to happen around the same time in any given year. That can be really eye-opening for someone making discoveries about self. (Oops - tend to be a bit thread-jacking sometimes. Sorry all!)

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Pat Hackett,

    My vote for aging fabulously goes to Susan Sarandon.

    +1

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    Jackie, thanks for that, she's stunning ! And I love love the gold paint.

    And all the more awesome because she's clearly worked bloody hard to get to self-acceptance.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3466 posts Report Reply

  • Pat Hackett,

    At the risk of being shot down in flames...

    One thing that many women do as they get older is cut their hair short. Not the bob, but the short-short boy cut. It is only one small step away from the blue rinse. And the younger a woman gets the cut, the more permanent it becomes. It is almost as if they have given up.

    Keep the longer locks, ladies, and it does wonders to maintain a more youthful look and your femininity, no matter what your height or weight.

    For guys it is more a matter of good grooming and a suntan - it is strange how a guy's big belly looks better if it is brown than if it is white.

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Um... Helen Mirren looks much like my mother did at that age, and Mum'd had four children. Mirren dresses much like my mother did as well. Okay, her attractiveness is more 'conventional' (if there is such a thing as 'a conventionally-hot sixty year old, and I don't think there is), but that doesn't stop her being attractive. I don't think her natural body type should count against her. And yes, the Mirren Argument always makes me think of Cher. Helen Mirren is also herself.

    When I was down for Mum's funeral, I worked out how old the last survivor of my group of "aunts" is. I'd always known she was a little younger than the rest, but I hadn't really thought about it. She's 77. She looks... 60? Maybe? And she'd be easily twice the size of my mother. Like The Mirren, she doesn't have children. That seems to work quite well as an anti-ageing treatment. Mum's friend Carol looks maybe 50, and has a Super Gold Card.

    I think we've solidly made the adjustment that '40 is the new 30' (I can't imagine freaking out about getting old at thirty), but not so much that 60 appears to be the new 50. The concept of "middle age" seems to be getting a bit slippery.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah,

    At the risk of being shot down in flames…
    ...
    Keep the longer locks, ladies, and it does wonders to maintain a more youthful look and your femininity, no matter what your height or weight.

    Well, I'll rise to that, Pat.

    Lay off with the instructions about what to do! That's the point of what so many people have been saying here, that it's not about trying to look youthful or feminine to other people but about feeling good about ourselves, from the inside.

    That's precisely why my hair is short, and dyed a loud shade of red, because it makes me feel good. And to hell with what anyone else says.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Well, at 46, I sincerely hope I am bloody middleaged. I can't be doing with another 46 years, as wondrous as this life has been. I do not want to live forever. All things have their time. One of my closest friends and I have decided that 88 or so, as long as minds are intact, and bodies still willing (which, realistically is a long shot) is a goodly age as far as old goes. But really? Life is such a crap shoot that no-one can know how long they'll live. All I know is that I sure as hell hope I'm still hanging out with you fellas in some shape or form by then.
    Oh, and Pat? Really? Were you being facaetious? I should answer to you as I did my husband when I got a very short haircut, once, a very long time ago. He told me I looked like a butch dyke, to which I replied with much profanity, words to the effect of - My hair, not yours etc etc. He's very lucky he's lived, TBH. And he's never made comments on how I looked ever again. Unless I ask.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Now, about grey beards.......:-)

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1497 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard, in reply to Emma Hart,

    The concept of "middle age" seems to be getting a bit slippery.

    I think it's connected as much to life stage as to age. "Middle age" is only partly about wrinkles, beer bellies and receding hairlines: it's more about mortgages, adolescent children, wedding anniversaries and climbing the corporate ladder. Life paths these days are (for many) a lot less predictable and linear, with forking paths, loops and diversions.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    I do not want to live forever. All things have their time.

    Yeah, nah, fuck that. I want to be cryogenically frozen or some shit. I'll even take being a brain in a jar.

    Lay off with the instructions about what to do!

    Word. If it drove me crazy when my beloved grandfather told me to keep my hair long, I am even less likely to react favourably to Rapunzel orders from anyone else.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    And he’s never made comments on how I looked ever again. Unless I ask.

    And then I bet he's v. careful! :)

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Pat Hackett,

    Mayday! Mayday!

    Auckland • Since Oct 2010 • 95 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Emma Hart,

    Like The Mirren, she doesn’t have children. That seems to work quite well as an anti-ageing treatment.

    Hasn't worked for me!

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • recordari, in reply to Deborah,

    And to hell with what anyone else says.

    Joining the slapping queue, while of course you should do whatever it is you want with your hair, is it completely unallowable for friends, partners, people passing on the street who you don't know from Adam, to express an appreciation for hair of a certain type on a certain person?

    I mean once you've made your decision, people should STFU, but just wondered how careful one should be.

    [Slap]

    AUCKLAND • Since Dec 2009 • 2607 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle, in reply to recordari,

    In the 60s, the aunt of a friend of mine went and got one of those pixie gamine cuts like Twiggy's. She came out of the hairdresser's and was immediately approached by an ancient wino, who said with some horror in Barry Crump-esque tones "Jesus CHRIST lady, what the HELL have you done to your hair?"

    I think it's safe to say that reaction was a bridge too far.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Jackie Clark,

    He told me I looked like a butch dyke, to which I replied with much profanity, words to the effect of – My hair, not yours etc etc.

    You still look like every butch dyke of my acquaintance -- abso-fucking-loutely awesome. Oh, and anyone who thinks my preferred #1 cut makes me look like a skinhead? I'll grow it out if you come around fours times a day and groom the bloody mess until it doesn't look some giant hair tumour. Fair dos?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to recordari,

    Expressing appreciation is fine, mostly (because telling a complete stranger of the opposite sex that he looks fabulous could be interpreted in all sorts of ways, offensive to both speaker and speakee, so really, you do need to exercise some judgement on this).

    Telling people what they ought to do, especially so that they fulfill the speaker’s gender norms / expectations, is full of fail.

    Actually, even saying, “If you want to look more feminine, then grow your hair longer,” could be problematic, because of the way it links into cultural definitions of femininity, and how women ought to be ( mutatis mutandis for definitions of masculinity). It can all be very tricky.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Beard,

    I completely understand the aversion to being told how to look or dress, but ... if I'd got a haircut with a particular look in mind, and it didn't suit me, I'd rather people told me rather than snigger behind my back.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1039 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to Deborah,

    Actually, even saying, “If you want to look more feminine, then grow your hair longer,” could be problematic

    I loved Sinead O'Connor's response to being told by her record company how to do her hair to look 'more feminine' - she got a #1.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3466 posts Report Reply

  • Jacqui Dunn, in reply to Tom Beard,

    I’d rather people told me rather than snigger behind my back.

    Without actually being asked?

    Deepest, darkest Avondale… • Since Jul 2010 • 585 posts Report Reply

  • Deborah, in reply to Tom Beard,

    if I’d got a haircut with a particular look in mind, and it didn’t suit me, I’d rather people told me rather than snigger behind my back.

    Yes, but that's a technical mismatch between what you want to achieve, and what you have achieved, not an injunction to conform to a particular ideal.

    Manawatu City • Since Nov 2006 • 1323 posts Report Reply

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