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Elder Cosmetic Surgery

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A few weeks ago, TGB reader Momcat Christi sent me a link to a news story about how growing numbers of old people are undergoing elective cosmetic surgery.

”According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery,” reports Tara Bahrampour in the Washington Post, “the number of people 65 and older getting facelifts and cosmetic eyelid surgeries has more than doubled over the last two decades, with much of that increase occurring over the last five years.”

It's a trend, old people getting plastic surgery going back at least to 2006 when a study published in Clinical Interventions in Aging concluded:

”...much advertising and social pressure is specifically aimed at trying to get people to pay money to stop themselves from looking old. It seems our Western society increasingly denigrates rather than reveres the elderly.

“We need to try to ensure that the pressures on the elderly to look young do not create unrealistic expectations and lead to older people spending significant proportions of their savings on procedures that cannot turn back time.”

No kidding.

Apparently, there is no one too old for cosmetic surgery. In an undated story at About Plastic Surgery, Gregory Borah, MD, Professor and Chief Division of Plastic Surgery at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey reports that

“The oldest patient I’ve had was 92... She came to me wanting breast augmentation. She had always wanted it but her husband wasn’t in favor of it. When he passed, she spent the insurance money on it. She said she wanted to look good.”

That's one thing about plastic surgery – health care insurance does not pay. It's a cash-only business with prices as high as the traffic will bear.

Another thing about plastic surgery is risk. Even a quick tour around the internet of plastic surgeon's websites reveals almost no mention of risk for people of any age let alone old ones. I finally tracked down this concern in a news story at nhmagazine.com:

“It’s not the patient’s age that’s a limitation. It’s the co-morbidities, the other illnesses and medical conditions about the person,” says Dr. Bruce Topol, who also practices in Manchester as a board certified plastic surgeon and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

“If someone has to be on aspirin because they’ve had a stroke, have had a heart attack, have a stent in their heart or had corroded arteries surgery, that’s a risk for bleeding. If somebody is on blood thinners, it is contraindicated to do any type of cosmetic surgery because the risk of bleeding is very high. Diabetes is another high-risk factor.”

Which means, of course, that more older people are at greater risk than those who are younger.

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Many people twist themselves in knots trying to pretend their cosmetic surgery has a greater purpose than looking younger, but it really comes down to that. From the Washington Post story:

“I’m 60 and I remember when my grandfather and grandmother were 60 and it was like they had a foot on a banana peel and the other in the grave - and now (people their age) are skiing,” said Dan Mills, president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Increasingly, as Americans remain more physically fit later in life, they often see a disconnect in how they look versus how they feel.”

Personally, I don't get the “disconnect” he's talking about. Is there anything about being physically active that is impinged upon by looking one's age?

Some people believe a face or eye lift will help them get a job. I've had personal experience with age discrimination in the workplace and believe me, a large number of 20-something hiring managers have no interest if you're older than 35, let alone 65, and no amount of surgery will make a 65-year-old look 30.

Back at the Washington Post article, eminent geriatrician, Bill Thomas, is quoted:

“'People are making a calculated decision, trying to escape the stigma of aging and buy a little time, be in the world and not be sidelined because of their appearance,' said Bill Thomas...who is trying to push Americans toward accepting old age as a welcome stage of life.

“It’s the age equivalent of 'passing' Thomas said. “You’re actually in this cohort but can you get everybody to believe you’re in a different cohort?”

Of course not. I have never seen a 65-plus-year-old person who has had cosmetic surgery who looks younger than a 65-plus-year-old person. Yet they fool themselves about it all the time. I've heard many say something like this woman from the same news story:

“'I’d lost the looks of men...I’d walk by men and men would probably go, 'Yeah, there’s a cute grandma.' So in February, after months of wrestling with the decision, she got a neck lift.

“I got so excited about the difference that it made that I was like, ‘Oh my god, I want more”...Now, she said, “No 30- or 45-year-old guy is going to ask me, ‘Hey, what’s your number, honey?’ But a 60-year-old will.”

Let me just say, there is a reason there are no “before” photos in the WaPo story.

Also in that article, Ashton Applewhite, writer of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism who likes to say she is an old person in training, told the reporter

“I really, really get the reasons why people dye their gray hair, lie about their age, and have cosmetic surgery...But it’s not good for us, because it’s not authentic and it gives a pass to the underlying discrimination that makes those things necessary.”

