In Praise of Little Old Ladies

I had the “pleasure,” yesterday, of watching the TV programme, 10 Years Younger, in which two ladies in their seventies were given a so-called “make-over,” in order to make them look… um… 10 years younger. Basically, the programme makers succeeded in doing so (obviously) – in fact, said Bus Pass Holders were delighted to have approx. 20 years knocked off their apparent age. But…

I don’t even want to talk about the lady who opted for the plastic surgery route; resulting in indeed looking (by some definition) “younger,” but being so nipped, tucked, peeled, injected and what-have-you that she ended up looking like her skin was about to fall off and she was in constant pain.

I do, however, want to talk about the other lady, who chose a “treatment” involving the overhauling of her make-up, hairstyle and fashion sense – oh, and a little bit of “non-invasive” laser treatment to smooth out her old lady wrinkles. Upon completion of said “treatment,” Lady No.2 also appeared approx. two decades younger… but at what price?! Prior to the overhauling, she had a Little Old Lady Perm, Little Old Lady Specs and wore drab, shapeless Little Old Lady Clothes. But she had sparkly eyes, a warm smile and a voice you could listen to for hours, reminiscing about Way Back When. Thankfully she kept the voice, but she ended up looking like a fifty-something Human Resources Manager! “Younger” indeed, but losing her softness, her friendliness, and becoming incorrigibly, cloningly fashionable!

Fashionable, I tell you!

Why are we so obsessed with being fashionable, sexy and looking youthful?

Why, goddammit!

Okay, there is obviously a value in helping people to feel good about themselves, but I can’t help it… if she was my nan, I would feel intimidated!

I would feel uncomfortable in her presence!

It’s all about, make yourself feel good by looking good…

But what about, make yourself feel good despite how you look…?

Well I suppose that wouldn’t make such good TV…



4 comments on “In Praise of Little Old Ladies

  1. flandrumhill says:

    It’s remarkable that ‘looking’ good is over rated just at a time when ‘doing’ good seems to have gone out of fashion. Perhaps too many people in the media have an absence of relationships in their lives based on such boring qualities as goodness, niceness and kindness.

  2. pepsoid says:

    We have become so, so obsessed with appearances, to the point where (if the makers of such programmes as the above are to be believed) it would seem that “looking good” is the primary source of self-esteem, personal pride, etc. I suppose TV is to blame……

  3. Christopher says:

    Terrific post and a sad one because all of us want to be loved, to connect with others. Some will go to great lengths to do it. I didn’t see the programme, but you described it well enough. I wouldn’t underestimate the anxiety all of us have about how we look. A teenager gets a pimple and it’s the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it.

    I don’t remember the details but some psychology class had a student go to school in a sack. His face was hidden. No one wanted to sit next to him. The other students ostracised the sack wearer. I think we react to each other on such a deep primal level. It’s about survival. Will this person who doesn’t look like me kill me? Will this other person be a strong or fertile mate?

    There has been a raft of evidence to support whatever the culture deems good looking, it will afford benefits, and to those that look other, it will shun. We, rightly, pretend this is not the case.

    Women particularly suffer from the ideals held up to them in the media. Yet, women buy into it of their own free will. It is of course foolhardy for any man to question this in the hope of understanding.

    Not everyone who ages, matures. As we age we give things up, but if we are lucky, we gain so much more. If you’ve based your life on looking good, at some point, as my mirror clearly shows, that things start to sag. It’s not pretty, and of course, growing old is not for sissies.

    For me, a good approach is just not to watch such things.

  4. pepsoid says:

    I generally try to avoid watching such things… but… you know… sometimes they’re just on the telly when I’m sitting in the living room… and I’ve got to have material for my blog! 😉

    The more I think about it, the more I see “fashion” as an enormous con, convincing us (mainly women?) that in “this season,” we should be wearing this or that, looking this way or that way, etc… and yet, in an indirect way, it is the people who are telling us how we should look who are making money from it! It seems so obvious to me, but somehow not to so many other folk.

    It also seems obvious that, in helping people to “feel good by looking good,” isn’t there a danger of playing on people’s insecurities, even exploiting them, rather than helping people to overcome them?

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