Aging, but not passe'

Jacqueline Bisset & Catherine Daneuve
Jacqueline Bisset & Catherine Daneuve

The baby boomers seem to get it right, and the women are different from their parents and grandparents. They have seen their elderly parents suffer and lose their independence and want to avoid the same fate. They understand that the model of aging that applied to their parents is not for them. They have no intention of 'slowing down' or 'taking it easy' and do not tolerate being called 'elderly'. They have every intention of remaining active, involved, vibrant and youthful throughout their entire lifespan. In addition to enhancing their own health and quality of life, baby boomers have the opportunity to help the next generation by leading thru example, by showing a new, active and strong view of growing older. They want to teach young people that weakness and frailty is not an inevitable part of getting old.

The word passe’ is French, and it means, 'past the prime; faded or longer acceptable, current, or usable'. That's how some of us must have felt before they made 50 the new 30. Study shows the tummy tuck is the most sought after plastic surgery procedure.and 84% of women feel that men have no idea how hard they work to look good. Recent reports say that the number of cosmetic surgeries is declining due to the recession. According to stats from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2008 billions were spent on over 12 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. Women account for a staggering 91% of these procedures.

It was Joan Rivers who told The New York Times, "I've had so much plastic surgery,", "when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware." Ironically, she's become the industry's worst poster child. Why go to such extreme? Why look 20 when you're 50, when the real smart thing to do is to look great at 50 when you're 50.

The good news is, "beauty" is no longer synonymous with an unattainable ideal. It's about a lifestyle, a dedicated regimen that has increased its focus on long term care of the hair, face and body; preventive therapies; and aesthetic enhancement. Beauty has become a business that has grown to a $32.2 billion industry, according to Kline & Company's 2004 statistics.

Shall we take it from the French women? We are told, she will always go for a lotion or potion rather than exercise, because they firmly believe that an exfoliating and cellulite cream is the way to stay in shape, and that the way you look is linked to the way you feel and the way you behave? That the lack of care of yourself is a reflection of an unintelligent mind and lack of thought and possibly laziness?

In an interview with Helena Frith Powell, author of “Two Lipsticks and a Lover”, also published in the US as “All You Need to be Impossibly French.”, she explained that to the French, glamour is, not only to do with how you look. It’s also to do with how you act, and how you feel, and how well read you are and how interesting you are. Because a woman can be extremely attractive and glamorous even if she’s not pretty. It’s not really about prettiness at all. It’ has to do with a whole kind of style, a feeling of self-worth, and confidence, and all sorts of things that come with knowing how to live, more than anything else. For French women, the basic tenets of being chic from head to toe, from toe to coif, and no matter what situation you’re in, responding with elegance and style, is somehow very deeply ingrained into them at a very early age. But, why so much struggle and stressing about growing old? We know it's inevitable, but just how do we make the process more of an adventure, rather than something awfully dreadful?

Be Old, But Stay Young

Aging in Pain

According to television commercials, old age is so dangerous or painful or simply annoying, it may not be worth hanging around for. Mostly, elders appear in commercials for remedies to treat diseases and ailments that range from minor through deadly serious to disgusting. There are so many commercials and public service announcements broadcast so frequently that any young person watching can only assume old age is agony: We don't see old person in a car commercial. Not even detergent ads feature elders, as though we don’t wash clothes or dishes in our dotage. And no one old appears in glossy ads for clothing, expensive watches or fancy electronics – none of the glamour stuff. But, there are positive signs, things are changing. If at all, the health needs of the elderly are among the most complex issues in medicine today. That is a reality that cannot be ignored. But, before we even give up, or give in to the call of the grave, we owe it to ourselves to live well, defy aging, and celebrate our God given life. Let's embrace aging as a luxury denied to many..

Steps to remain young

Step 1. Associate yourself with active people. People who are inactive or chronic complainers about pain and work can be contagious. Don't spend a lot of time with these people unless you are providing care.

