Having written already about the chic French woman it is time to do a volte face and write about the flip side of the Riviera; the Woman in Denial.
I have come to recognise a few of the local women here, all are rich as Croesus (or at least their husbands are), their riches are nouveau and they look incredibly scary – almost walking morality tales. One is a superannuated Barbie, she has the same nose that all those ‘done’ women have, a ridiculous little pert, ski jump thing which would look fine on a seven year old but looks absurd on a grown women. She is also, as are all of her ilk very thin, unnaturally so. It is lovely to be slim, but a skinny old woman in tight jeans does not look young, she looks rather creepy. No amount of gym or dieting will produce the same look as that of youth. On top of the skinny body the puffed out collagen filled cheeks give the face a weird blow fish appearance which the misshapen augmented lips only enhance. She wears her hair bright blonde and her skin is tanned, her expression is vacant and rather poignant. There is nothing more pathetic than the ageing party girl still trying desperately to hang on to her looks by the skin of her veneered and whitened teeth. Barbie and her chums all look the same really, the pulled and messed about faces all have a generic appearance – character has been wiped out and replaced by the visage of an automaton.
We women have just got to start accepting aging – it just part of life. We have had our turn and now it is time to move on. Obviously we can continue to try to look our best, but we really do have throw in the towel when it comes to chasing youthful looks and maybe start working more on our personalities and hobbies. When I compare superannuated Barbie to other older women (it is impossible to calculate Barbie’s age, she could be anywhere between 55 and 75), there is no contest. A happy, wrinkled lived in face of a woman who looks happy with herself is a million times more attractive than the taut, frankly freakish face of fear on the Woman in Denial.
I have to confess that it is not just the rich who are Women in Denial, it happens closer to home too: It was a lovely warm sunny day and I was strolling around happily in my summer shorts when I caught sight of a dreadful old bit of mutton in the window of Chanel – ‘good God’ I exclaimed to myself, what a deluded old fright, and then realised of course that it was none other than moi. What I had imagined looked fresh, youthful, casual and insouciant actually looked plain mental. I looked silly and scruffy and far too old to be wearing shorts, especially in town. I may have been on my holidays but the rest of Monte Carlo wasn’t.
I think it is ultimately a fool’s errand – the trying to look younger. Yes at this age girls doing a bit of this and a bit of that will probably look better (not younger), more rested and fresh BUT – carry on and by sixty they will be in Cher territory – which is probably why she sang ‘if I could hold back time’ – sorry Cher, you can’t.
So when is it time to hang up the leather leggings, over the knee boots, leopard prints and denim minis? I suppose if you are slim – but not scrawny, and have legs like a giraffe you can get away with the leather pants so long as you accessorize appropriately – i.e. no tarty shoes, platform boots or low cut tops. It’s hard to know which is worse, skinny mutton or plump mutton – one looks desperate and haggard while the other is just blowsy. I think that after 45 and certainly by there are some definite dos and don’ts – of course all rules are made to be broken and am sure I will be first to do so!
- No denim minis.
- No shorts unless on the beach or longer culottes type city shorts worn with tights.
- Animal print only to be worn to accessorize and otherwise conservative outfit – i.e. certainly NOT with denim mini or leather.
- No over the knee boots with high heels worn with short skirts.
- No tattoos and definitely not on view
- If knees have gone baggy and saggy cover with opaque tights if wearing over the knee skirts.
- Don’t expose cleavage – nobody wants to look at crepey décolletage.
- Keep bunions under cover.
- Look after feet.
- Step away from the fillers.
- Beware of saggy upper arms – if not blessed with great firm arms try to cover unless on the beach or at the seaside.