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  • Writer's pictureRachel Pierman

Soul versus Botox...

Updated: Feb 22

What do James Blunt, Andie Macdowell and a Saturday have in common? Let me tell you...


I was perusing Instagram yesterday (Saturday) and I came across a couple of reels that caught my eye. At first glance they didn't seem connected, but it was only later, when I thought about them, that I realised there was a connection; Acceptance.


The first reel was of an interview with Andie MacDowell, she was the actress in Four weddings and a Funeral. She explained when she was 40 and being interviewed by a young journalist (aged about 25) she was asked 'how it felt to be losing her beauty?" If your jaw just dropped, so did mine, as did the journalist that Andie was recounting the story to. Maybe it was a language barrier, or Andie was misunderstanding? But no, the girl continued, (with her huge shovel) "What I mean is, as you age, you lose your beauty and so, how does that affect you?" Andie MacDowell rightly pointed out that her first feeling was one of sadness for this young journalist. She herself was going to age. One day she wouldn't be 25, she would be 40 (or 50, 60, 70) and how sad that she would perceive this of herself, that she was losing her own beauty as SHE aged. That you can only be beautiful when you’re young. That beauty is only about your face and body, after 40 you're done. Attractive to no-one. The End.


How many times have you heard someone say, "You look great for 60?" The connotation being that if you were 30, you wouldn’t look that good, but for 60 you pass. What does 30 look like anyway? What are we supposed to look like at 60? We really need to stop thinking about age and where we should be at a certain age and how we should look. If someone looks great, just say, 'you look great', don’t bring age into it. As a society, we also need to stop being so youth obsessed. It’s a fact that as we age, our skin will lose the tautness and the glow of youth, but that doesn't mean that we become unattractive or lose our beauty. Just what is beauty? Is it only skin deep? Back to Andie and her response.


Andie went on to say that as we age, our beauty changes and it becomes more about the eyes and the soul. She said that what she finds sexy, in both men and women, is the wisdom we learn as we get older, the confidence about ourselves and our bodies. Young people don’t have this wisdom or experience in their eyes yet. This is so true. Now, I'm not naive, a beautiful young person will turn heads very easily, and young people are beautiful in lot's of different ways. I'm not debating this. My point is that beauty comes in all different shapes, sizes AND years!


I’m will be honest and say that in the past I’ve really struggled as I’ve aged. As a young woman or man there is a certain power you hold, maybe I'll write about that in another post, but you lose this power and you have to come to terms with it. Like anything we lose, it takes time to adjust, and if you don't adjust and you try to cling on to what you were, you are only avoiding the inevitable. That cliff you're hanging onto is eroding, you can either step away from the edge to pastures new and different (but still as good), or cling on until it falls away and takes you down with it! You cannot go back to being young!


It’s only in the last year or so that I've stopped clinging on to that cliff and let me tell you, it's way easier and far more pleasant to have stepped away from that potential fall! I admit, I still use a filter on my work photos to soften a shiny forehead or remove the post migraine, lack of sleep dark circles, (I know I still have to crack this too) and I get that people have a little tweak here and there. I think we all want to look our best as it makes us feel good about ourselves. Great. But I’ve stopped comparing myself to younger people or the younger version of MYSELF and stressing over the fact things are changing. I’m accepting the changes more than I ever did. I do what I can to feel healthy and strong, gym etc, but here are much deeper and more interesting conversations and relationships to be had than those that rely on surface interactions or what your face looks like.


In the second part of this puzzle, there was a video of James Blunt sitting on a park bench in an anorak and calling his record company. He had to remind them several times that he is James Blunt, the singer. He asked them if they would be doing a video for his latest song, but they replied that they were into 'Social Content now', hinting that he was 'old news'. James then reminded them that they had done a video for Ed Sheeran. The record company responded by saying that James was not Ed Sheeran. James then decided to film the video himself, holding a ghetto blaster next to people on park benches, who mostly ran away. This was funny and a great example of not taking yourself too seriously and letting go of your ego and pride.

 

Despite his age and lack of youthful looks compared to when he first burst onto the scene, I found James Blunt to be more attractive than ever before. He didn't have any special video effects or lighting to make him look better. He sat on a bench in a beige anorak, on a grey day, but his wisdom and soul shone through in his sense of humour, self-deprecation, and sideways blow to the record industry. His song is also about learning lessons about himself and putting his ego and pride aside, which ties up this theme nicely. He now has wisdom! He's accepting who he is and how he's perceived, verses the truth he knows to be true about himself. How sexy is that!

 

The key takeaway from this is acceptance. We must accept who we are and where we are to be happy. If we are constantly chasing our past, we will never be truly happy. If we are always running from ourselves, we won't ever know ourselves, so others won't get to know us either. As we age, we must accept it, and embrace it, (many people sadly don't get the wonderful opportunity to grow old) be our best-selves, yes, but not try to be ourselves from yesterday. We did not have the wisdom and knowledge that we have today. And that wisdom and knowledge, and showing vulnerability as we travel through life, are the most attractive features anybody can have. More so I believe, than freezing our faces hoping we will look 20 again (you can't), filling our wrinkles and cheeks to the hilt and plumping up our lips to double up as a buoyancy aid, all to try and stay looking young and 'beautiful'. As James Blunt once said, 'you're beautiful, it's true'. You are, so believe it, even if you're over 40!


PS James, if you're reading this, catchy tune!

 



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