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The Age of Beauty
When do we stop being young? Do we stop being beautiful once we are no longer young?

Does our concept of beauty change as we grow? Did we aspire to look like our dolls when we were young, rebellious punks as teenagers, businesslike when we entered the workforce, and so on?

The Age of Beauty: Stories to View

I am 22 years old by Fanny Allié - France (film)
See Fanny Allié’s exploration of grandmothers’ feminine wiles. Can you be sexy at 82 just as you were at 22?

About my sisters by Ellie Brown - USA (photography)
Explore the passage from childhood to teenage years in this series of photos that looks at the body language, social interactions and grooming rituals of young girls.

Whatever happened to my youth? by Coryse Borg - Malta (essay)
Do our skin and hair products dominate more than just shelf space when we turn 30?

Read these and many more stories. What is your idea of beauty?

Join the conversation.
Aida Eltorie
In Egypt today, I see many women with a more conservative sense of dress and beauty, quite unlike the time of my grandmother.

As I look back at her pictures and I see a beautiful lady who carried herself with grace and elegance. Her beauty rituals included visits to the salon every Tuesday for her weekly hairstyling, pedicure and manicure and perusing fashion magazines from Paris.

She wore bare back dresses in vibrant colors and prints, evening gowns to concerts and high heels designed and fitted by Pierre Clouvas. The Golden Age of Egypt seems a world removed from today. Now, due to religious and social conservatism, beauty seems to be hidden.

What are the changes in beauty that you see around you?
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46 - 27 of 46 Next | First
joi carruth
United States
Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 7:06 AM
Growing up I was alway seen a being the "ugly duckilng" I was surrounded by cousins that were classic Italian beauties [ dark eyes , long dark hair,olive complexion.] It was later in life that I realized that true beauty comes not from the packagingm but from within. Would I give up anything to be even remotely seen as beautiful...not a chance.look fade unless maintained at a high price; but true presence of beauty comes from a spirit that radiates all on its own from within the soul of whoever posseses it. You can't bottle it, spray it on, or compress it in a powder to rub on.
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joi carruth
United States
Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 6:59 AM
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Julia Ardón
Costa Rica
Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 4:35 AM
A mi juicio, la belleza tiene que ver con la vida, con el amor, con la bondad, con la solidaridad, la armonía, el abrazo. Soy bella porque vivo, porque puedo amar, porque tengo capacidad para ser buena, porque puedo ser solidaria, porque puedo trabajar por la armonía entre las gentes y entre las gentes y la naturaleza. Además, soy bella porque puedo soñar, cometer errores, devolverme y superarlos.

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United States
Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 12:57 PM

Hi Aida, I am at work so here goes real fast since there are so many prying eyes.

As of this post I am dating yet another older woman, she is 3 years older than myself and like most of us, as we get older she has put on weight. I love her for who she is, she does not wear a lot of make up, and I acccept her inner beauty, her kindness and her caring nature.

I also feel strongly that due to most women's past relationships with men who have hurt them, it makes it harder for a nice guy such as myself when I come along and accept them for who they are. I may look at the young women in passing but I have noticed that I have also been looking at older women in my age bracket, and how they make themselves up and how they present themselves.
It is all from within and how you feel about yourself, and that is what I like about my current girl friend, she does not wear a lot of make up. We may have a long lasting relationship once she gets over her fears of being hurt, and realize that I truly accept her for who she is and for her natural beauty, which includes her smile and her giggle. It is nice to see that being in your fifties you can still meet someone and date. I am 52 she is 55.
Thank you.

Oh and I love the movie The Devil Wears Prada, what a riot!

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Julia Ardón
Costa Rica
Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2008 11:38 AM
Quiero invitar a todas aquellas mujeres interesadas en la belleza a visitar mi sitio EL SALON DE BELLEZA, que consiste en una colección de retratos ( testimonios y fotos) de mujeres. Pretendo trabajar desde el respeto y la celebración de la diversidad.

Please, visit my web page El Salón de Belleza, portratis or beautiful women from my country and some friends from another lands.

