Natural or not?

posted on: Thursday, 25 July 2013

I saw some images of Andie MacDowell today where she looks fabulous, and there I was thinking: how amazing it was that a woman of 55 can look great and confident without having had surgery. I just never put her in that category - then I googled it and found, oh, she has! This got me thinking, who in the over 40's celebrity world hasn't had surgery?! I so wanted to discover a bank of women who had aged gracefully and who looked natural and pretty but without intervention. Julianne Moore? Kate Winslet? Julia Roberts? I hope that these women really do stick to their word and don't stray into the plastic arena. There is nothing sadder than seeing that puffed up look of the 'before' and 'after' pictures.

I used to have a very different attitude to plastic surgery. When I was a little younger I used to think I would have all sorts done to preserve youthfulness. Then I had children and figured I would wait and see what I was left with, after the ravages of pregnancy and birth. A few years passed and in my mid-thirties I started to age. I am 39 now. In the interim time I started to experience pain in my face and jaw, which has been largely unexplained, but that I have truly struggled with. Many dental procedures have ensued and with that, a certain fear has developed of worsening the pain and of disrupting the very fine balance of health and well being. I am now staggered by the lackadaisical manner in which my contemporaries have procedures that are not absolutely necessary. I think differently if someone has a long-running psychological attachment with changing a certain part of their body, but for those who simply don't want to age, I wonder how they could reconcile their circumstances if they were left with a bad result or residual pain. How would I explain that to my daughter for example, who I want to embrace natural beauty? Even too much make up on her young face sends chills, let alone going under the knife or being injected. But nevertheless, the fade of youth is so...sad...isn't it?

The fact remains that I hate what ageing does and I wish there was a way to side-step it. I am interested in women who seem to defy it with good genes and skincare regimes. Hell, I even started making my own skincare oils in an attempt to utilise natural beauty. And it's working :-) I think a lot about why women start to look old and feel it has much to do with so many factors, from how they dress to their haircut, their attitude to their general health. All I can wish for is to stay young in my mind (after all, everyone says when they are 70 that they feel like they are 30) and fit in my body. I know that over time it will get increasingly difficult; I am not 40 yet, and there will be many women my age who look better and somehow manage to keep hold of that elixir of youth. I wish there were more who did so naturally.

I so don't want to succumb to that stage I see so many women go through where they cease to look any age - they could be anything from 45 to 75; the only indicator is their degree of frailty, not their appearance. Grey hair, beige clothes, drabness and invisibility. This scares me! I quite like Bobbi Brown's philosophy and have read her books 'Living Beauty' and 'Pretty Powerful' which really did help me get some perspective on getting older. You've got to keep on trying and stay healthy, yes?!

via here


  1. Getting older is kind of cool when you think about the knowledge, the self-confidence, the experiences we've gained. Aging sucks when you think about the droopiness of eyelids, saggy skin, gray hair. But there are many examples of women who do it gracefully and manage to keep a youthful appearance, even with the wrinkles.

    I don't look to Hollywood, because it's hard to know who has and who hasn't had something done (and most of them have). Rather, I look to the people in my own life. mom. She is 67, but she is in wonderful shape. She gardens, bikes, does yoga - she stays active. She still wears a bikini. She dyes her hair (not everyone can pull off the Emmylou Harris look), and she also keeps it long. She wears sunscreen, but she also spends time in the sun. She is a vegetarian and eats healthy foods. She does crossword puzzles and scrabble and plays piano and her mind is staying sharp as well. These are all wonderful traits I will aspire to maintain as I get older too.

  2. Well I'm surprised at Andy MacDowell - I always thought she was a lucky lady to age so beautifully.

    Healthy and active are definitely the way forward. Dressing appropriately (not trying too hard and definitley not trying to compete with daughters) too. Good fitting clothes that show off the positive and take the eye away from the not so flattering areas. And keeping away from those terrible beige clothes that seem so attractive to many older ladies. No surgery going on for me. My usage of eye creams and various other creams has become a very strict routine - ever hopeful they will help a little. I shall let my very short very dark hair grey naturally too (never coloured it yet and no plans too).

  3. I will be 56 next month and have no plans whatsoever to get any unnecessary surgeries done. It makes me really sad when I see all the ladies that have had plastic surgery and have ruined their looks, when they would have retained their beauty aging naturally. I've happy with the way I look at this age. I think aging naturally is far more beautiful, after all we've earned these wrinkles thru all of our life experiences. I am more comfortable in my skin now than I ever have been and love my age I'm at. I get out and ride my bike, walk and enjoy life the same as I always have and anticipate doing that for the rest of my life.

  4. I am 67 and let me say that I could care less about droopy eyelids, extra kilos, grey hair, because the alternative - death- is far more final. I have been to a lot of funerals in recent times and it makes me appreciate reaching the age I have. So grateful.

