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Are you going to grow old gracefully?

Are you going to grow old gracefully?


Pictures of actress Renee Zellwegger have been doing the rounds in the press and on various social media platforms and apparently people can't believe what they are seeing. "Why does her face look so different?" asks The Telegraph. Her "face is unrecognisable" says The Daily Mail. The assumption is that she has gone under the knife in order to remain as fresh faced and youthful as possible in an industry in which you're expected to remain as fresh faced and youthful as possible! Imagine that. Whether or not Renee has resorted to cosmetic surgery to hold back the hands of time is irrelevant -  the pressure to pursue the fountain of youth is real and is keenly felt by most who find themselves in the inescapable glare of the media spotlight.

Julie Roberts is the latest celeb to discuss her feelings on the matter. She has made the momentous decision, and in Hollywood it really is momentous, to grow old gracefully even though she acknowledges that this decision may damage her career. 

"By Hollywood standards, I guess I've already taken a big risk in not having had a facelift," she told You Magazine.

Julia Roberts

But it's not just the rich and famous who feel the mounting pressure to strive for aesthetic perfection. We mortals are equally as susceptible.

My 36th birthday is imminent (15th November in case you want to send me a pressie. Anti-ageing cream please) and as much as I would like to think that as the years go on I will accept a faceful of fine lines and wrinkles and a headful of silvery white hair with a serene resignation the reality is likely to be very different. I'm already acutely aware of deep lines in my forehead (I blame years of sunburn) and a cluster of wrinkles under my eyes when I smile and laugh (I've tried neither smiling nor laughing. I couldn't sustain it for very long) and I have even looked into the cost of certain cosmetic procedures and the best places to get them done. (If push came to shove I just don't think I'd have the nerve).

Now don't get me wrong, Warriors, I have a pretty healthy level of self-esteem, self-worth and confidence and I certainly don't spend hours in front of the mirror bemoaning that which nature has given me. However, I would be lying if I said that I, like the vast majority of women, remain altogether unaffected by societal pressure to look good and to continue looking good as I age. In short, I think that I, in true Warrior style, will attempt to battle the forces of nature with whatever weapons I have in my anti-ageing arsenal!

What about you? And this is a question to both my female and male Warriors because although this post focuses on the pressure felt by women I am aware that it affects both genders.


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  1. I always said that I would grow old gracefully. However, this year I got my first grey hairs! I have been dying my hair since I discovered them last Christmas. So I guess that is not growing old completely gracefully is it?

    However, I don’t think I would have the nerve to go under the knife for any cosmetic procedures- I’m too much of a wuss! LOL

    • The Ginger Warrior

      I have a little cluster of pure white hairs right in the front which I pull out as soon as they are long enough. Lol! The only thing with being this shade of ginger is that you just can’t get it out of a bottle. So I’m not quite sure what I’ll do when the white hairs start to grow with a vengeance!!

      • You can get a professional hairdresser to match your colour BUT if you are a red head you will find that you are more likely to have white hair than grey so it will be a lovely sight rather than a total fright! I have front white streaks now :-)

  2. I am growing old gracefully and at 60 I look my age. I am not bad for 60 but neither do I live up to the now expected standard of attempting to look 45. I am sick of people telling me to dye my hair or wear more make up. I had to live through the years when to compete with men at work I had to look better (fully groomed at all times) and also be much better at the job. Now I have retired to look after my grandchildren I am happy to look like the Granny that I am.

  3. In simple terms… NO!
    Mark called me Minxy when we first met as he said I was a little minx. I like to have a laugh and yes at 46 play tricks but who cares. Life is too short as it is and I intend to live it to the full! Yes I’m a mum , I have grey hair (coloured on a regular basis) and intend to grow old disgracefully I’m loud sometimes embarrass my kids ( mothers job

  4. I don’t really know either way. It all depends on how awful I start looking! If its bad and I can afford it. Hell yeah I’d have a little ‘help’!

  5. I’m up for anything that doesn’t involve surgery! Hair dye, makeup, yo yo dieting etc are fine. I once spent half an hour at the mirror in my office (now retired, wonderful!) trying to pick what I was sure was an eyelash off my cheek bone – turns out it was a wrinkle! My thoughts were that I was never going to get that half hour back again ( work was up to date!) so just accept your age fairly gracefully!
    Your mother and I were discussing teeth yesterday, they are our biggest worry!

  6. I’m in my early forties and there is no way I’ll be having any surgery to hold back the years. Don’t get me wrong, I cover the greys with hair dye, use makeup and anti wrinkle face creams like a lot of other women but, I think we should be proud of our age whatever it is! Let’s face it we all know someone who hasn’t been given the chance to live as long a life as us so I feel lucky. It’s also important to show children that you can be beautiful and old at the same time!

