Kintsugi

Lorrie bought a floaty tea-length dress for her nephew’s late-summer wedding at an Arizona resort. She then said that she had also found a cardigan to “hide my arms”. A style blogger posted a WIW of herself in a skirt, mentioning that she will shortly add opaque tights to hide her veins.

Another woman was shocked by her rounder torso, so bought jeans with a 'slimming panel' and a butt-lifting construction. Her reaction to actually wearing them was choked rage; she returned them.

I wonder, is it the responsibility of anyone with visible, natural effects of age to spare others from seeing her body? There seems to be a sense that unless trussed like a Christmas turkey, we will offend.

Or are we driven by our need to be admired? Is Pride, one of the Seven Deadly sins, bucking for the #1 slot, rather than living companionably with the other six vices that we plan to address 'sometime'?

“Jeez Louise”, I said to Lorrie, “it’s going to be 30C on that patio, and you'll want to dance! Let yourself be comfortable!” I've known her for 45 years, so I could also say, "What are we doing? Protecting people from seeing our age?" She later wrote that the wedding was magical, and that she thought of our conversation and shed the sweater.

What (and I really want to know this, it is not rhetorical) is wrong with looking not only your age, but your life? I harp on this with my friends. Ella said that my attitude is influenced by having a long-time partner. She is presently single, and far more attuned to the exigencies of the post-60 dating scene. She has a point. And surgery.

I'm all for grooming; I once ended a dinner date before the appetizers because the man had obviously not showered, and for more than a day. But this is not about social convention, which says don’t show up stinky. It is about shame, which says don’t show up old.

The terrific anxiety, the terror of looking anything older than a woman of indeterminate early middle age, drives me nuts. If over 50, one is part of the largest cohort of 50-to-65 year-olds who have ever lived, world-wide. Where is the We’re Here, We Have Age Spots, Get Used to It movement?


The magnificent writer Ursula LeGuin said, shortly before she died at the beginning of this year, that she did not mind her crinkled face much, because she had never been a great beauty. And it does seem that my friends—both male and female—most celebrated for their looks are the ones especially shaken.

To hell with draping your body like a Christo installation when it’s so hot the heat shimmers off the flagstones. And to hell in a rearview mirror, Ella, to a lover for whom you have to cheat time to capture attention.

I do know women who don’t buy into aesthetic ageism. They certainly take care of themselves, but do not feel they're a blight on society for having more hip, less neck than they once did. Like the size acceptance movement, they come as they are. Some are forthright, some persuade only through their gentle presence. They walk among us, though not usually in Spanx.


What are we teaching younger generations if we transmit the idea that older bodies are disgusting? Our mature bodies should be like the pottery the Japanese restore by kintsugi, a technique which preserves an aged piece with lacquer dusted with precious metals.

As a philosophy, kintsugi treats wear and breakage as part of the piece's history, rather than something to disguise.

Be subversive: Wear your history.



This post is dedicated to the memory of my neighbour, Linda Kay
pioneering journalist and beloved professor, 
who died on October 12.  
A remarkable woman who embodied these notions—in a Pucci dress.



Comments

Venasque said…
You make valid points, but we live in a society in North America that does not value older women and worships the young. Therefore it is in one's best interest to look as young as you can which leads to the efforts you describe. There is no doubt that young people are beautiful - their lithe, flexible bodies and radiant skin are a balm for the eyes. However there is beauty as well in an older face which reflects a life well lived, contentment with who you are and your place in the world, and lines which have been well earned. The problem is that that is not reflected or celebrated in our society. Men want (and therefore women aim to be) younger women on their arms, no matter how ridiculous it looks from both perspectives. Until that need changes and North America adopts a more European frame of mind in this regard, I do not see women giving up those cardis any time soon.
Duchesse said…
Venasque: I get the pressure of sexual competition, I have not forgotten all that.

Thanks, and let me take on that "but". I get the fact of sexual competition. What I am against, vehemently, is a women's buying into the notion that she ought to disguise her body, despite her being uncomfortable, or inconvenienced.

In "The Marvelous Mrs Maisel" we saw a prime example of this when Midge Maisel (in her glossy mid-twenties!) awoke before her husband and ran to the bathroom so she could present a fully made-up face to him. We laugh at that now. One day I hope we will laugh at a woman of 65 who thinks she must wear a cardigan over a dress in tropical heat so guests will not see her fleshy arms.