    I'm can't believe that I felt old at 40 and 50; now I'm so pleased to be alive: I've said goodbye to too many friends. To have good health is the most wonderful blessing of all.


  5. It makes me sad when ladies your age are so resistant to and scared of aging. Many older women are beautiful and insiprational despite increasing fraility and the loss of "youth". Embrace the change and look for beauty beyond smooth skin- you will start to see it in people's eyes, in their gestures and even in those wrinkles you so fear.

    - Rebecca

  6. Well, bearing in mind that all magazines photos have been airbrushed, I always feel it's safe to assume that there isn't a star out there who hasn't had some kind of surgery or procedure....and they seem to be starting younger & younger, isn't that so sad? People will deny having "anything" but when asked if they've had Botox will respond "oh yes, I have that!", as if Botox is a given & doesn't really count!!

    What really drives me mad are the celebrities who deny having anything whatsoever & make a big deal of it, at least admit it since, to be honest, however good your surgeon, it's pretty easy to spot these days.

    I did think that Andie McDowell had had surgery but the three actresses you mention above don't appear to have had work do they....Kate Winslet is only in her 30s though, isn't she?

    I read a great comment about surgery recently, can't remember where, which was "it doesn't make you look younger, it makes you look different...." which really sums up what I think about it. Very often it simply takes away the very thing that makes you who you are, your essence....

    I also wonder why certain women who are already beautiful & who you imagine would age wonderfully - I am thinking Cindy Crawford or Courtney Cox for example - go ahead & have work done. They already have a great bone structure & the work is pretty obvious.

    It must be hard though when there are younger - although not necessarily better - actresses coming up behind you the whole time. There'a whole industry out there that says youth is everything, isn't it RIDICULOUS??!! Who would you rather sit next to on a plane, Helen Mirren or Jennifer Lawrence(lovely though she is....?!Young people know nothing, they have no stories!!

    I can honestly - really & truly - say that I never think about ageing, not at all. I don't know why I don't....because I feel one day I'm going to wake up, look in the mirror & scare myself to death!!!

    I was looking at our wedding photo recently with my children and they commented "Daddy looks so young"....I agreed with them since he does....but to me, I look just the same as on my wedding day!!! I am clearly in denial about what I see in the mirror since I feel so different.

    My hair needs colouring a little more frequently & last year I got reading glasses....but as I hardly wear them & only just need them, even that didn't make me think about the ageing process.

    My mother has fabulous skin, is really conscious about what eating healthily, has really active & is in great health. She has always been very conscious about ageing & doesn't really like it - she still won't wear glasses!!

    I was on the Tube on Friday with my daughter & we both spotted a young woman who had clearly had her lips done - she looked terrible to be really honest, it was impossible not to notice them. My daughter & I had a brief conversation about it. With surgery being much more common these days and often done so unnecessarily, it will be really interesting to see how our girls & their generation respond to it won't it? It's very sad.

    Does unnecessary surgery ever make you look better? I would argue that it doesn't.

    Really interesting post Lou Xx

  7. I just can repeat what Rebecca said. You can enjoy life to the full in any age and every woman is a beauty when she feel self confident. And a bit of nip and tuck is OK when it improves your appearance.

  8. Just an other advice...nothing makes you older than thinking about it.

  9. Ia am 32 an 100% natural...

  10. I am 52. I have great skin with really no wrinkles but I have very very thin lips with the top lip barely there. As I aged I got awful crevices on my top lip which made me look haggard and like a smoker. I opted for lip injections because it bothered me that much. Truly, the lips did not reflect the natural, healthy and simple look I embrace. I went to a very skilled doctor whose assistant specializes in natural appearance. She filled the cracks and plumped up my upper lip in the most natural way. Close friends did notice because the first time, I also had botox which gave me a different movement in my lips. Now I only get the filler. The trip is to never get that ridge on the top that gives you a chicken lip. I would never have surgery for appearance but fillers are completely different. I go every 5 months and have 1/2 syringe It costs me about $300. And now I can wear lipstick again and I feel better. So if I need a boost to aging, so be it. Great post Lou.

  11. I just came across your blog and read your post & comments and have to say that - two summers ago - I saw Andie MacDowall on a flight from New Orleans to Durham NC. She didn't look as young or as happy as in magazines of course - she could have just been exhausted. I think everybody looks younger airbrushed! And I also think that growing older/ageing takes some work because your brain has to age, to mature, while at the same time your attitude has to stay young. Your difficulty about ageing is simply a moment - you're still a baby, really. I'm 53 and while I don't look 43 anymore and have gained some weight lately - these days I just put on my shades & cowgirl boots and do couch to 5k and feel like I look utterly fabulous whether anybody else thinks it or not.