  7. 36?? Just wait till you are staring 46 down the barrel! II must admit, I didn’t really notice any changes till I hit my early 40s and I’m not really bothered by them (I probably wasn’t looking hard enough!). I think you must adjust slowly over the years to the new you. I would much rather be fit and trim(ish) and look good for 46 than be bigger and look in my 30s as I still enjoy buying new clothes and want to feel good in them.

    It must be a lot harder for beautiful people to cope with aging as it’s usually what has defined them even though they may be kind and lovely people, they are still known for their looks.

  8. I have dyed my hair since my teens, pre grey hair (although I did get my first ones at 18!) So that isn’t really a concern for me. At 33 I have only just started thinking about wrinkle creams as I, like you Ceri have noticed my forehead crease and my laughter lines are a bit more noticeable now – my mum instilled the ‘cleanse, tone, moisturise’ routine in me and I do that, but thought I should do more. However, I literally stood in front of the skincare aisle in Boots for half an hour and came away with nothing in the end, I am clueless! I thought well I could spend all my money on a wonder cream, but do they really work?
    The trouble with these magazines is that celebrities are ridiculed for having surgery good or bad and when they have wrinkles, cellulite and roots, so you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t. Of course I saw the Renee pictures and thought, ‘oh, she looks different’ and I am still undecided as to whether she looks younger, or if indeed that is why she had the surgery. But hey, she’s done it and to be honest I would hate to feel the pressure to look ‘forever young’ that probably all celebrities feel.
    I don’t feel old and I don’t want to waste time worrying about it. I look after my appearance (make-up and hair)I make an effort if I go out, out, but I do it for me and because it makes me feel good. Of course I will one day buy that wrinkle cream (when I have sussed it!) Oh and I would love to get my teeth done, not whitened but just a bit neater! I think what I am trying to say is do what makes you happy. 😉

  9. I have been having my hair coloured etc. for years!!! But that’s the only thing that I would have done,I would be too scared to have any sort of surgery. I try and look after my skin using day and night cream,I don’t use too much makeup,so at 68 I don’t think I look too bad apart from needing to loose a couple of stone,so I’m working on that,I play golf three times a week so feel reasonably fit!!! I intend to grow older gracefully and not worry about my crows feet etc.etc. I know people who won’t even get the chance to grow old,so we must live life to the full and enjoy.

  10. I hope so….if gracefully means keep doing what I do anyway, look after myself, hair /make up etc. But as for surgery …if you start, where do you stop?! If you get into that mindset I think it would drag you down and keep you from focusing on what you have and what you need to be grateful for, your health and happiness.

  11. Agree with Kate…..Would NEVER have any sort of cosmetic surgery….just thankful to be pretty healthy…..except, yes Kit, the teeth do upset me…however I’ll try as hard as possible to keep the ones I have, with the help, of my lovely dentist…..At my age, 64, I don’t expect perfect white teeth…..Still get the hair coloured twice a year but will eventually, I suppose, let it go grey…or silver!!!!!!!

  12. Grow old disgracefully…it’s more fun!! I’m waiting for my hair to go completely grey, then I won’t have to pay out for highlights! Maybe I’m lucky that the grey I have actually looks like highlights!
    Sorry to be nasty but after seeing Jackie Stallone (and sorry to any fans!), I wouldn’t go for surgery in case things went wrong and I ended up looking like that!!!
    I do use an anti-wrinkle cream, not sure if it’s doing any good (I suppose I’ll never know how I would have looked if I’d not used it…) but que sera, sera, I’m certainly not going to lose any sleep over my wrinkles and plan to enjoy life while I can!
    Great blog btw :-) xxx

  13. I got my first grey hairs at 21…. Thank goodness I’m still wrinkle free at 37. I do however use anti aging moisturisers which they’ve stopped selling in the UK so I’m a bit stuffed. Will have to start looking soon. When the cream stops working I’ll go for chemical peals. No way I’m growing old gracefully. Crazy I know. It’s my little obsession….

  14. Hi Ceri,
    Although I’ve always coloured my hair, as soon as the grey hairs appeared I decided to go blonde. I’m still waiting for the more fun aspect of being blonde, but it gave me much more confidence. Just because I’m a granny and nearly 69 doesn’t mean I have to look old. (Just thought I’d mention the birthday. Hint. Hint)xx

  15. Well Ceri I had absolutely no idea this was Renee – always thought she was a pretty enough girl so why she would want to change beyond recognition is a mystery – (to me anyway!). Wouldn’t dream of having any surgery….too much of a coward….or even botox …. threading is my pain limit!! Have dyed my hair since early 40s (blame my daughter for starting that!) + said I’d stop on reaching 60 (next month!)….may wait a bit longer tho as not keen on silver sides! Very seldom wear makeup unless going somewhere special, but have used moisturiser such as Olay or Nivea daily for years……maybe it only works on the face as our granddaughter did ask me years ago why my neck was so old!!!

  16. I don’t act my age, feel my age or look my age and I hope to carry on like that for as long as possible!

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