Step2 Take a college course on campus once a year. This will keep you engaged with the youth movement as well as keep you active.

Step3 Stay active. Go on an outing at least once per week. It could be hiking, a sports game, museum, theater or casual restaurant. If you like to read, don’t just sit at home and grab a book. Go out to a bookstore.

Step 4 Get at least eight hours of sleep and eight glasses of water daily. Don’t smoke. If you drink alcohol, do it in moderation.

Step 5 Have five servings of fruits and vegetables daily because you body needs vitamin C.

Step6 Get a good balance of fiber daily such as pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, broccoli or nuts.

Step7 Exercise regularly. Try to partner with a friend in your activities. This will help to motivate you so you won’t procrastinate.

Step 8 Laugh a lot.

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Comments 27 comments

creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 7 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

Thanks for the hub on aging, very informative. Thanks for sharing. creativeone59

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii Author

Thanks creativeone! I'm actually teaching myself how to age well.

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 7 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

I've actually met Iman and David Bowie several times, as they were clients of mine when I was in corporate business. I've noticed that many times, whenever I do see older people on television commercials, many times they are promoting some pharmaceutical drug like Lipitor or Viagara. I fear old age, but not as much as I fear unhappiness.

I really enjoyed reading this, IsalandVoice! You gave some wonderful advice about approaching the twilight years to others (is it okay to refer to it as that?) and to embrace it rather than to deny it. You always give such healthy advice and this is no different. Thank you for sharing this with me.

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii Author

Dear Dohn, you must tell me about your meeting with Iman and David Bowie! Did you notice if they had wrinkles? Were they nice? Because that's really more important than anything right? Twilight years sounds like the old TV horror series, Twilight Zone. Just kidding, that's basically what it is. I thought i would address something i'm personally facing, the stigmatization of old agers! Rather than watching the old people's drug commercial, I actually enjoy watching the "Today" morning show, Smucker's portion where they show folks that are alive and well at 100 and more! It's always a pleasure to have you visit with me and give your input! Wish instead, that you enjoy full age, like wine, and be happy with your special someone!

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coffeesnob 7 years ago

Being active is so vital to being youthful. And that includes they activity of laughter. I figure as long as I keep laughing then the laughing lines can't be seen. LOL

Thanks for the hub.

jiberish profile image

jiberish 7 years ago from florida

Island, what an interesting Hub (as usual). I used to love Sophia Loren movies, she was then so natural. Thank you for an entertaining piece.

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii Author

Coffeesnob: Laugh lines are the best! Keep at it and stay sexy!

Jiberish: Sophia Loren was hot, and we were jealous when the men swooned like crazy! Glad you dropped by and enjoyed my little 'entertainment'hub.

GPAGE profile image

GPAGE 7 years ago from California

Islandvoice! Fantastic hub! Really. I have to say something about French women since I spent a lot of time in Paris. THEN I will tell you about David Bowie! ha

When I was in France it was amazing to me how many women walked by with "so much style!" Even some were 80 years old or older and the way they held themselves.....was ......"divine!" ha I actually made a good French friend who I keep in touch with who is confident, beautiful and very strong willed! I think what I'm trying to say is.....all of the women there were all shapes and all sizes and they still walked with a sort of confidence that you never see here in America.

I applaud you for this hub..........I admire all of the women you put up here!

Now.....David Bowie.....I sat next to him on a plane in the late 80's. He was wearing his white suit and he was a wonderful man. When we got off the plane, he was a true gentleman! AND he was so nice to all of the press and camera people waiting......he smiled and shook hands with everyone like a real pro! He looked amazing for his age! We spoke about music and then he went to another room for an interview.

