June, 1971 – The summer before my best friend Leslie and I entered high school Carole King’s album Tapestry burst onto the music scene. “It’s Too Late” became “our” song even though we didn’t have boyfriends to lament over.
How amazing to find ourselves forty-five years later sitting in a theatre side-by-side listening to the same song in Beautiful, a musical based on Carole’s early music career. Even more amazing was trying to grasp the impossible idea that we were now both turning sixty when we still felt like those long ago teens.
For our special night out we thought carefully about what to wear, fixed our hair, layered our lashes with mascara. When we looked at the photo another woman kindly took of us, we both thought, “cute.” For me, the photo showed not just the care we took getting ready but the rich, full lives we’ve led that brought us to this point.
As we grow older our relationship to appearance becomes both more challenging and more interesting. Our choices become more pronounced. Here are a few of the ideas from the chapter on aging in Growing More Beautiful: An Artful Approach to Personal Style that have served me well:
- If caring for your appearance means striving to attain perfection, you will find growing older unbearably difficult and painful.
- Always ask yourself, “What is authentically beautiful to me? What do I value?”
- Strike from you vocabulary “You look good for your age.” You look good, period. Free yourself that you are a certain age with certain expectations and restrictions.
- If you don’t feel you look your best, what do you want to do differently?
- Confidence in your choices can wax and wane. Recognize that the doubts you feel about your appearance are usually about something else. And know not everyone is going to get behind your choices.
- A focal point has never been more important. Move your eye away from the negatives of aging to something that brings you pleasure: a color, favorite accessory, piece of jewelry, lipstick.
Leslie and I share a passion for color, clothes, hair, skin care, makeup, jewelry. We have fun thinking up ways to keep our look fresh. Our “beauty” conversation now includes all the ways we are caring for ourselves at midlife. When to say yes. How to say no.
As Carole sings in the song Beautiful… “You’ve got to get up every morning, with a smile on your face and show the world, all the love in your heart… and people gonna treat you better, you’re gonna find yes, you will, that you’re beautiful as you feel.”
Words to relish. Beauty advice to live by. Sing it wth me!
More photos through the years with Leslie …
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