Dewy, un-creased twentysomethings have long been held up as the essence and ideal of womanhood in popular culture. But you know the mania for youth has reached new heights when glossy magazines allow no more than three wrinkles on the faces that grace their covers and people — Kim Kardashian, for example — go so far as to retouch their selfies before posting them on Instagram. Sure, there are frequent stories about how “30 is the new 20” or “50 is the new 30,” but rarely do we see women over a certain age — unretouched, unapologetic, not medically intervened upon — held up as desirable or admirable, or even held up at all. (Meanwhile, silver-haired men abound in movies and on TV in seats of power.)
But plenty of women have the guts to face the music — and the mirror — with grace. Here, a collection of thoughts on the woes and delights of aging from 25 famous women, including Meryl Streep, Toni Morrison, and Betty White. The power of wrinkles, how sex at 60 beats sex at 16, staring down chin hairs — it’s all here.