what do you think makes a woman look old?

People often express surprise when they learn my age, and say I look about 10 years younger. Part of it is attitude, I think, but part of it also is that I'm not uber-uber skinny. My sister has been saying for years that a few extra pounds once you hit 40 is good b/c the extra fat in your face helps with the wrinkles - they don't get as deep b/c you've got the extra fat plumping them up.

I'm not saying a woman over 40 shouldn't be fit, but I do think that women who are just skin and bones look older.

Then as if to validate my own thoughts, I just read an article that said that women under 40 who are overweight look older than their years, but women who carry extra weight after 40 look younger than their years.
Originally Posted by PartyHair
Check out the article about this in the current issue of First magazine - compares various celebrities who are real thin to some who have slightly more meat on their bones (e.g., Madonna [scary!] vs. Geena Davis, who is by no measure fat!). It completely validates what you say.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - med./fine, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, YTCarrots or Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite, KCCC, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett
I think it has a lot to do with how we carry ourselves when we get older. Good posture is a must. Also, I agree that when you get older you shouldn't be too skinny, but the mid-life waist bulge is another age defining attribute.
Originally Posted by Lotsawaves
Yes! I think how we carry ourselves is so important. Exercise in general makes a huge difference in how a person carries herself. Aerobic to battle the waist bulge and yoga for posture. I walk taller and sit straighter when I'm practicing yoga. The aerobic exercise helps with the spring in the step that Cara4art mentions.

According to my nurse practitioner, any gain around the middle indicates insulin resistance. Even a small pooch on an otherwise slim body. It is a warning sign for diabetes and not just a vanity issue. Cara4art. I'm guessing this is all related to sydrome X.
I think it has a lot to do with how we carry ourselves when we get older. Good posture is a must. Also, I agree that when you get older you shouldn't be too skinny, but the mid-life waist bulge is another age defining attribute.
Originally Posted by Lotsawaves
Yes! I think how we carry ourselves is so important. Exercise in general makes a huge difference in how a person carries herself. Aerobic to battle the waist bulge and yoga for posture. I walk taller and sit straighter when I'm practicing yoga. The aerobic exercise helps with the spring in the step that Cara4art mentions.

According to my nurse practitioner, any gain around the middle indicates insulin resistance. Even a small pooch on an otherwise slim body. It is a warning sign for diabetes and not just a vanity issue. Cara4art. I'm guessing this is all related to sydrome X.
Originally Posted by meadowlark2
Hi, new here..(sort of--I posted a bit a few years ago but have not been on in years)...

I think I feel I am looking "older" lately mostly because of my fat tummy....I definately feel I must be insulin resistant because all my weight is in my trunk (neck, tummy)...its looks very dowdy... I am taking it off as we speak...(well, actually I just ate a couple of cookies so maybe the weight loss has halted momentarily )....

I agree too slim can be aging at a certain point (especially in the hands and arms if a person excercises heavily..think Madonna) but unfortunately for me I need to be slim because when I carry the extra weight it is not flattering in any way... If only I could carry extra weight in the proper areas those stay the same and my stomach and neck just get bigger and bigger...like a little ole walking candy apple.....

Last edited by Caireann; 03-16-2009 at 07:12 PM. Reason: can't type
Caireann I need to stay slim too or I have the same issue with my middle. I don't gain in "all the right places". If I gain weight I look dumpy.

According to many of the opinions on this thread,many of which I agree with, I do some of things which age a person. My hair is too dark, I'm very slim and I wear capri's and scarves. LOL. Still people tell me I look younger than my years. I wish I could wear my hair lighter and I wish I could add a little selective weight without being dumpy. I just doesn't seem to work.
"According to many of the opinions on this thread,many of which I agree with, I do some of things which age a person. My hair is too dark, I'm very slim and I wear capri's and scarves. LOL. Still people tell me I look younger than my years. I wish I could wear my hair lighter and I wish I could add a little selective weight without being dumpy. I just doesn't seem to work."