Saludos desde Costa Rica
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sadaf haroon
Posted on Saturday, November 17, 2007 11:12 AM
i experienced it noboy wants to see the beauty u have inside but if u are beautiful from outside people would love to live near you..
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Carolyn Asapo
Posted on Monday, October 01, 2007 6:29 AM
beauty is dynamic, changes with time,culture, region, age group, income brackets and so forth..all these tend to define beauty in their context. in the time of my grandmothers in my culture, beauty was forcing a gap in their foreteeth..which meant knocking off one or more teeth, inscribing tatoos on their shoulders, wore natural hair..and alot more, but that was then, in my age no one goes that way,..a new whole set of attributes have come up to define beauty more with a leaning to global modelling definitions..skinny, tall..and so on. But still then, real beauty is me and myself.
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Carolyn Asapo
Posted on Monday, October 01, 2007 5:59 AM
talk about is loving your self totally. when one accepts and appreciates onesself, thats all it takes. in my country curveous, light skinned, or smooth black skin women are regarded more beautiful, but that has nothing to do with it.. its all about me, accepting my looks, appreciating myself... and be happy with to the beauty standards set by society is so stressing and unfair, it leaves one blank.. unless probably one earns a living from it..otherwise as the saying goes beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, in otherwords all of us are beautiful in our own unique ways that nature gave us..
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bunmi akinnusotu
United States
Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 7:40 PM
I agree with Mojito- beauty is all in the mind- which reminds me of the ironies of beauty here in America...mainly between women of color and white women. White women want darker skin- so they lie in the sun until their skin is pink; They want fuller lips- so they get injections of fat in to their lips to thicken them; They want a rounder butt- so they get impants!..all of these features are common in women of African descent. Black women (be they african, african american or whatever)- we want longer hair- so we spend millions and billions of dollars on hair products. Some want lighter skin- hence the use of "skin-lightening creams"; Some want pointier noses and do all they can to get it...again these are features celebrated in mainstream white culture. This alone indicates how much beauty is socially constructed and fragile.
Unfortuntely, I see very little change in the standards of beauty. Even when we speak of "black beauty" or "Latina beauty"...there are still standards held by those within the group. The one aspect of beauty that I have come to appreciate is the way in which beauty is expressed. For example,Black women spend millions on hair products and styles- but the eloquence and finesse of it all, makes African/Black hair styles one of the most mimicked styles in the world. It has become its own art form in a way and has challenged conventional notions of "pretty hair." The same can be said for many other cultures as well.
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Aida Eltorie
Posted on Tuesday, September 25, 2007 12:21 PM
Dear all,

Your comments are outstanding! Thank you for sharing views that reveal alot of personal and thoughtful ideas on the Age of Beauty. From what has been shared so far, I think it would be safe to think that the age of beauty is not only to the age of physical growth, but greatly to mental growth. The time it takes for one to appreciate themself first and foremost for who they are and then to share their experiences with those around them. To be a little selfless and thoughtful, and not selfish and obssessive. But that can only be achieved when you are satisfied with yourself. To make beautiful is to be... (mind/body/spirit)
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alice kamunge
Posted on Monday, September 24, 2007 4:58 AM
Hi Mojito,

Thanks so much for that correction Mojito and I sincerely agree with you that every one men and women, have someone who truly admire the way they look. It may be our character, body size and shape or even how we talk.

Beauty is not about age, color or race. Its all in one's mind.
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Mojito Jione
Posted on Sunday, September 23, 2007 7:05 PM
hi Alice of Kenya. Just thought that I'd let you and this forum know that I'm a guy. I do agree with your views. What i was trying to stress is that we (both men women) sometimes focus too much on our physical appearance. Its not a crime to be beautiful but we should not spend too much of our time and money on it. As you also highlighted everyone have their own view of beauty. Like for myself I don't like women who wear too much make up and as Carrie Harrison says "stick-thin homely women". Some men may think other wise. I must admit that I love "gorgeous curvy women". So to all the women out there who think they are not beautiful just remember that while to some you may seem unattractive to others you may be the most beautiful person to others. So dont change your looks just find people who will appreciate you for who you really are. And the most important thing is as Carrie said "The trick is to learn to love myself so that someone else can love me too, not to wait for someone else to love me before I love myself"
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alice kamunge
Posted on Saturday, September 22, 2007 9:34 AM
I think we must all appreciate youth as a time which every one would love to pass over and over again only if we could do it with only the body but not the mind.

I am about fifty years now and as much as I am enjoying myself, I cannot forget when I was young and restless. Life was sweet and easy. Movement was good and fast. My romantic life was so good because i was young and full of energy as well as my husband too.

We cannot deny that things are not as good as they used to be. What is important is how we take life as these changes come into our lives. I believe feeling young is good and very good if only we could be young with the mind and wisdom of old.

