Attitudes towards ageing from all over the world

I generally don’t because…I just don’t ok?

As mentioned before I really didn’t think about ageing because I wasn’t convinced I was going to get old.

So now, as I look up ( and down, *blush) and see the silvery strands on my head, and the laugh lines around my mouth and the frown lines on my forehead, suddenly, SUDDENLY(!) I have to pay attention to the process of ageing.

Throw in peri menopause and mid -life spread and I’ve got all the ticks in the negative column of ageing.

My genes are probably the only thing that will save me from a prune -like future. Thanks, mom!

Attitudes towards ageing are changing, thankfully. With this sea change in attitude I thought it might be a good idea to look at how women embrace (or not) ageing generally.

I focused on the US, France, the UAE and SA

Your attitude to ageing will probably be determined by your location, education and upbringing.

Hear me out…

I think most of us would agree that America has a strange fascination with youth. The preponderance of TV shows dedicated to keeping people young and beautiful seems to be from the US.

Young people in the US also worship at the altar of the young. Is it any wonder that they have a high number of young adults* under the age of 21 seeking surgery or using age – defying lotions and potions?

*seems their numbers are dropping. My bad.💁🏽

Mutton dressed as lamb is a very real, very scary thing. Style seems to be defined by the Kardashians. Tight, see through or barely there. And yes, women over 40 wear this look.

Of course I’m not advocating they don’t or that it’s all  women in the US, but when I look at the US this is what I see. Think Kris Jenner.

Wait…is she wearing the same clothes? Literally giving credence to my half- arsed point!

In France, ageing is a natural thing to be embraced. Yes, women also love lotions and pay top dollar for special creams but their best relationship is with their dermatologist rather than their plastic surgeon.

Style is, of course, synonymous with the French. The way they dress is something millions aspire to. That “studied carelessness” that can’t be defined but is so obvious. Can you tell I’m a shameless Francophile yet? Think Inés De La Fressange.

South Africans have a more laid back approach to ageing. My mother uses Oil of Olay every day of her life. She uses it in the morning and Vaseline in the evening. At 64, she could pass for 50. She’s taken to sunblock late in life but always wears a hat when out of doors. I think I’ve only ever seen my mom care about ageing when it is time to buy the hair dye at Clicks. So I didn’t have too much initiation into the world of preventive beauty treatments until I reached the UAE.

Fashion and style in SA is… well, I don’t rightly know. The country is so diverse that it’s hard to put a label on our style. The younger people are taking to their roots and creating a fusion in fashion – African and international.

Older women sort of blend. Into their clothes. Jobs. Families. They’re non – descript. I have yet to find a over 40 style – setter of note in SA. Think…?

My first inkling that I was supposed to care about how I aged was gleaned here, in the UAE.

Here, I think, women pay a lot of attention to their looks. It’s not just about being vigilant about the state of your skin and body, but an almost manic obsession with staying young.

Don’t believe me? Take a walk down Al Wasl road and count the number of plastic surgeries…on ONE road.

To be fair, it’s the expats who take it to a whole new level. Emirati women are genetically blessed and age wonderfully. They only need maintenance from the myriad beauty salons in the UAE.

No, it’s the expats from the EU ( specifically the UK and Russia) who totter about with top heavy frames and bottom heavy faces in the quest to stay young. Their money goes further in the UAE and it shows. Not always in a good way.

So now, here I am, looking around me at the perma – young who are busily scheduling visits to this surgeon and that treatment center and the other specialist.

Full disclosure? I’ve been to a couple in my time here. For consultations ( which are generally free the first time) only. But after yet another full facial reconstruction package together with a payment plan and “money back guarantee” offer when all I wanted was a price list for laser skin resurfacing, I became jaded.

Yes, it must be nice to be taken from zero to hero in the slice of a scalpel or a zap of a laser. But I’m  ok with getting old. After all:

Ageing is a luxury not granted to many, and not promised to any.

So now, I’m left with the middle road option – maintenance.

And yes, I use Olay.

This week I want to focus on the issues surrounding women over 40. Women like me.

Health, relationships, style and beauty. 

I’m going to tell you all MY issues and how I work with them instead of fighting them.

I’d like to think that moderation in all things is best. Even ageing. 

Until next I blog, 



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