ITA with you, and everyone has to find what works for them, not what someone else tells you. I think some people around here would pass out that I sometimes wear 3 scarves at once and don't look dumb doing it, but then, my style is not in the "generic, well-dressed baby boomer woman" that a lot of these makeover stylists would love to put us in - yikes. Some people are born to break the rules!
I'd not look that great if I gained any weight either. I'm just under 5'5", weigh 113 - 115, which believe it or not is still a teensy bit heavy for my bone structure, plus, at age 61, weight WILL go to the tummy. So I work hard on that, and it does take being very clean with one's diet and exercise. I agree with another poster's comment about her nurse practitioner's take on mid-section issues being a sigh of insulin resistance too. This is a whole lot more serious than peopl know, while they are laughing off the fact that they got that "middle-aged spread"! As far as what people think of Madonna, I think she looks awesome myself. I think that people are often taken aback by her because they are unaccustomed to seeing a highly-fit woman of her age and up, and it is culturally expected for women to get dumpy and fatter as they age. As far as the facial issue, wrinkles HAPPEN. I would never choose to be fatter just so my face would look smoother, not in a million years! Baby boomers are the first generation that is defying that expectation - at least some are, the rest are fat to one degree or another at our age from what I see around - I NEVER see a fit woman of my age at my gym, or hardly any woman of my age for that matter, let alone one in reasonably good shape. And this is with living in an area of the country that is pretty health-conscious too, the Bay Area.
cara4art - I love your attitude. Do you mind if I ask you how you eat? Do you eat healthy close to 100% of the time? Your weight sounds a bit low to me, but you said it's not so I would like to know your secrets.

I'm just barely 5'5" myself and when I looked and felt my best I was 128, but that was in my early 40's. I am now almost 56 and up until recently hovered around 134 to 137 most days. I am now around 130, and certainly less flabby than I was 3 months ago, but I would certainly like to tighten up a bit more. I do workout most days and am eating better than I used to, but by no means eating clean anywhere near 100% of the time.

One more general comment, I agree with PH that some women get too skinny as they get old. From watching my mothers friends it seems like the ones with a little extra weight are living longer. However, I am talking about women in their late 70's to 80's. I am WAY too young to want to carry extra weight.
"According to many of the opinions on this thread,many of which I agree with, I do some of things which age a person. My hair is too dark, I'm very slim and I wear capri's and scarves. LOL. Still people tell me I look younger than my years. I wish I could wear my hair lighter and I wish I could add a little selective weight without being dumpy. I just doesn't seem to work."

ITA with you, and everyone has to find what works for them, not what someone else tells you. I think some people around here would pass out that I sometimes wear 3 scarves at once and don't look dumb doing it, but then, my style is not in the "generic, well-dressed baby boomer woman" that a lot of these makeover stylists would love to put us in - yikes. Some people are born to break the rules!
I'd not look that great if I gained any weight either. I'm just under 5'5", weigh 113 - 115, which believe it or not is still a teensy bit heavy for my bone structure, plus, at age 61, weight WILL go to the tummy. So I work hard on that, and it does take being very clean with one's diet and exercise. I agree with another poster's comment about her nurse practitioner's take on mid-section issues being a sigh of insulin resistance too. This is a whole lot more serious than peopl know, while they are laughing off the fact that they got that "middle-aged spread"! As far as what people think of Madonna, I think she looks awesome myself. I think that people are often taken aback by her because they are unaccustomed to seeing a highly-fit woman of her age and up, and it is culturally expected for women to get dumpy and fatter as they age. As far as the facial issue, wrinkles HAPPEN. I would never choose to be fatter just so my face would look smoother, not in a million years! Baby boomers are the first generation that is defying that expectation - at least some are, the rest are fat to one degree or another at our age from what I see around - I NEVER see a fit woman of my age at my gym, or hardly any woman of my age for that matter, let alone one in reasonably good shape. And this is with living in an area of the country that is pretty health-conscious too, the Bay Area.
Originally Posted by cara4art
Yes, Madonna's body does look amazing - for any age. However, her face - especially in the picture in First in which I said she looked scary - is proof of all the comments here about heavy makeup, etc. Maybe that's stage makeup in that particular picture, but it proves that point nonetheless. And that she'd look better in the face with a few more pounds. I've seen a lot of recent candid shots of her when her face and makeup didn't look a whole lot better.

As the article states, she made the intentional choice for body over face, knowing it was somewhat of a trade-off. As you say, that's what works for her, I guess.