Yes, worse in North American, and worse in the online world, where a number of posters note their flaws in a kind of Style Maoism of Self-Criticism.

LauraH said…
Here is where my ideals and my practices diverge. I fully agree with everything you say about the pressure to hide our aging bits... but I won't go sleeveless. To be clear, I have never gone sleeveless, genetically my upper arms have always had a lot of extra to them and I've always hated it. Exercise did nothing so I have always covered up. And I won't wear a bathing suit as the sight of myself is not pleasing...but that's always been the case as I've struggled with weight over the years. At this point, appearing in public with my upper thighs on display is not going to happen. So there I am...a bit of a coward I guess.

As to my face, I focus on taking care of my skin but have to admit I'm not all that happy about the continued sagging, etc. Don't plan to have surgery or botox or anything along those lines. I'ld rather spend my money travelling:-) I agree with some of the comments you've had about your perspective as part of a long time marriage, there is more pressure if you are trying to find someone, not that I would go under the knife for that reason. You've also been genetically blessed, some who are not so lucky may feel more despondent when they look in the mirror. Perhaps it's worth it to some to make those changes in order to boost their spirits.
Venasque said…
I am in complete agreement. My arms are my arms and too bad if you're offended by them. They are strong and capable, can lift babies and small trees equally, can embrace those I love just the same as they always could.

It makes me sad when I see other women who try so, so hard to be something that is gone, never to return no matter how hard they try. That said there's a difference between giving up and going to the sweats permanently and looking as good as you can. But that's a different discussion for another time.
Duchesse said…
LauraH: Every woman has a different tolerance. I had a sweet wake up call when I visited my mother, who lived in Florida, beginning in her 60s. She and her "girlfriends" wore shorts (not short shorts) those "skorts", sleeveless tops and swimsuits— with freedom. No one was toned •anywhere•, no one had smooth legs or any of those attributes. They had not given up, either. They wore makeup, had manicures, and paid attention to clothes. They just had this attitude of "This is us."

Then my mother-in law-started spending winters in FL and would not appear anywhere in a swimsuit. So, different women approached the subtropics differently. But guess who had more fun?

Venasque: Such a lovely way to put it, "lifting babies and small trees". I think the notion of "giving up" is important to parse as it is another powerful cultural meme. Doctors talk about the "lipstick test"- if they visit a woman in a hospital bed and she has put on lipstick, it is a sure sign of recovery. IME, going into sweats permanently can be a sign of depression.



Madame Là-bas said…
The tendency to self-criticize is a really unattractive quality. As teen girls, my best friend and I persisted in this behaviour. Looking back, we were both pretty girls in different ways. No one is really looking at our arms or thighs and making judgements. I like the "lifting babies and small trees" description.
Jane said…
Whoa, LauraH, we are kindred spirits here. I do not own a swimsuit and looking at my face in broad daylight is sadly shocking. I am just being honest here. I am not proud of my attitude. I was in Sephora over the weekend and no one wanted to help me with makeup. Maybe my imagination? The girl in the fragrance department was one of the best sales clerks I've had, however. -Lily
Duchesse said…
Jane: Baby steps, you two-says Duchesse with good will. It is not necessary to suddenly fling off our furniture covers and say ta-da! I for one have invoked my right to bare arms. You might pick something else. And you know you can swim without a suit ;)

And there are things I will not wear anymore just because I think they look silly on me now- miniskirts, ditsy florals.

Mme Là-bas: Reminds me of Nora Ephron's comment that she wasted an entire year of her life, at 26, not wearing a bikini. We can't change our behaviour back then, but we can be aware of our current attitude and ask, Is this serving us or limiting us?

Did you see the film "As Good as It Gets"? Jack Nicholson and Dianne Keaton are 50-something lovers, and one summer evening she is in her kitchen preparing them a meal. He says, "What's with the turtleneck... in August???" This is another example of how women think they should cover all signs of age. OK, it's a movie, but I've seen it in real life too.

LauraH said…
Invoked your right to bare arms....love it:-) I'll think about it for next summer..on the other hand, more area to keep sunscreening!
Lynn L said…
I think where someone grows up also makes a difference in attitude. I grew up in Dallas, which was not only southern, but also a fashion center. The women I knew would not run an errand without makeup and a nice outfit and were extremely critical of anyone who did not do the same. Even in pre-K we wore nice dresses! I find it hard to shed this,so I'm working toward a happy medium. Nice jeans and top and minimal makeup for errands! As an aside, no one looks the same at any age so why are there such expectations that aging is not attractive?
Duchesse said…
Lynn L: Dressing nicely is not what I am writing about here (though it is part of role expectation for women.) Each of the women I mentioned cares about her appearance and knows how to dress for any occasion. Your aside is bang on what this is about.