Good for Applewhite but I think the case should be made much more strongly: every person who is doing anything to try to make others believe they are younger is (beyond fooling themselves) harming every other old person, not to mention every young person who will be old one day. Yes, they do contribute directly to ageism and age discrimination.

The goal is – or should be – to change the way our culture treats old people, to make elders as wholly human and acceptable as people of every other age, and no amount of plastic surgery, hair dye or lies will do that. They only make old people look foolish and that redounds on all other old people.

Not long ago, I saw this exchange on some television show:

CHILD: Am I going to die, Daddy?

FATHER: Yes. But not until you're old [pause] and ugly.

When you hear or read such casual ageism, such easy dismissal of the worth of old people several times a day, seven days a week from the cradle (as much as I appreciate some of them, the late night comedians are particularly guilty of this on a weekly basis), no wonder people are terrified of growing old.

But until we stand up in numbers large enough to be noticed and insist on our dignity and value just as we are, nothing will get better for us.

Yes, I know I'm beating my head against a brick wall and this is not going to change in my lifetime (pity). But I'll keep at it because it is the right thing to do and I wouldn't like myself much if I didn't.

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Comments

Like Nora Ephron, I do feel bad about my neck, but only when I am looking in a mirror. I quite like my gray hair with its white streaks. I try very hard not to put chemicals in or on my body. Really, I think the Dr. Cat cartoon says it all perfectly.

I would have a breast lift in a heartbeat if I could afford it. I really don't like my droopy boobies.

Good points, Ronni. There's a fine line there, somewhere.

I have no idea what color my closest friend's natural hair is - nor have I ever though I've known her since 1963. Even today, unless we are traveling together, I never see her but what her hair is done and her face is completely made up. However, though I don't/never have followed in her footsteps, I know she does daily battle with demons stemming from childhood trauma; thus, I don't judge her or comment on her choices. (I do listen when she comments on them.)

I can't feel that cosmetic surgery differs in kind from my friend's choices - only in degree. I may not notice the difference "after"; but, if it makes one feel better about her/himself, I would feel like a Scrooge to chastise one. Personally, due to childhood scarring, my neck would have benefited from cosmetic surgery at any point in my adult life. However, I don't think I would have felt any better about myself, so have not been sorely tempted.

For myself, as long as I don't have to pay for someone's choice, I'll take a laissez faire attitude.

The fact of our societal self-centeredness makes the wish for education that points people to concerns for others one with dimmed hope.

I sat in an eye doctor's office waiting to see her regarding continual tearing of one eye. I had been encouraged to see her by several people who see her as a specialist (and evidently the ONLY) one in this city with the expertise to tend to that particular problem.

I had registered to see the Dr. and as I sat looking around the waiting area, the posters and a video were all around me. All of them were about plastic surgery, looking "youthful". There was nothing about seeing.

So, I went up to the window and said "I think I may be in the wrong place for what I need. The emphasis here is on being seen; I am interested in seeing."

The clerk asked assured me I was where I needed to be. (BTW--I have bags and drooping eyelids--age and leukemia are most likely the culprits.

I stayed and the asst. who first saw me, did a through exam and the Dr. did a procedure to flush out the tear ducts. There was a bit of clogging in the duct that was leaking profusely and she didn't get it cleared completely. Her comment was: "I will stretch the opening, that might help some. I wouldn't do surgery unless there was puss in the corner of the eye. There, now, you won't have to return to see me; just see your regular eye doctor."

I guess she got the word from the clerk.

I think eyelid surgery might be in my future but not until it's absolutely necessary. Already they are covering up my eye lashes but don't distort my vision yet---that will be my trigger point. That being said, I hate the trend that makes people think growing old is a disease that can be cured by plastic surgery.

I have a simple rule when it comes to surgery of any kind.
Unless it's bleeding, broken, dangling or throbbing , leave it alone.

I avoid all surgery. In my 70's even a colonoscopy is risky because of my breathing problems. Colon cancer runs in my family so it's an acceptable risk but not for my "looks."

You'd think Joan Rivers might have been a warning to many but I guess not. Our family lost an relatively healthy 80+ aunt to a "tummy tuck." Her body shut down under the anesthesia and she died. What a waste.

I try to be a good example to my grandkids, girls and boys. I stay active and I take them with me, we have a good time and we talk about aging and being ok with it. Ageism may not cease in my lifetime but if we can stay positive and influence our future generations perhaps some seeds will grow a new attitude.