I like the sincerity of Mojito. She is not the only one but I advice people who are in Mojito's world not to loose hope but be focused and see the other side of you. Everyone is beautiful in our own different ways. Sample this. I organize most of the beauty pageants here in my country but what amuses me so much is that each year,there must be a complaint that the others who did not win were more beautiful. i decided to do a simple check with my friends and general public on who they think should have won according to them. Surprisingly I got so many different answers and thats why i agree totally with the saying which goes like " the beauty is in the eyes of the beholder".When I was in High school I had a school mate who was very ugly as far as our young eyes could see. I was among the top cream of my school as far as character and beauty was concerned or so I thought. I met my friend twenty five years later with a very handsome man any woman would die for any time. I could not believe my eyes. This should tell us that we are all beautiful at any age bracket in life because I believe all my agemates are growing with me. The difference is how we age and how we take care of ourselves. My parting short is love self first and others will see the beauty in you. i tried and it worked.
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Renee Gasch
Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 5:20 PM
I really like the last couple posts. Sanja's quote from Socrates about confidence and Carrie's personal story about knowing herself are very thought provoking. To me, that is what beauty is all about: confidence and knowing one's self. And these things definitely come with age! I think of myself as a self-conscious, confused early 20 something and I rejoice at the fact that I am getting older and wiser. I wonder, when I am 50, will I want to trade a few wrinkles for the wisdom I have earned over the years? I hope not.
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Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2007 8:11 PM
Socrates is reported saying “Speak, that I may see you” to a youth that once visited him. I cannot begin explaining how loaded this simple sentence is. I imagine an old and wise man addressing a self-conscious, insecure, self-doubting youth standing before him. I imagine wisdom speaking to youth explaining that it is what you say, how you say it, and what your intention is when saying it, that defines you, makes you. Everything else is just pleasure for the eyes. It pleases the mind as much as miles of yellow shimmering Moroccan sand dunes, blood-orange Sicilian ocean sunsets or gin-clear Croatian seas would. They have their place, we should appreciate them, but we should not judge nature by them, no matter now beautiful. Deserts are places of wretched death, as much as of flashes of life; oceans and seas are treacherous lovers of sailors, leaving behind widows wearing black and children orphaned. Their beauty is often deceptive.

I imagine a wise person, a person who has lived life, known life, been both hurt and satisfied by life, telling an inexperienced youth what makes him a person, an individual, a free-thinking human being. Contours of your face or your body do not make you YOU—it is what you say that creates you and maintains you.

Carrie, your comment has touched me profoundly. But compassion is not what I want to feel for you. You deserve much more, and you need to know that, repeat that, every day. I want you, I want all of us, to stop being that inexperienced, self-conscious youth, to close our eyes when people speak to us, and to listen to them, so that we may truly see them.
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Carrie Harrison
United States
Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2007 12:32 PM
Mojito Jione wrote "As I highlighted before you can be beautiful physically, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. And of these 4 forms of beauty only one does not survive in old age: Physical Beauty." I could not state it better. All of my life, I have felt "less than." Less than all of those beautiful people around me who are between a size two and a size eight. It didn't help that my sister was one of those people either. I was never able to see any of my own beauty. Because of that, I have always had a low self-esteem. This low self-esteem led me to give my body freely to men who were terrible to me just to try to get them to like me. When I did this, it only made me feel worse about myself in the end, because when they left, as they inevitably did, I thought, "God, I can't even do that right." Eventually, I decided to try celibacy. No one wanted me anyway, right? That desire to be desired is still there. And, I still have ended up with a couple of guys who were jerks. But, I have gone back to celibacy. I have been by myself for 4 or 5 years now. Intellectually, I know what my mistakes are and why I make them. So, I have taken relationships out of the equation. I try to see all of the good things about myself, but in a society that constantly pushes for physical beauty, it is difficult. It isn't even beauty that society looks for I guess. It's really being skinny. Gorgeous curvy women are not seen as being as attractive as stick-thin homely women. I, an intellectual woman, have still fallen into this trap. I have put my life on hold until "I obtain a figure I can live with." That is crazy. Mojito, thank you for stating it so simply. This is something I can paste on the washroom mirror and repeat to myself everyday. I do have intellectual, spiritual and emotional beauty, as well as physical beauty. I may not be a size two, but I have lush curves and a pretty face. I can live with that. The trick is to learn to love myself so that someone else can love me too, not to wait for someone else to love me before I love myself.
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Carrie Harrison
United States
Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2007 12:32 PM
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