None of the "heavier" women in that article could be called fat or even overweight, for that matter: Geena Davis vs. Madonna, Christie Brinkley vs. Cindy McCain, Jennifer Garner vs. Kate Moss, Valerie Bertinelli vs. Felicity Huffman
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - med./fine, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, YTCarrots or Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite, KCCC, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett

Last edited by auntnett; 03-19-2009 at 01:18 PM.
"cara4art - I love your attitude. Do you mind if I ask you how you eat? Do you eat healthy close to 100% of the time? Your weight sounds a bit low to me, but you said it's not so I would like to know your secrets. " - sdc

Thanks! As far as my weight, I did at one time weigh what the tables said I should weigh(close to 130), and I was fat at that weight, believe it or not. This was in my 20's and I proceeded to get onto a good physical program and better eating habits and got rid of it. For years, my weight ran between 108-110, which I felt really good at, and I didn't look skeletal either, just very slim. I did hit some lows of 103-105, but that was pre-weight-training, which added some muscle to my body. You see, I have a very petite bone structure(not Asian though)so that makes huge difference.
Yes, I do eat clean pretty close to 100% of the time. One thing I have found that REALLY helps with the tummy issue is to pretty much drop all refined starchy carbs, like most commercial baked goods, and even limit my intake of unrefined starchy carbs in general(except for sometimes, like a half-cup of brown rice, or half of a whole-grain tortilla once or twice per week maybe). You see, at menopause, the digestion of starchy carbs in general is slowed down by one hour, allowing more calories from the carbs to be absorbed, and they tend to go to fat rather than being used for energy the way they are in a younger woman, or most men, for that matter. Switching one's carb intake over to mostly non-starchy vegetables and fruits really does make a difference. Also refined starchy carbs are not good at our age on account of the insulin issue, as they are metabolized just like sugar, a fact that most people don't realize. They will say, "Oh, I don't eat a bite of sugar" and still be fat, not realizing that those squishy rolls, etc. that they are eating in the name of a so-called low-fat diet are basically like mainlining tootsie rolls - ugh! Here's something to keep in mind, the traditional food pyramid that was put out a number of years ago is the exact same one that is used to fatten cattle, with it's grain-heavy emphasis(that 6-11 servings of grain and starch - yikes!)
I have never smoked, and alcohol dropped of the map a long time ago - I have no need for it at all - have never missed it, either. A good thing, because alcoholism runs in my family! For my own diet, I eat predominantly raw vegetarian - it REALLY agrees with my body and I've been heading in this direction for a number of years anyway, but it really kicked into gear a little over a year ago. Heavy meats, dairy, and a lot of grains never really agreed with me life-long - I would be dead by now if I had eaten the typical American diet all my life. I had enough of it when I was growing up, and I was always sick because of it - that's how sensitive my body is. Raw food diets work from the inside, one important one being with blood sugar issues - there's a ton of info on the web if anyone cares to look into it, but one visible thing that happens sooner or later is that one's skin looks a whole lot better in a way that makeup or skin care cannot do, the eyes look much brighter, one trims down, and one's energy level is much greater. There are myriads of benefits too extensive to go into here. And one is automatically getting in multiple vegetable and fruit servings, effortlessly As far as raw food diet goes, I don't even like to use the word diet, because for most people, diet means something that they will go OFF of once they lose the weight. Also, raw tends to be a lifestyle, as many things get rearranged while in this transition. One has to experience it to really know though.
As far as exercise, I've been on that since my mid-20s, and got turned onto weight-training in my early 30s, which I do now at my gym - more important to women than they realize. Still, only about 20% of women who exercise at all include any strength training, on account of old stereotypes that refuse to die. I also do cardio, another important piece, but as we age, it's the strength and flexibility training that really make a difference, along with a very clean diet.
As far as Madonna's makeup and face goes, she could do with softer makeup - that would help, but what is with people being afraid to see angular bone structure that comes with a mature face? Personally, I don't like the look of these artificially puffed-up faces from all these fillers, or extra weight for that matter.
cara4art - thanks for the tips above. Could you give a one day sample what you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I've been intrigued by the idea of becoming vegetarian, but hadn't thought about the raw option. What do you eat besides salads?
2Poodles Southeast PA
fine, med porosity, normal elasticity
Currently using the following 2 - 3 x/week:
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day suphate-free Poo, cone-free CO and styling treatment, plus KCCC