If I were truly rich, I think I would want to have a small amount of work done on my neck. I am so sick of battling my figure, I might go for liposuction
as well. I can't justify spending our savings on this sort of thing, so I don't dwell on it. I don't want to look younger--I agree that is chasing the wind. But I would like to look better, and be able to find clothes that fit.

I am graying naturally. Coloring one's hair is so common that not coloring one's hair is almost the exception. But I don't want to spend money and time keeping the color up to date, and I don't want to do it myself. Plus, I like my natural color.

Having elective surgery when elderly is hazardous. I don't know if it is a good idea for anyone to do that after age 70. Plastic surgeons who perform those surgeries have to be unscrupulous.

But I do think that people have the freedom to choose or not choose these things. It isn't my business what they choose, really.

The quest to look ever younger via plastic surgery, body enhancement and the endless sea of products, paints a very sad picture of our society's values and priorities. We are so worried about what other people think, so busy trying to impress others. It's too bad our priorities aren't education, helping our fellow man and being at peace with who we are inside and out. And these movie stars with the proofed up lips and stretched facial skin that doesn't move...don't they really look in a mirror and think, "wow this looks good"? What happened to aging gracefully?

I live across the street from a family that values looks, unfortunately they have 5 kids and those college tuitions get in the way, but it is about always looking great, from the time the kids were tiny little dolls they emphasized looks..I almost could care less as the term is used..Our only had a friend whose mother got a full face lift after the youngest got married or whatever they call it when you have a commitment ceremony and her oldest actually got married, she was the friend of our only child..She was 70 and wanted to do it and she is a frugal person and got it done, our child was bewildered since I don't care about beauty at all..However it afforded her more years to work she has only worked 48 years as a school psychologist mind you in a big urban town and they wanted her to retire so she got the face lift and is still working..Our society places an enormous amount of crap on women and men to keep looking young way past what I think is normal aging..Why can't people believe we are not going to live forever and that aging is normal not something that can be alleviated by the enormous cost of plastic surgery. I would rather be nice than looking like I was 50 I am 68 and proud I got to that age!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just don't get it. Why should i care what other people think of how I look? Never have in what is getting to be a longish life (69) and never will. The silly pain people put themselves through is madness. Sure -- sometimes we have to accommodate prejudices in order to eat (get and keep a job) but any one who can escape that pressure would be so much happier if they could just accept that they are who they are and good enough, damn it!

I avoid looking in a mirror as much as possible. :-) I love my white hair but will admit there are times I wish I could get a perm or color. I just like change. What gets me more is my skin doesn't fit any more and I look like heck in a bathing suit!

All you have to do is look at a persons hands to guess their age. All the cosmetic stuff in the world doesn't seem to touch them.

Only reason for an eye lid lift, is to see.

To my recollection, the obsession over youthful looks began around the time of the Barbie Doll and followed up with the cosmetics industry booming and blossoming. In high school and college, most of us wore lipstick and nothing else.

Now I can't tell what many young people look like for the layers of make-up they've put on.

But boy, is it ever great for business.

And there's a price to be paid. While emphasizing the exterior, the masks if you will, has the desire for development and exploration of one's meaning for life been partly compromised by this emphasis on looking 'right(aka youthful).'

Understand that I like to have fun with make-up, and that that's what it is - play. Why place value on what others think of my appearance. I feel good, and even enjoy going against the tide on this one.

Wow. With all due respect, what a waste of money. Take a trip with your family. Visit a friend you haven't seen in a while. Go to he theatre in NYC. Have an experience that will bring you joy and take you out of yourself.

I give my hair a bi-monthly brown rinse, not because I want to look younger but because right now it's prettier than the gray coming in. I told my husband that when I go all gray, I'm thinking of putting electric blue or green highlights in it. He said he hoped I wouldn't. I replied, "Not your hair. Not allowed to vote."

I'm not going to judge anyone for getting plastic surgery if it makes them feel better about themselves. It's none of my business. (I will laugh at performers who turn themselves into plastic-faced mannequins, but they live in another world.)