I am talking about either self-imposed or culturally-taught revulsion toward aging physiques (most often women’s) so that women believe it is unacceptable to display them even in settings where it is done by younger persons as a matter of course.

Lorrie’s dress was perfect for the occasion and climate, but she felt that exposing her arms would somehow be beneath the event, kind of dent the elegance. Other women have told me they are revulsed by features no longer youthful, so they hide them. I know women who will not go to beach or pool, even though they would enjoy that, because they “ have to wear a swimsuit”. (Which is not entirely true anyway.)

I’m asking women to reject what is a profoundly ageist and denigrating attitude.
Martina Flynn said…
A few thoughts...re:Sephora, I learned in my first job out of college (at Bonwit Teller), that appearances aren’t correlated with the amount someone is willing to spend. When I retire, I really want to work at Sephora and have fun helping people to enjoy makeup.

I had weight loss surgery a year ago ( rising A1c, sleep apnea, nothing else worked), and had a great result..I lost 90 pounds, but now I have flabby skin that used to be filled with fat. I look at myself and feel a little bad, but then I think about how much healthier I am and think...who cares about my neck...or my arms.

Finally, Duchesse...please, please write a book. Essays, fiction, non-fiction...doesn’t matter. You have the most beautiful way with language, and I enjoy reading your blog so much.
Ms. Liz said…
Thank you for this great post. I too have had limiting thoughts run through my mind. I can't stand to see the dimples on my thighs so I don't want to wear a bathing suit anymore - even though I used to love the pool. (I have always had the "dimples" but they are more prominent on my aging body now.). Why should I hide? I am fit and healthy - I need to remind myself that 10 years from now I will wish I had the body I have now!
Duchesse said…
Martina Flynn: You have a story there, yourself. I was going to expand this post to include covering up any 'non-standard' body, but decided to keep it to age-related attitudes, or this post WOULD be a book!

Thank you for the encouragement, I'll think about it. I so enjoy the two-way channel the blog allows... of course there is room for both.
Jeannine said…
I do agree with most of what you write, except I don't want to see older women wear sleeveless dresses or tops nor do I want to see them wear shorts (unless they have great arms or legs or the shorts are longer). I don't want to see older men dressed that way either. I do believe in looking your best and that there's nothing wrong with looking your age, but I don't want to see crepey hanging skin on arms and legs. Looking one's age - absolutely. Wearing cinching garments to look slimmer - absolutely not.
Duchesse said…
Ms Liz: Yes, and one day, even if you would love to swim, it might not be possible.

A young man recently mentioned how much he enjoys "queering straight spaces", and I thought, well maybe I am suggesting we "age young spaces."

Duchesse said…
Jeannnine: •Why• don't you like it when older women wear what the rest of the population wears, in places where you normally see such attire?

Please think about your reason, because when you are unaccepting of anything less than "great arms or legs" for it to be OK for an older person to dress like anyone else, this is ageism. Your standard, "If you do not have 'great legs or arms'" excludes a very sizeable chunk of mature humanity.

