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4Women - Opinions

Letters and opinions from concerned South African women on current affairs and issues affecting us all

A reader explains exactly what makes a woman beautiful

Feminine Beauty Explained

By Annie Aura

The idea of what makes a woman beautiful has been discussed many times. From renaissance folk liking a little meat on our bones to our modern day stick insect habits, society has tried to tell us what is attractive many times over. Of course, we all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and at the risk of patting myself on the back, I think we lesbians/bi/queer women perhaps know this better than most.

One idea that is pushed down all of our collective throats is that beauty has a sell by date. That once we reach a certain age we have to hang up our off-the-shoulder gowns and put on a nice cardigan. What could be further from the truth? Women are like fine wine, we get better with age.

Wizard Jeans released a list of the worlds 10 most beautiful women recently and much to my delight three ladies on the list are old enough to be collecting a pension. Sophia Loren (77) came in tenth, the gorgeous Helen Mirren (67) sixth and the ever beautiful Catherine Deneuve (69) was fifth.

Sally Allen who represents the company said:

As someone once said, the difference between pretty and beautiful is that pretty is temporal, whereas beautiful is eternal

I couldn’t have said it better myself Sally. A few years ago I was in London with a friend and we saw Lynda Carter (wonder woman) in a show, we waited at the stage door and got an autograph and I have to say this women was stunning. She had aged alright but she was just beautiful and I remember thinking how age can not impact on a woman’s natural beauty. When you got it, you got it.

It makes you wonder about the idea of beauty that young people have pushed on them, thin with perfect skin. This can lead young people, and indeed older ones, to unhealthy diets and botox.

Something tells me ladies who try to alter themselves in those ways will not age so gracefully. What do you think?

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