As far as Madonna's makeup and face goes, she could do with softer makeup - that would help, but what is with people being afraid to see angular bone structure that comes with a mature face? Personally, I don't like the look of these artificially puffed-up faces from all these fillers, or extra weight for that matter.
Originally Posted by cara4art
I don't have a problem with angularity, but she often looks like a drag queen with all that makeup, especially in that particular picture. Softer makeup is definitely called for! I think she'd look much younger, even with her bone structure just as it is.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - med./fine, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, YTCarrots or Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite, KCCC, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett
"cara4art - thanks for the tips above. Could you give a one day sample what you typically eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner? I've been intrigued by the idea of becoming vegetarian, but hadn't thought about the raw option. What do you eat besides salads?" - 2poodles

There are a ton of goodies that you can do raw - one is not just stuck with salads, although they are an important piece with raw foods. Check out www.goneraw.com for literally thousands of recipes, more are added frequently, and often with pictures too. Also Raw Food Talk has an active and very supportive forum for newbies, or even people who have been pursuing this for awhile.
This is pretty general, but my basic day looks like this, with variations:
Breakfast:
Either two fruits with a handful of raw nuts, or a green smoothie
Lunch:
can be some mashed avocado on my own dehydrator crackers along with a salad, or a veggie wrap using a collard leaf as the wrapper.
Dinner - something similar, or something simple cooked, like scrambled eggs and peppers. Often I am not that hungry in the evening, so sometimes I skip dinner and just go with a healthy snack.
Maybe 1-2x a week I might have some rice, or half a tortilla. Other cooked foods from time may include some bean and veggie soup, a rice+veggie dish, or the extremely occasional slice of vegetarian pizza(for the reasons I listed in the other post about starchy carbs - not too often!)
Treats and snacks: a piece of fruit, or a couple of my dehydrator cookies, or raw banana ice cream(has no dairy or sugar - it's divine!)
About the green smoothies, google these - myriads of benefits from these very powerful and healing drinks which are filling meals in themselves, which is how I utilize them in my diet. I add hemp protein powder and chia seeds(again, google these for amazing benefits - no, I don't work for anyone selling these)
Best tips for people who are thinking of this transition, which is major, is to simply include more raw produce at each meal to start with. As one adds more raw produce, the interest in the heavier cooked foods diminishes over a period of time, as one simply feels better. Then, one could do one entirely raw meal per day for a couple of weeks, then two raw meals, and so forth. Even if one stops at 2 out of 3 meals a day being raw, and raw snacks, one will get major benefits. Some people do make it all the way to 100% raw all the time, but far more seem to stabilize at anywhere from 75-90% raw which allows for a bit more flexibility in eating and social occasions. Because of this transition to different food, you'll have a detox period with various symptoms every so often, esp. the older you are, and how lousy your diet was prior. That's your body doing its housecleaning, and for a time you will feel worse, but afterwards you will feel better, often MUCH better than you have felt in years, seriously! Hope this helps - sorry for my two long messages.
Thanks cara4art. I appreciate you taking the time to explain. I will never be a vegetarian. I eat only whole grains as much as possible, which means definitely only whole grains at home, but when I eat out I sometimes eat white flour. I'll keep trying to eat more fruits and veggies, I have really increased my intake in the last few months, but I will always eat meat, pizza, and occaisionally ice cream and cookies.
cara4art - thanks for the tips and the website. I'm off to explore. My apologies to the OP for the guano...
2Poodles Southeast PA
fine, med porosity, normal elasticity
Currently using the following 2 - 3 x/week:
Living Proof Perfect Hair Day suphate-free Poo, cone-free CO and styling treatment, plus KCCC

...From watching my mothers friends it seems like the ones with a little extra weight are living longer. However, I am talking about women in their late 70's to 80's. I am WAY too young to want to carry extra weight.
Originally Posted by sdc
I have noticed the same thing...(i.e. that elderly people with extra weight tend to be the ones living longer)...but then I wondered if it was just a matter of them having extra weight because they were healthy and therefore had an appetite...my grandmother recently passed away (age 96) and she was always plump...and ate a lot...my other grandmother was quite slim up until she died at 78, however she was slim, as it turned out, due to stomach cancer--her appetite was nil for many years before she died...I seem to recall reading somewhere that a little extra body fat in women over age 80 is helpful in case of illness...but I think they mean 5-10 lbs. vs. the extra 30-40 most of us lug around...