Thank you for commenting, because my post counters your point of view and I am sincerely grateful that you read it.
Duchesse said…
Jeannine: Sorry, too many "ns", just a stuck key.
Jeannine said…
For me, there's often too much skin showing at younger ages as well. I prefer more modesty in dress. Wrinkled faces and necks (I'm not about to wear turtlenecks in the summer), age spots - bring it on - but, I think as we age we look better with a little more body cover. I really don't view it as ageism, I see it more as just the way it is. I fully believe that one can do what one wants, but, for me, more cover helps one looks one's best.
royleen said…
Thank you for this; you write beautifully! I live in a very warm climate, sleeveless tops and skirts almost year round. Arms and legs, while healthy, aren’t what they used to be. So what? I like your term “age young spaces,” although there are a lot of older people where I live! Still, it’s apt!
Beth said…
I totally agree with you, Duchesse. Part of maturity is knowing what makes us look silly or like we're trying too hard, but that's very different from censoring our natural appearance. I too have benefitted from a long marriage to someone who helps me feel confident,that but I mainly got my attitude from my mother and grandmother. I go sleeveless when it's hot, and yes, my arms are somewhat flabby. I love to swim, and wear a swimsuit with pleasure in order to do it. Yes, there are beautiful young girls at the pool or the lake who look lithe and lovely, but they don't yet have much experience of life, unlike what shows in our faces, and is a priceless feature no amount of money can buy.
Beth said…
P.S. I'm sorry for the too-early death of your neighbor. She sounds like a remarkable and admirable person in her obituary, and I'm sure she'll be both missed and remembered.
Leslie Milligan said…
I hear you, Duchesse. I met my husband when I was forty. I was fit, long dark hair and loved wearing high heels. He loved it, too. We married when I was 53. Menopause brought lagging muscle strength, a softer belly, much more grey hair and an inability to wear 4” heels. I guess he thought I would wear stilettos to my grave. I can no longer even wear them to the bedroom. He says he can’t understand me. What he can’t understand is that his self-confidence needs to come from a young looking, surgically and chemically preserved wife on his arm. My self confidence is just fine. He moved out in July of this year, saying he wants me “the way I used to be”. He thinks my discomfort with heels, tighter, shorter dresses (and let’s not forget ample cleavage) should be a small price to pay. I don’t. I am comfortable with who I am at almost 60. His loss.
I remember looking at my grandmothers when I was very young. The turkey necks and swinging arm skin was fascinating to me. I knew it was because they were old, but it never adversely affected my love or admiration for them and I smiled to myself the first time my arm skin did the hokey pokey. As Beth said, my attitude comes from those lovely women.
LauraH said…
I just read your friends obituary. She sounds like quite the powerhouse. What a loss.
Sara I said…
Linda Kay was my teacher, Concordia Grad Dipl. class of '94, when she was relatively new to Montreal. My classmates and I played with Emily at the class picnic. She was so little we had to find a lighter ball to play with. I am so sorry Linda's gone.
Guermantes said…
Beautifully written column and a tonic reminder. I agree with the person who said you should write a book. A collection of essays on ageing and fashion would be welcome - there are such books but not by people who write as well as you! Your mix of playfulness and insight is nice to read.
SWIMSUITS - there are new workarounds - am sad people wouldn't swim if they felt body-shy. I am someone who has never liked showing my arms een when young(as another reader commented), but there are solutions. There are now 'rash suits' and 'leg suits' which have arms and short legs (not like those silly swim skirts which float up around you in a tangle-y mess). Beyonce was photographed wearing a long-sleeved, zip-fronted swimsuit this summer - and I mean...Beyonce. Monki had an awesome one in black this year - very kind of James Bond feeling. There are also 'board suits' for surfers (women) with longer legs (covering crepe-y things)and with or without arm coverage. These suits are nice because they give you sun protection and a bit of coverage. And they feel modern and fun. There are lots of two piece things with a rash suit top and a matching short (Lands End, etc.). It's also linked into the 'modest fashion' movement as the fashion world caters to women whose faith demands a bit of coverage. Everyone has there own thing. I admire the people who do not care and am working to get there, but in the meantime. Also, Leslie Milligan, good riddance to your husband and how nice your grandmothers gave you your strength and clarity
VeraL said…
I don't see it as ageism but a vestige of how in the pre fat-acceptance days we were taught to hide our flaws and accentuate the positive. I was anorexic thin up until my mid 30s and I never wore sleeveless tops, short skirts or bathing suits even at 21. I wore long pants and long sleeve shirts all summer long. Your friend wanted a cool flowy dress in natural fabrics with sleeves and the problem is that they aren't available here. I look at the photos of wedding guests at those minor Royal weddings, the kind in Spain and Italy and the guests, including Kate Moss, are wearing exactly that, silk chiffon, drapey fabric, short sleeves and/or illusion sleeves. Your friend would have been more comfortable wearing something like that. The European women have access to flattering clothes that we do not.