I feel that people get plastic surgery to make themselves look more attractive. Not to look younger necessarily. There are plenty of unattractive young people. Most people want to look good for their age. I think the discrimination towards elders is tied in with being unattractive more so than age. Aging can bring about unattractive qualities that can be remedied through plastic surgery. If an elderly person continues to be attractive even if they look old they will be less discriminated against than a young, unattractive person. There are many, many young unattractive people that are discriminated against due to their poor appearance. A lot of attractiveness is simply spending time and money to look nice. This is a service to others because people are naturally attracted to attractive people no matter what age they are. However, many older people let themselves go. They don't take care of their bodies, their hair, etc. They stop wearing makeup. They wear frumpy clothes. Young people who did this would also be discriminated against. For example, many young people have bad skin which is unattractive and many older people have bags under their eyes. However, more young people take the time and effort to spend on their appearance and to remedy the problems. This is a gift to all of the people who associate with them. Of course this can be over done, but I think it is healthy and good to get plastic surgery if it is minimal and gives the person confidence and greater happiness. There isn't any benefit to looking younger in my opinion, but looking better has many, many benefits.

Interesting timing of this today, on the heels of the announcement of cosmetic surgery icon Zsa Zsa Gabor's death last night at the age of 99, may she rest in peace. I had not heard anything about her in quite some time, but last night's news articles suggests that her life, despite all her investment in keeping herself looking youthful and glamorous, was troubled for many years.

Cosmetic surgery is an incredibly lucrative field, and human nature is unlikely to change any time soon, as far as the obsession with our search for a fountain of youth. Just a few days ago, an article from Linked In appeared in my inbox regarding age discrimination in the workplace. As bad as it's been for decades, it's apparently on the rise. Hard to believe there's much room for growth, but apparently there is, due to the growing number of people who, for a number of reasons, are remaining in the workforce (or trying to) much later than in the past.

It's amazing to me how quickly so much is rapidly going bust for our country and its average citizens.

I remember reading at age 14 an interview with Arlene Dahl, who wrote a book called "Always Ask A Man". She said smiling caused wrinkles. I thought she was nuts!

I color my hair and will probably stop when Mom stopped around age 70.

My wrinkles don't bother me. What bothers me are these age spots which I feel is aging. I plan to get them removed.

Around 8 - 10 years ago, there were 7 older women who had makeup channels on youtube. Now, there's so many to chose from! I prefer using makeup and having clear skin to plastic surgery altho I can understand why women use Botox to remove the elevens. I think my issue is more my hair.

Surgery scares me and so does going broke, so pricey cosmetic procedures aren't in the cards for me even if I wanted to take the risk--which I don't. I've never had plastic surgery and am not about to start at 80 Y/O. (I absolutely agree that a 92 Y/O seeking breast augmentation doesn't make a lot of sense.) I've long since stopped spending money on expensive but useless "anti-ageing" cosmetics. I accept that I'm no longer 60 and don't look 60. That is simply a fact.

However, I color my hair beige-blonde and will likely continue to do so. I can't agree that what I'm doing is "inauthentic" and is causing irreparable harm to all old people. It's authentic for me. Extreme self-involvement isn't healthy for the individual or the world (think *!). However, I don't believe that wanting to remain reasonably well put-together for one's age precludes caring about other people or the state of the world.

I'll admit to being vain. I had a full facelift when I was 49, and I've never regretted it for an instant. It took at least ten years off my look, I was single, my face was melting. I'd absolutely do it again. If I were that age again. But I'm not. I'm 79, and my face still looks better than it would if I hadn't done the lift. I wouldn't dream of getting cosmetic surgery at this point. Think of some of the 80+ folks you've seen with extensive cosmetic surgery. It's . . . grotesque.

I let my gray grow out years ago and it was a good gray. I liked it. And I began to notice that, with gray hair I was being spoken to more slowly and more loudly, and more people were calling me "dear." :::shudder::: On the theory that it's important to be taken seriously, I started dyeing my hair again. And now--there's only so much you can do, and my hair is finer and a lot thinner than it used to be, I've started using Rogaine, which I'm happy to say does work for me--I'm growing it out again. Brown hair with blonde streaks will not make an 80-year-old face look 40.

All that said, I do agree that what REALLY needs to happen is to do what's necessary to educate people out of their ageism. But I'm not wildly optimistic.

I am trying to find the middle ground on looks as I age, mindful that other people have to look at me. Afraid of plastic surgery and can’t afford it anyway. Tried to dye my hair, it kept coming out Lucille Ball/Ronald Reagan orange. I would like to see style recommendations for older women that doesn’t include sweatshirts for every holiday.

