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4 posts categorized "Beauty"

July 11, 2008

Age and Beauty: Older Women Defy Odds

The next America's Top Model may be older than the usual morsels that pout, sob and whine. Current trends are showing what everyone has been aware of - older people tend to earn and spend more money. Can the average sixteen year old afford Prada? Not unless they're a rich kid, so the logic of using teenage models to promote prestige brands may be reaching its use by date. According to almost every modeling article of the Eighties and Nineties, models had a use by date. Models beyond the age of thirty were viewed as has-beens, but today's market shows the opposite. Linda Evangelista models for Prada. Claudia models for Chanel and Ferragamo and Christie Turlington is the face of Escada.

Diane_sawyer_340x400 Being an older woman today isn't about having a toy boy but having a healthy bank balance, and sex tends to be incidental. Companies flogging their products in magazines like Vogue, Harpers and Elle, aren't concerned about sex per se, it is more about image, style and quality.

Being a forty year old woman today is quite different to what it was in the Fifties, Sixties and Seventies. When I recently checked out images of Kim Cattrall, I couldn't ignore the differences. At fifty-one, she is hardly the fifty-one year old women that I was accustomed to seeing as a teenager and it is not about mutton dressing up as lamb, but women knowing what styles suit them best, and if they have the budget for prestige fashion houses, all the better. There is a distinct difference between a K-Mart suit and an Escada suit. Most women get their style groove together when they're older. Teenagers tend to be awkward, impulsive and uncertain. Two stylish older women who are comfortable being themselves, and stylish to boot, are Diane Sawyer and Lauren Hutton. They're actually my personal favorites.

Fifty may be the new forty for women. In twenty years time, it may be the new thirty. In the current era, anything is possible.

It kind of makes me feel better to be turning forty in three years time.

~~

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April 05, 2008

Things You Wish Were on YouTube: Naomi Campbell Dummy Spit

Naomi Campbell has done it again, and I am going to add her to my 'beautiful women & bad habits' file. A few months ago, I read that she was recruited by a known magazine (I think it was GQ) to interview high profile people. The question remains:
Would you be interviewed by Naomi Campbell? She was doing the 'Russell Crowe' before the Mercer incident became known as doing a ''Russell". She has used phones to assault her domestic serfs, she has done community service, and she even headed downunder to spend time unwinding at Byron Bay, but it doesn't work. She decided to have a tantrum on a British Airways flight, spitting at the police, which is so uncool and crass.
Sure she is lovely to look at. I have always thought she had the best body out of all the supermodels of her time (good body contour and muscle, tone, and proportion: she's a fashion designer's wet dream), but she is a joke. Maybe she is on a low carb diet. Low carb diets can turn women into moody female variants of Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver). Instead of "You talkin' to me?" you have, "You lookin' at my ass? Why? Because it's fat? Did you say I have a fat ass? Come here and say that!" and out comes the cell phone. Nokia should have Naomi as a spokesperson: "It is durable, reliable, and never lets me down, even when I use it as a weapon."

Possible ad campaigns for Campbell (she has always been quoted in interviews bitching about never getting a cosmetic deal because 'I'm black,' even though Queen Latifah hasn't had a problem): Ice Picks, Cutlery (Chefs knives), power drills, and cell phones. Give the girl a campaign!

March 29, 2008

Skin & Other Habits

Some of the world’s most beautiful women, and by that I mean those who are branded as such by media, magazines and whoever else, have unhealthy habits.

Prize quote here, from Elle Macpherson, relates to solar tanning (not fake tan): “I tan safely.”

I am not sure what the weather is like in Europe, but saying something like “I tan safely” in Australia, a place with the highest incidence of skin cancer, is like telling a PETA rep that you like eating filet mignon rare. One of the people who made tans fashionable was French fashion designer Coco Chanel. In Chanel’s era, all women were lily white, and she wanted to start a new trend; innovative for her women’s suits and pants, she went further and started sporting a tan. Also, in Chanel’s time (and before), tans weren’t considered a ‘classy’ feature.

For me, when I was much younger, tanning was the be all and end all; I’d compare with friends after a day at the beach, and at night we’d all be taking turns to rub aloe vera into our skin for some sleep and peace of mind. After five years of topless sunbathing, I found a mole under my breast, and had I not been breastfeeding at the time I would not have noticed it. It was off to the doctor for me, for him to cut out the small mole for the pathologist, and a week of being on tenterhooks, the result came back and I was told to stay out of the sun and that I was lucky, “ had it enlarged, it could have been worse.” I grew out of tanning at that time; I had a new baby, I had no time to go to the beach and didn’t live near the beach. Making an hour long trip, with a small baby, to the beach on a hot summer’s day was silly, and the mole scared the crap out of me.

All these trends do prompt the health and sex appeal question: are bad habits sexy, because many bad habits that are associated with the ‘beautiful’ aren’t really great habits, and over the years they have been scientifically proven to have mortal complications. I remember watching one of those Hollywood expose shows once, and cameras spotted Goldie Hawn sneaking a cigarette. It wasn’t something she was doing out on the street, but the cameras spotted her, and it was go-go-go. Hawn had her people with her and they shielded her from the cameras.

Also when a habit commences during a time where the habit is socially approved, and the habit becomes a part of a person’s life, cessation becomes difficult. How many stars enter rehab? How many everyday people enter gambler’s anonymous.

June 28, 2007

Maquillage - Evolution (by Dove)

I bought myself a glossy magazine over the last fortnight, and felt odd as I leafed through it. Without naming the publication, I could not believe (or a part of me did, although I denied it at the time) the extent of airbrushed fantasy staring back from the pages.

Female beauty today may as well be termed Digital Beauty; everything is tweaked the right way. Neck’sDoveevolutionscreen  are lengthened, eyebrows shaped (without a perfunctory pluck from a makeup artist), and complexions smoothed to a frightful level of flawlessness.

Dove soap has taken the issue of beauty to the next level. In the Seventies and Eighties, brands such as Lux or Camay, would flirt with the idea of natural beauty, but Dove has gone to different lengths to detail the illusory world of commercial beauty.

Dove's Evolution commercial, won Commercial of the Year (2007) in Cannes.

The advert, a startling depiction of modern beauty techniques, offers a stark and somewhat disturbing insight into the lengths taken to obliterate supposed flaws.

Continue reading "Maquillage - Evolution (by Dove)" »

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