Boston Girl said…
I was so ready for this wonderful essay. I just finished an arduous search for a dress for a black tie wedding. I am 5'3", 160 pounds, a size 14 (USA), and 63 years old. Clothes are not made for the likes of me--and I am not unusual. I don't hate my round, fleshy body, but I do not consider it a fashion "asset" as I did years ago. I struggled to figure out how to "present" myself. Dresses are not for women our age--so much emphasis on sexy. I have no interest in that. So many sparkles, spangles and sequins! I am not a royal princess, and have no interest in Vegas style. I wanted something pretty, fun, modest, and simple. I finally found a dress in a boutique--department stores are out. As for arms, thighs, necks: I do dress in a more covered way now, but I give myself pep talks about enjoying life, swimming, hiking, etc in shorts, swimwear, sleeveless clothes, etc. I think it is because my body is not an attractive asset (like my great smile, good hair, that are still that way) and I treat it in a more functional way as I get dressed. Thank you, Duchess, for this essay that encourages us to be ourselves, take back our joy, and be confident that we deserve to live a fun, bare-skinned, full life.
Duchesse said…
Jeannine: Ageism is present when someone believes her natural body will offend others •because • it shows some signs of age. There are many other reasons for covering- religious, the custom of the place, sun protection, or vanity, e.g., I want to show my legs so I will draw attention to them, by covering the rest". But covering signs of age because we think it offends? Ageism.

Royleen: In pearls!

Beth: I believe every age has its beauty, which is pretty much the opposite of 90% the beauty industry.

Twelve Riches said…
Dear Duchess
I've read your enjoyable blog many times. Today, i am compelled to express how much i love your wisdom. Thank you.
Duchesse said…
Leslie Milligan: Why some partners expect the other person to be like a bug in amber, I just don't understand but it's sad.

Sara: Lovely to hear that memory.

Guermantes: Thank you for this detailed description of an alternative. An Orthodox Jewish friend of mine wears board shorts and a rash guard and looks so cool.

VeraL: "Hiding ones flaws" when "flaws" are tied to age is ageism. Hiding one's flaws when not old: often tied to prejudices against non-conforming body size, and usually aimed at women. Of course there is a lot of money to be made from hiding flaws.
Lynn L said…
I guess I was not clear. In my growing up world women were shamed for not dressing their best at every age. My grandmother, age 70 and a former beauty and actress, spent hours getting ready to leave the house so she could hide signs of aging. Her underpinnings and makeup routine were complex. Now that I am 68 I find myself feeling the same way (minus the complex underwear)because I was taught that it was a womman's responsibility to be what society considers to be attractive. It's not a battle I can win, but it's one I have to work hard not to fight.
LauraH said…
Thank you Duchess and Guermantes for the suggested alternatives. I will definitely look into those. You might see me on the beach yet:-)
LauraH said…
Ooops, autocorrect strikes again..I know its 'Duchesse'
Duchesse said…
Boston Girl: "Take back your joy" is a wonderful phrase and encapsulates what I am wishing for.

Twelve RIches: I am grateful to the blog world for allowing me to publish, and to readers for reading, and especially for commenting. All comments here have made me think.
Duchesse said…
LauraH: My usual approach is is a sarong (over non-low-cut one piece suit) until I enter the water. The board shorts/rashguard is more current but I love the vintage Balinese fabrics of my sarongs and with a change of top they can go to lunch, etc. off the beach.
Wendelah said…
Thank you for writing this post. In theory, I am in agreement, 100%. In practice, not so much. I am happy to see people of all ages wearing whatever they want, whatever makes them feel happy and comfortable. I do wear sleeveless tops in the extreme heat of a southern California summer, even though I don't like how I look in them. When the temperature soars over 100 degrees, I try to stay in, but if I have to venture outside, I dress for comfort--and safety. If I want to swim, I put on a swimsuit designed for the purpose. No one but me is concerned with my cellulite. But I draw the line at shorts and short skirts. I've worn long skirts and dresses most of my life because of copious spider veins. They must be genetic--my mother has them and so did my grandmother. Added to that, now I have ankles that swell in the summer heat. I find I'm too self-conscious to wear clothing that does not cover my ankles. To make matters worse, try finding a 32.5 inch inseam in plus sizes!

I need to learn to sew.
Martina Flynn said…
Wendelah, I do sew and it’s so gratifying to be able to make something that is exactly what I want, and that is unique to me. I encourage you to learn!
I'd just like to point out that la Duchesse has featured several visits to boutiques in Montréal where there is pretty clothing more of the types readers have been looking for - no sequins or other dodgy decorations and not particularly revealing. Not sacks either; well cut.

And climate change means clothing that covers but is comfortable in heat may be a good idea for people of all ages. Many people in hot countries do dress thus, and it is not always or only for religious reasons.