It was such a cool plane but the airline eventually went out of business. It was called the MGM GRAND. It was set up like a livingroom and everyone sat on recliners around tables and there were dining booths too....... Fantastic! Best, GPAGE

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii Author

Oh wow G! Thanks for the applause. I really enjoyed putting this hub together, having been in the glamor business myself. I'm excited tho, do tell me about your times in Paris. I know what you mean about French elegance, which i think you and i 'share', ha! Your David Bowie encounter sounds so marvelous, you must share more. You are always a sweetheart!

proudgrandpa profile image

proudgrandpa 7 years ago from Charlotte, NC

Be still my heart. Sophia Loren still makes my heart go pitter patter. What a neat hub. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. NEIL

Waren E profile image

Waren E 7 years ago from HAS LEFT THE BUILDING............

That's Sound and realistic advice, IslandVoice ,I doubt anyone could have put it better!

Carmen Borthwick profile image

Carmen Borthwick 7 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

Awesome hub, my sentiments exactly!

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii Author

Proudgrandpa: So, you are one of the men who admired sexy Sophia. What good taste!

Waren: Always a pleasure to hear from you dear friend.

Carmen: Thanks so much. I'm glad to touch chords here, just like mine!

Godslittlechild profile image

Godslittlechild 7 years ago

Aging well is more than just physical. It's emotional well being as well. Great hub!

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii Author

GLC, just as the French believes, it's beyond looks. How we feel inside is important. Our attitude has a way of manifesting in how we look. Thanks for your visit and input.

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TheSablirab 7 years ago

Everything written in this Hub is so true! It's funny that you included Helen Mirren in this, because the second I opened this and started reading, I immeditaly thought of the bikini shots; I envy her and wish I can look JUST as good as she does at 64!

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii Author

Yes, TSablirab, i too, like you, wish to look as great as Helen Mirren in a swimsuit. Her body beats many young women I've seen! Her beauty is so natural as well. Swoon! Thanks for coming by and for commenting.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

Hi IslandVoice. Beautiful hub. I'd like to add our very own Gloria Diaz an Margie Moran - Floriendo in that list. Two beautiful women who remained beautiful despite their 'advanced' years =).

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii Author

Thanks Emievil. You are right,I should add the two former Ms Universe. Wyb (would you believe), I know Gloria personally, her sister Corito and i worked together in advertising, and Margie is my late husbands cousin. They will be happy to be included here. Good thought! I was actually thinking of writing a separate hub about Filipinas. Maybe i will do that.

emievil profile image

emievil 7 years ago from Philippines

wow, you're lucky to know them. Gloria has a daughter who is very very beautiful, she has the looks (and I think the brains also) to become another beauty queen.

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii Author

Gloria used to date a friend, but i have not been in touch for a long time. I have to see her daughter, but there's no doubt about the Diaz's genes! Thanks again for the visit!

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 7 years ago


This is wonderful! I think it is important as we get older to look and be the best we can be at whatever age we are, both inside and out! To seek to find ways to enjoy and appreciate life and others! Sophia Loren is a classic actress, she has always been one of my favorite! I think it is important to develop your own style!

Wonderful, Wonderful hub!


IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii Author

Thank you DBKO! I can see your beauty inside out! Truthfully, Sophia made me jealous and for obvious reasons. But, in time i knew i could be myself, and develop my own style. Thanks for the ok on this hub!

Catherine R profile image

Catherine R 7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

Great hub. I love the beautiful women project. It is very true that the most beautiful older women are not the ones that have been operated on many times. And doesn't Helen Mirren look fantastic in a bikini?

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii Author

Hi Catherine, thanks for the visit and comment. I've been tempted at times to tamper with myself, but always get cold feet. You're right, natural is better. Mirren's body in a bikini is a real woohoo!

BkCreative profile image

BkCreative 7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

Fortunately, I grew up with a mother who thought women were the best thing on earth - and a father who agreed! It gave us such a sense of self-worth. And we could only possibly get better as we aged.

Thanks for your nice tribute to women!

IslandVoice profile image

IslandVoice 7 years ago from Hawaii Author

BK! I've been missing yah! Women who celebrate themselves rock! Like you, my dear friend!

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