Beauty In the Eye Of Beholder
Friday, March 16, 2012 at 12:35PM
Eularee in Boomers, Ellen DeGeneres. Diane Keaton, Healthy, Jane Fonda, MAC cosmetics, Vogue Magazine, aging, beauty, body images

Media today speaks volumes on the effect of body image for young girls and now boys. The obvious consequence we see in the rise of eating disorders, bullying and suicides in teens. Somehow we think body image and self esteem is tied to a younger generation and avoid the overall human condition.

The Boomer generation has long carried the battle cry of never growing old. Our biggest fear was seeing that first wrinkle or grey hair in the mirror. Our vanity drove us to plastic surgeons who peeled, injected and sucked anything that gave a hint of our age. Beauty thought she could tame the Beast.

We lived a life of re-creating ourselves by making 60 the new 50, as if we could turn back the hands of time and thereby stall the effects of aging, or at least cleverly disguise them. An entire generation of aging boomers allowed this insane love affair with youth to continue, placing a premium on youth rather than a real representation of aging.

Well, meet the 60, which as it turns out is really 60. Finally tired of the homogenized beauty that fills the media today, Madison Avenue is breaking out and celebrating beauty at every age. Iris Apfel, is the new covergirl for M.A.C. cosmetics. This 90 year old has brought a new look and new attitude to aging. Declaring that although youth is wonderful, Iris blames women for letting the industry set the standard. Apfel says that a woman at any age can be beautiful. 

Baby boomers are seeing a "boom" in magazine covers as well. Meryl Streep, at age 62, radiates on the cover of Vogue magazine this past January. She is the oldest cover girl in the history of the magazine. Others of our generation have also taken up the "I'm worth it" cry, showing that beauty as we age goes beyond skin deep. Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton and Ellen DeGeneres have hit the cover girl scene, brazenly giving the reality of aging a new look.

Even Hollywood is creating a new authenticity, looking the best at any age. Celebrating age, rather than hiding it is becoming popular, hip and chic. Women want to look like themselves, not an image spoon fed to them by marketing ploys designed for an unrealistic view of age. Perhaps the national past time of discovering the fountain of youth is finally over and Boomers can celebrate the victory of living long enough and smart enough to see the true wisdom of beauty.

Image: Flickrimages/Kyle Taylor, Dream It. Do It. 

Article originally appeared on Eularee Smith • Writer & Educator in Eugene, Oregon (
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