A while back an article popped up on my Facebook thread about gorgeous older men. Ten of them, all of whom had in one way or another transformed their bodies and become models after fifty. Most had grown beards (which for some reason, despite being a really good hiding place for bacteria, food and small mammals, continue to be very popular).
The article gushed and gushed and GUSHED about how gorgeous the men were. And of course, there were the comments. Trolls were pissed. Women swooned. People opined about the beards. Men hurled low-brow pot shots about the shape these men were in (hey- hit the gym and drop the beer can, Billy Bob). If you’re curious, feel free to explore: https://www.boredpanda.com/handsome-old-men/
It fascinated me, in part, how people said that guys that age couldn’t possibly have such great guns, washboard abs, look that good. Um, yes they can. If you work your ever-living butt off at the gym, eat intelligently and are disciplined, you’d be astounded at what you can accomplish. Just because you don’t, or your body doesn’t respond to exercise that way, doesnt’ make it impossible.
Being a dedicated bodybuilder, I can appreciate the eye candy. Having been a gym rat for more than four decades, I know what iron can do for a body.
However, here’s my beef about elder beefcake.
Where are the Gorgeous Older Women?
Why do we rarely, if ever, see a similar gush about gorgeous older women, outside mooning about Mirren or Fonda or other mega-Hollywood stars, or older super models who are photoshopped to remove the wrinkles (men’s rarely are)? Case in point, Christy Brinkley?
There might be an article showing high profile women who have aged- but primarily to mock her for no longer being an ingenue. On social media, the great 1960s French beauty Brigit Bardot regularly gets hammered for no longer being Bridgit Bardot.…for god’s sake, she’s 84 years old.
The Crime of Getting Wrinkles
I’m going to claim a bit of real estate here. As a 65-year-old athlete, I rock a 36–26–36 body and it’s mostly muscle. However you’ll probably never see a Facebook gush featuring women like me. Why? Because I’m an old lady. I committed the crime of getting wrinkles.
In this country that is a crime punishable by the worst of damnation: rejection, isolation, mockery, and worst of all, being shunned. For getting old.
The single fact of life that no one can avoid.
It’s a long-standing issue in Hollywood that increasingly older men are paired with increasingly younger women.
In Draft Day, sixty-ish Kevin Costner’s love interest was 41-year old Jennifer Garner.
As Good As it Gets, with Jack Nickelson, 60, and Helen Hunt, 34.
COME ON MAN.
Recently when an actress had an on-screen affair with a father AND his son, a great offended wail went up.
GET OVER YOURSELVES.
Just look at the insane lengths to which people- especially actresses- will go to keep looking young. They end up looking like cartoon caricatures, and still they are cast aside, pun intended. Youth is perishable- but wisdom isn’t. Character — with hard work — builds with age.
I once attended a party at a friend’s house in Las Vegas. A woman set next to me on the couch, and attempted to drink out of a straw. She’d had so many injections in her lips that it was impossible for her to drink normally. The liquid dribbled over her mouth and down her chin. She’d had so many procedures her face was a horror show. I can’t even imagine the terror of aging she lives with- and this was the cost.
The Benefits of Road Rash
The older I get, the more I have to contribute. The harder I work. The better I write. Interestingly, the stronger I get. With luck, the wiser I get. The longer I’m around, assuming I keep working on myself, the more I have to offer. That makes me- and other older women — more valuable to society, not less.
But that depends on the society, doesn’t it?
American culture has deemed most older women a throwaway item about as worthwhile as used toilet paper. Put ’em out to pasture. We don’t want to have to look at THAT. My god, she’s gotten old.
You can find, if you are so inclined, articles about “older women we’d like to f**k,” which demonstrates the reference point of the general populace. How unfortunate. And what a loss to all of us. The only value women- even older women- have to society is whether or not they are beddable?
The divorce rate among women over fifty has doubled in the last few years. Once we get crow’s feet, ladies, put on your parachutes. Better have Plan B, Plan C, Plan D.
In effect, I would posit that we’ve gotten to the point where we treat our older women in America the way we treat our cars. A couple dings, trade it in for the newer model. Put the old one on the scrap heap. Maybe someone else can use her.
Where are the Hot Older Ladies?
I love seeing Gorgeous Older Men. What’s even more inspiring is a Gorgeous Older Man with a Gorgeous Even Older Woman on his arm.
We as a country, as a society, will have begun to show some sobriety, some maturity, when we begin to treat our national treasures- our elders- both male AND female- with the respect they deserve. Most especially women.
Rather than elevate pouting pre-adolescent children to the level of goddesses, which does little more than engender more child pornography, I believe we need to mine that immense resource that gets shuffled away daily into the old urine-stink of old folks homes, out of sight, out of mind.
The problem is that this forces is to face our own mortality. And that’s the whole point, isn’t it? When mom gets old, we realize we will too.
I think this is why as a society, we dishonor older women. They terrify us.
When my mother began to age in a way that I couldn’t deny, I was also terrified. Mom’s going to leave- that immensely organic connection that is more powerful than any other. She’s going to abandon us by dying- as is her law-conformable right and duty- and it doing so, we absolutely must grow up.
How mature, how remarkably wise it would be then, to embrace, love and cherish that aging female, that crone, that wise woman, for she represents all that Great Nature is: the cycle of life, the turning of the Wheel, that which we ultimately cannot control.
Aging. Dying. Continuing the one journey that we cannot possibly avoid.
To love, honor, and respect our older women is to respect life itself.
It’s time to love our gorgeous older women.