A 92 year old woman getting breast augmentation is about the saddest thing I've ever heard. I like being older and have stopped being a blonde in favor of my natural gray hair......which gets me more compliments than the blonde ever did! Older women who keep the weight off, use some makeup and have a sassy hairstyle and shop at Chico's are fabulous, no matter what....you don't need plastic surgery to feel good about yourself.

Love your articles, Ronni

I had no interest in cosmetic surgery but ended up with two eye lifts because I couldn't see properly. Both lids drooped over half my eye, meaning I saw only half of what was in front of me: the bottom half. This led to my sixth concussion when I hit the top brace of a very sturdy wooden post with the top of my head, knocking me flat on my back with the back of my head hitting the ground. Medicare paid for the surgery.

I've got plenty of wrinkles and most of my naturally blonde hair is now white. People who think I'm 65, instead of 75, mention my posture, walk, and cheerful friendliness. Having an interesting life is way more important than how I look.

I think dying one's hair is in a very different category than plastic surgery. Some people go grey in a good way, but others look faded. I have dyed my hair since age 55 because it looked really motley and neither here nor there. I teach at the college level where I deal with 18-25 year olds most of the time. Lecturing to classes of up too 100 students, I feel more comfortable with dark hair. I get a foil so there is some grey which is a way of pretending I'm not dying it after all : ) I am 70 and plan to teach for another five years, because I enjoy it and like having an income; I do realize I'm lucky to be in a position to keep working. Basically, I think dying hair is a completely reasonable thing to do especially in a professional context. If I weren't working, maybe I would think differently, but I know I need a new foil when I look in the mirror and see the motley, mousey grey taking over : )

My mother was obsessed with being thin and looking youg. I lost track of how many weight loss spas she went to. She had so many face lifts that the doctors refused to give her any more. She wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on a futile quest to always look young and the greatest compliment you could give her was that she looked great! That got a big grin; so between the spas, weight treatments, expensive clothes and jewelry and face lifts, she went through a fortune. Then, my sister and I had to support her in her old age - and there was no end of bitching that we could not afford to put her in an upscale, expensive senior residence. Maybe that's why I don't do any thing with my hair or skin; let it be what it is. I believe that it's ones heart and brain that are the real test of a person and we are really going to need those in the years to come. It's too bad that style has triumphed over substance in so many areas of American culture.

Yes, let it be! I've got a lot more interesting things to do than trying to look like what I'm not. And when a man of any age says things like, "You look great, how come you're not married?" I grit my teeth and growl. If a man reaches the "age of wisdom" and that's the best he can do, forget it. At this age I want a friend of either gender to care about good conversation, shared interests, and oh yeah, something a lot deeper than what either of us look like. Well, this was a hot button topic!

This is such an interesting topic. I am 62 and recently had facial plastic surgery (face, eyes, and neck) and a tummy tuck and breast lift. I didn't do it to look younger. I'm fine with my age. Many people say I look younger after the surgery. I say I look better.

In my case, I had lost 65 pounds and had a lot of loose skin (and for the tummy past pregnancy was a factor). I didn't like looking in the mirror and feeling that I still looked fat even though I was normal weight. I exercised doing strength training with a personal trainer and it made no difference. Nothing but surgery was getting rid of my loose skin (and yes it was mostly loose skin).

The face was partly due to loose skin as well. The one part of my body that I felt looked worse post weight loss was my face. I felt that the skin looked like it had melted. I didn't like the drooping eyes or the turkey neck. And, this could be fixed.

While I recognize surgery is much more of a big deal than coloring my hair or wearing makeup, I felt the difference between doing those things and getting facial surgery was more a matter of a difference of degree not kind.

The tummy tuck/breast lift also had the factor of causing my clothes to fit much better. That has been a big benefit for me.

Oh -- on the issue of risk -- I consulted with a couple of plastic surgeons and both of them went over the risks of surgery with me. When I actually selected a surgeon I was provided extensive written materials on the risks as well. I did ask about my age and basically it wasn't a problem since I am of good health and take no medications.

I went grey quite early, especially at the front of my head, where my hair was pure white by the time I was 40. For much of my working life I did color my hair.

Then we hit some hard times. I couldn't justify spending the money even to color it at home, so I let it grow out. And then I looked in the mirror and decided, y'know what? It's okay. This is me. This is my hair. This is my face. I'm not going to scramble trying to pretend to be something else. Who would I be fooling, anyway? Only myself. I want to like who I really am.

