"To know how to grow old is the master-work of wisdom, and one of the most difficult chapters in the great art of living," wrote the Swiss philosopher, poet, and critic Henri-Frédéric Amiel in 1874.
Nearly a century and a half later, the largest group of Americans by age--the baby boomers--is learning just how hard that great art of living can be. In a culture fixated on youth and mesmerized by plastic beauty, boomer women are having a particularly tough go at it as they enter their seventh decade of life. "Turning 40 is horrible. People that say it isn't are full of shit," Sofia Vergara, Modern Family's it-girl, recently said, reflecting our culture's attitude to aging.