A Middle-Aged Woman In Her Long Hair Flowing Over Her Shoulders In A Bra-less Youthful Garment is the symbol at 3° Leo and it is focused upon “the will to meet the challenge of age in terms of our modern society’s glorification of youth.” Apparently, in the 1920s, the original symbol image was that of a woman who dared to bob her hair; this is the first time I’ve encountered the fact that these images may have been updated—sounds like in the 1960s or 1970s from the description. I’ll have to research that. The details may have changed but the fact remains: that there are those of us who try to hang on to trappings that we may very well have outgrown.

Personally I think there is nothing more charming, dignified and, indeed, ageless than allowing your style to mature with your age. I personally don’t subscribe to even the slightest touches one will make, surgically or so on, to remain youthful appearing. I think it actually has the opposite effect: People tend to wear the knowledge they’re trying to hide the truth. And these days it’s no longer celebrities or ladies who lunch who make such alterations. I have plenty of friends you’d least expect would have had procedures done. Again I think about the downtown arts scenesters who, twenty years ago, would never dream of getting injections, let alone going under the knife. That was for plastic people. Now, even people I know who can scarcely afford their rent in the East Village will make regular trips to Dr. So and So.

And yet the true meaning and power of this image would seem to take their side. For today is about refusing to be bound by biological or social standards as an expression of Independence. I can understand that in theory, but I think the more and more people attempt to fight the natural effects of aging the more damage they do to the collective perception of the elderly in our society. America, especially, being such a youth-motivated culture has everything to do with our inability to care for the elderly or to keep a place of relevance carved out for them. I do think there are opponents of this (many of whom have tons of face work) like Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda and their NetFlix series, which portrays the vitality and importance of individuals in their late 70s. This is probably the first time in our culture when women, in particular, d’un certain age, have been able to play characters that aren’t pigeon holed as grandparents or cranky characters.

I suppose plastic surgery has contributed to their ability to present this youthful image. My hope is that, eventually, these crutches won’t be necessary. Diet and exercise and a youthful, optimistic attitude can probably take us just as far. In the meantime, maybe it’s me, but I fantasize about what I’ll look like older. In fact I often wish my hair would turn whiter faster. I’m looking forward to being an older gentleman, in so far as it’s distinguished. I’m surely not looking forward to the aches and pains. But that’s what yoga is for; and no amount of collagen injections is going to change the internal clock that is forever ticking.

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