How did I know it wouldn't fool anyone? Because I recalled how scathingly judgemental I had been in my twenties about those older women I saw on the bus with obviously dyed hair and heavy makeup caked in their wrinkles. Only in my own mind -- I would never have said anything -- but I could remember my thoughts. Oh my, I was such an idiot... well, I was young.

So anyway. Would I have surgery? A minor facelift? Other things being equal... I might have, once. I've at least thought about it. But they're not equal, and now I am nearly 73, with breathing problems. Any surgery I undergo now will have to be lifesaving, not optional.

Like Kitty following a huge weight loss, 170# after bariatric surgery, I hated the way I looked. Everything from my neck to my knees sagged. I was 59 and still working and the belly skin especially was problematic as I'd get bad rashes in the summer that would get infected.

I had a weight loss surgery friend who went to Brazil for plastic surgery and another who went to Mexico. I researched and ended up taking a month long leave of absence from work and went to Costa Rica.

I had a lovely 2 week vacation then had surgery. I had a facelift, neck lift, boob job and tummy tuck.

I'd already had eye blep surgery on Medicare because I couldn't see due to very saggy eyelids. That made a huge difference in my attitude. I hadn't realized how much difficulty seeing I'd had after weight loss surgery and the eye lid surgery worked wonders with my vision.


The cosmetic surgery center I went to was spotless. The doctors trained in the US and everyone spoke English. The entire vacation and surgery cost less than $10,000.00. And yes I used my husbands insurance money for it a year after his death. I count it as a worthwhile expenditure. I wouldn't choose to do it at 75 I think but I'm very happy still with the results.

While I mostly don't give a rats ass what people think I do like being taken for a 50 year old instead of 74. My hair will be some shade of red as long as there is clairol around. The grey I have is mousy and blotchy with auburn brown and grey.


For me it was a matter of self esteem and practicality. I was having medical issues like the belly skin issue all over. Under my saggy breasts which looked like golf balls in a tube sock was also rashly. And I couldn't find a bra that fit.

I asked to be the size is always been-a C cup but the surgeons gave me a slightly larger implant because they thought it looked better..I have broad shoulders and a long torso.
For me it was well worth the cost. The vacation was wonderful and I return to Costa Rica frequently. Especially for dental care.

I've also gone as a companion with other women following their weight loss. They pay my way and expenses and I give them the knowledge I have gained from all my experience there. Most of the people who have had the weight loss surgery are in their mid to late 40s, are in the midst of their careers and have cosmetic surgery because they feel their careers will suffer if they don't look the best they can.

I believe we should accept people for who they are and not get a 'better than' attitude because they've had cosmetic surgery and we haven't. It's each persons life and decision. I'm happy for mine. My family was supportive. For me it was worth the cost and pain. I had excellent care in Costa Rica and don't hesitate to recommend it to friends for dentistry or cosmetic care.
My opinion may not be popular in this blog and I'm happy you all are accepting of your looks and aging. OTOH having cosmetic surgery is a valid way of improving ones looks if that is what will encourage self acceptance. Frankly I like to look my best..I may buy my clothes on eBay but I buy classic good fitting clothes in a brand I know fits me well.
Elle

Elle, I so agree. Even though I haven't had plastic surgery--mainly because at almost-80 I'm a scaredy-cat about ANY surgery and far from wealthy--I certainly don't think anyone who has is "less-than". Health and career issues drive the decision for some people; others just want to look better, not necessarily younger. Granted, there are those who are pursuing everlasting youth--we've all seen some of them.

TGB celebrates ageing, and I've hung around for quite a few years now so obviously I've found value and a great deal of truth here. On the other hand I've made no secret that I'm not fond of the ageing process. This is not so much due to loss of looks (I never was a "great beauty") but loss of employment, health, energy, functionality and ultimately independence. I'm striving to hold on to the last four as long as I can. Within the bounds of budget and common sense, appearing reasonably put-together as I make my way in an ageist world continues to be on my agenda at this point. I think we probably agree on that as well.

I have colored my hair for the past 30 years, being gray in the technology field would have been the kiss off for interesting projects. Now at almost 70 I am no longer working and I am slowly changing it to my natural grey color. I can understand women continuing to try to look younger because I feel like I am becoming more invisible as the grey emerges.

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