Obsession With Youth

Angelica Huston

Bored, bored, bored with seeing only young(ish), beautiful women everywhere and people mercilessly criticising older women.

Fed-up with seeing ageing famous women butchering themselves with horrendous ‘cosmetic’ procedures – yes, I do mean Madonna, Nicole Kidman, Faye Dunaway et al.

I am feminist to the core – and, no, this doesn’t mean that I have to dislike frivolous beauty and fashion – finding myself wholly saddened and bewildered at how we (women) seem to have taken steps backwards in so many ways over the past few decades particularly in respect of how we look.

I was reading a blog recently which discussed ‘the terrible fear that once I was no longer pregnant, I would still be fat and miserable …’.  Yes, clearly this would be a huge tragedy?!  But surely not life destructive, as opined by the writer.

Okay, I get that we all care what we look like but surely we condemn ourselves to a very unhappy life if we focus on this to such a degree, or allow society to do so for us.  And yet, we do, or some of us do.  I just don’t get it.  I look at the pictures of famous women ageing (relatively) naturally, at my friends who mostly look great – sure we have differences but we always did and they are part of what makes us each unique and I wonder why we want to look the same but younger.  Have we just lost the art of living out our life cycle?  I wonder why that should be.  Any thoughts?


  1. Spashionista

    Isabella Rosselini is one of my role models. I think she’s still one of the most beautiful women in the world. As far as the “fat” issue goes I wore a body-con dress for my birthday and have never been complimented more. I’m not going to be crawling into a hole to hide anytime soon!
    Spashionista (Alicia)

    1. Elle@plusblack

      Hi Alicia,

      Yes, I agree but having been reasonably conventionally attractive and finding myself now not so due to illness and medication I would like to be more robust about this than I am.

      Intellectually, I get that I am more than my physical parts but I still find it difficult to accept the unconventional elements that I now have – excess weight, body shape, facial scarring, skin problems. Even though these things are not ‘my fault’, I feel ashamed of them and uncomfortable in my skin because of them. I feel I ‘should be doing something’ to eliminate the problems I have even though I know I cannot refuse medication, hold back illness, eliminate cancer.

      Crazy, huh? And, I think it is partly down to the increased focus in our society on how people look … a message disseminated in our media to every age group, men and women but much more specifically on women, affecting most of us who are non-conventional in shape and form, to a greater or lesser degree, negatively. From sexualising young girls to sidelining women over 50, it seems the only acceptable representation for women is the slim, fertile, pretty woman of so much media imagery from Disney to Hollywood to Pop.

      Wouldn’t it be great if women just said: NO. No plastic surgery, no sidelining, no exclusion. This is what we are. Many of us on an individual basis do – as you say but many of the rest of us beat ourselves up for not being ‘perfect’. No idea how to change this but I hate it and I hate it most on the gorgeous women who butcher themselves so publicly. I understand why, I don’t blame them but it saddens me beyond measure for them, for me, for our children and everyone else who, hard as they try, will never be perfect. I’d like us all to be at ease with ourselves whatever our shape and form.

      Ha, probably should have written all this in the article, no? Thanks so much for commenting as ever. You really are great at contributing and spreading the word to others.

      Best 😀

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