I guess at age 41, I don't have any excuses....

I do notice, btw, that my face looks a tad older when I am slimmer...I find that preferable to the gut I have now though...
"...As far as Madonna's makeup and face goes, she could do with softer makeup - that would help, but what is with people being afraid to see angular bone structure that comes with a mature face? Personally, I don't like the look of these artificially puffed-up faces from all these fillers, or extra weight for that matter.
Originally Posted by cara4art
Totally agree...its true that I was taken aback by Madonna's arm veins but all in all that is soooo preferrable to the general freak show going on in Hollywood these days...sorry if I sound harsh but I find I can't bear to see all the puffed lips and shiny taught foreheads...they look quite alien... give me a fit, but naturally aged, person any time....(why does everyone hate crows feet by the way--I like them believe it or not...my almost jowls not so much)...

Now, if we discover how to halt aging then perhaps I'll get on board but otherwise, I guess I'll just have to get used to my changing face...
I love this thread, thank you all for your insight!

My hair stylist told me a while back that my hair color is too dark for my skin tone and makes me look older. This is my natural hair and skin colors, although, now I have lots of white hair coming in, too! Should I listen to her and lighten my hair, or will that make it too dry? Or, is she just trying to sell me on hair coloring?

Thanks!
twisty, I think it just depends. It's not a hard rule that dark hair is harsh as we get older, though it's true for some. You could ask a sister or a friend to be forthright about your hair color -- whether they think you should lighten up.

As for drying out your hair, I think dye does have that tendency. But if you use the "Curly Girl" method (see the "General Discussion about Curly Hair" forum here), you shouldn't have much of a problem with dryness.
shoulder-length 3a/b, depending on weather and products (or lack of products!)
twisty, I think it just depends. It's not a hard rule that dark hair is harsh as we get older, though it's true for some. You could ask a sister or a friend to be forthright about your hair color -- whether they think you should lighten up.

As for drying out your hair, I think dye does have that tendency. But if you use the "Curly Girl" method (see the "General Discussion about Curly Hair" forum here), you shouldn't have much of a problem with dryness.
Originally Posted by alacurl
Thank you alacurl, I will check out the thread and read up on the hair dye ideas. And, I will talk to some friends at work and see what they think about my haircolor.

Today is Day #1 of me on the CG method and I am sure it will help!
Welcome, Twisty!

A lot of the ladies here seem to really like both Robert Craig and Naturtint hair colors. The latter's at Whole Foods and probably at other healthfood stores. I'm not sure about Robert Craig. You can read lots about either in the haircolor forum.

I'm always a big advocate of natural henna, cassia, and/or indigo to blend/cover grey, but they won't lighten your hair so wouldn't be an option in your case. However, depending on how dark your natural color is, henna might warm the color up some and look a little softer with your skintone, if that interests you. www.hennaforhair.com

You could be right that it's just your stylist wanting to get ahold of it - they seem to always want to lighten everyone's hair. However, it can be true that too dark hair can look harsh as we age. That's usually more for artificial hair color, though, not your own. I agree you should ask some non-stylist people you trust for their opinion.
2C/3A/3B - modified CG - med./fine, normal/low porosity/normal elasticity

Current Main Rotation: MG217 medicated or Aim2Health 'poos for scalp, YTCarrots or Elucence cond., Spiral Solutions Protein & Deeply Decadent Cond., CJCCCC reg or lite, KCCC, Giovanni LA Hold Hair Spritz + lots more, sporadically

HG Method: Super Soaker + Smasters-ing, brief upside down diffusing w/360o diffuser then clips/clamps & air dry. Newly gray - stopped my henna glosses!

www.fotki.com/auntnett

Last edited by auntnett; 03-26-2009 at 07:55 AM.
Thank you auntnett, I will check out some henna dyes. I used them ages ago and really liked them. And I will look at the Robert Craig and Naturtint hair colors.

Thanks again!

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