I have the same body image problems many readers have expressed, but I also don't feel we should feel obliged to put ourselves on display at any age. I've seen too many films, music videos and other productions where the men are covered and the women nude or nearly so.
Duchesse said…
Wendeleh and Martina: Sewing is a way to get what precisely you want, if you have the interest and skills. A woman still has to consider whether she prefers the garment that way, or whether she thinks her natural body is offensive to others.

lagatta: I've never found covering in long sleeves and long pants cooling, myself. A caftan, maybe. Last summer was so hot, for so long, I said, I don't care what anyone thinks, I'm wearing sleeveless clothes in light cottons and linen. I passed a woman in a burka and wondered how she bore it at 42C and 100% humidity, but maybe she is used to it.
Jean Shaw said…
Count me in amongst those who would be very happy if you wrote a book. Long ago, I stopped reading almost all fashion blogs, as they blended in with one another and ended up being utterly forgettable. Yours stands out and is memorable.

I grew up in South Florida and remember the pre-Vatican II nuns at the convent down the street. Dark navy, long sleeves, full-length skirts. Wimples. I sweat just thinking about it all. No wonder they were cranky (according to my friends in the neighborhood).

I do see greater acceptance re: body differences among the Millennials I know, both here in Oregon and elsewhere. But maybe that's just the ones I know?

In contrast, some of the most unforgiving women I know here in Oregon are in their late 40s and early 50s. There's a toxic anxiety that can set in, if you let it, and there are times when I can feel it rolling off of them.





Duchesse said…
Jean Shaw: Thanks; are any readers...publishers? Anyway, young people seem accepting, but then, they have not had to face that censure and the kind of thing Leslie M. describes.

Sure, I would like the age spots on my legs and face to go "poof" but I will not cover them with makeup in order to be "presentable" and consider leg makeup just...weird. But I digress.

Sammye Broline said…
Not long ago I entered the realm of the disabled; it's been an eye-opener. I find offensive the notion that my body, or that of my counterparts, is somehow "offensive". Hats off to the woman (or man) who manages to be out & about, albeit sometimes with irksome accommodations. And please bear in mind, disabilities can be invisible. If someone is wearing sweats or no makeup, maybe for her just getting to the grocery took 90% of her energy, with no surplus for fiddling with clothing or carefully styled hair. Celebrate for her because last week she couldn't even get to the grocery.
Duchesse said…
Sammye; Oh yes! I had included disability in my draft post but decided to tighten the focus, which I regret—but then, I wanted to raise the issue of older women facing that message that they ought not show their age, regardless of ability. Ableism: whole additional layer. Thank you so much for contributing this.

Jane in London said…
Oh yes! A book, please!

This post (and the responses) is so interesting, and deals with an issue we all struggle with to some extent. I do think, though, that things are much easier here in Europe where there seems to be less pressure for people to hide the signs of aging.

I really miss the body that I had until my late 40s, and (now in my 60s) I so mourn the loss of pretty hands and feet! The emergence of crinkly bits on my face is also a bummer...

But I can't honestly say that any of this prevents me from dressing in a particular way, or enjoying dressing myself appropriately for occasion and weather.

I still expect to be viewed as attractive by men of my sort of age, who also have their visible signs of ageing which I am willing to be tolerant of, lol.

I strongly believe that much of our attractiveness (or otherwise) is conveyed by the way we stand, move and interact. If we feel we are somehow lesser women through the fact of looking our age, then this comes across clearly to those we interact with and affects their response.

If, by contrast, we are upright, confident and easy in our manner then people respond well and a circle of positive reinforcement ensues, making everyone feel better!

Look at any decent older character actress to see what I mean. I don't mean Helen Mirren in her bikini again, I mean someone more interesting like Celia Imrie (66).

She has visible signs of aging aplenty on face and body, but I have seen her in theatre roles where, in spite of very visible leg veins, facial lines and wobbly bits, she was electrifying as a sensual and disruptive woman. She also comes across as amazingly attractive and unselfconscious in interviews (and that wonderful voice!).

Fiona Shaw (60) has the same gift.

Perhaps, instead of spending money on surgery and uplift jeans, we should all take drama courses to give us the confidence to 'fake it 'til we make it' as women who've still got it - even if it's not quite the same as it was when we were younger!

Jane

Book Goddess said…
Thank you for featuring the amazing Ursula Le Guin. She deserves a wider readership. The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed are truly mind-expanding in their exploration of gender and materialism, respectively.
Duchesse said…
Book Goddess: I'll slip a reference to Ursula Le Guin in whenever I can, she is one of my absolute favourites. Nice to find another fan here in the Passage.

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