Tuesday, March 4, 2014

On growing old

The media response I’ve heard following the Oscars have been especially unkind to Goldie Hawn and Kim Novak—both of whom seem to have taken all too obvious steps to hide the aging process.

For the most part—and especially on Twitter—I find the reaction unkind, to wit:

The Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman tweeted: ‘#AcademyAward for worst plastic surgery: tie between Kim Novak and Goldie Hawn.’

And that was one of the least unkind comments I read.

It must be said that I dislike these extreme examples of anti-aging plastic surgery. And I find Hollywood’s fixation with youth-above-all distasteful. (And let’s face it, Hollywood’s fixation is merely a reflection of the youth-fixation of our broader society.)

The two things—plastic surgery and fixation with youth—are, of course, inextricably linked and lead to the heartrending sight to which we were treated on Sunday night: two older, formerly beautiful, woman trying to look young.

What’s wrong with getting old, being old or looking old? Aging is as natural a process as exists. I am privileged to know several women—my wife included—who have a natural look in old age without plastic surgery.

Surely women need not maintain their youthful looks until their deathbed. Many women, in fact, grow more beautiful as they age. And extreme age should be worn as a badge of honour.

The above notwithstanding, when a woman does seek such obvious plastic surgery, it’s her own business and she should not be a subject of mockery. Why deride her? In what way has she harmed any of us that we wish to retaliate with such derision?

Many of us have a basic need to tear down others, perhaps to make ourselves seem superior, or so it seems. To me,  this comes across as mean-spiritedness.

Women have mirrors, they all know how they look, so I say, leave them alone.


  1. I wonder if she had plastic surgery before the more modern techniques. Or multiple surgeries like Michel Jackson. Sometimes they don't know when to stop. Anyway sad to see the stunning star of Bell, Book and Candle and Vertigo looking like a rubber mask. Amy Adams wore a beautiful blue dress and upswept hairdo in tribute to Kim Novak at the Oscars.

  2. "Many of us have a basic need to tear down others ..."
    Unfortunately, that human tendency seems to have been accentuated by the advent of talk radio and even more so with social media, with self-appointed critics expressing opinions on anything and everything. But "“Life isn't about just talking, it's about thinking too.” ― Marie Symeou (goodreads.com)
    That applies to all realms of human activity ... politics too!

    P.S.: when I hit the preview button, my laboriously written comment disappeared, lost in the depths of the ether-net. Just thought I'd mention it.
    -- Gabby in QC

    1. Thanks for the feed-back, Gabby in QC. Sorry the comment system caused you some grief. And thanks for your thoughtful comment.