Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Allure magazine A lure?

Yes, that's right: my conclusion, having read the 'editor's letter' available online, is that Allure magazine is ironically simply trying to lure in the grey pound. Do they honestly abhor the concept of anti-ageing? If so, why pick Helen Mirren who has had and admitted to having work done? As far as I'm aware, she's had a facelift and no doubt has a regime of peels, fillers, botox. So, she knows how to use them in moderation to avoid us being able to ridicule her for 'chasing youth', and that, presumably, is what is being applauded.

To me this is a cynical ploy to act as though they are at the forefront of some kind of revolution. I pity anyone who falls for it... No fool like an old fool, eh?

Allure seems like one of the more intelligent woman's magazines but it often looks like it's trying too hard. Until they put non airbrushed non operated non hair extension-ed non injected women on the cover, what is their point? And in any event, let's be frank, we want to see beauty, we don't honestly want to buy a magazine with a 'people of Walmart' poster child on the cover. The simple truth of the matter is, since the dawn of time, youth and beauty, are linked. Not inextricably linked, but there is a fact: looking good once you're older than 30, takes effort. Effort may mean just eating better and drinking water and exercising. But it's certainly not the bloom of youth that comes effortlessly from being, well, in the bloom of youth.

Women over 30 hopefully have the intelligence to know that calling something "anti ageing" doesn't need to considered in the same lexicon of "anti fungal" and "anti virus" and "anti anxiety" as the editor's letter suggests. Buying a cream labelled "anti ageing" doesn't mean you wish you would die young and never age, or that you renounce all wisdom and knowledge accrued with ageing. It means, clearly understood because you're old enough and self aware enough to accept it, that with ageing comes age spots, wrinkles, uneven texture, sagging. Is there any point pretending we want these things?? Is there any point pretending that we don't want to look like we have a fantastic body, fantastic shiny hair, fantastic gleaming even-toned skin? Why create this absurd Emperor's new clothes phenomenon by claiming, after the horse has bolted (a very hasty search of past Allure covers shows that they have never been mindful before - yes, I know, they say they know they were part of the problem...) that suddenly we object to being promised a remedy to these side effects of ageing?

I believe that magazines aimed at teenagers - and more to the point - online blogs and sites and instagram and social media, are a threat to emotional well being and are dangerous. Because when you're young you're very impressionable and vulnerable.But telling a woman old enough to recognise marketing babble, that she will now no longer have to endure the term "anti ageing" is really pathetic. The magazine is not claiming to actually address the true issue: celebrating ageing in all its undisturbed damage (and it is damage, let's not be coy). They want to have their cake and eat it. They will hoodwink us by saying that they champion age, while putting a woman who's had a face lift and who is posing with an undeniably young tattooed model's arm. Why the need to enhance Mirren with this young arm, why not let the age stand alone or be enhanced, with another aged woman? To put Mirren in this setting makes the cover seem diluted and made more palatable; it seems to signal it as a gimmick and a novelty. In fact, what they ought to be doing is accepting that beauty can and does exist in every age, and there is no point in being touchy about the fact that after 45 you certainly won't have the same, ahem, allure, as someone in the 20 year old bracket. Yes, it's probably linked to fertility. Sad but why be in denial. However, an ageing face can be beautiful and inspiring by virtue of its age, with an erstwhile beauty that still shines through proudly.

 Audrey Hepburn. "I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls"

This is not to renounce advances in science, quite the contrary. One is welcome to fight ageing with all one's finances and all one's efforts. The fight will probably be lost - who, seriously, is convinced that these fillers giving an old cheek the same volume as a young one, looks anything other than a blown up old bag? But regardless, the procedures give the patient a sense that she has done all she can and has at least tried to stem the ravages of time... Do not go gentle into that good night...

So don't treat this fight as anything other than "anti ageing" and don't just lead down to an inevitable sickening platitude or euphemism. If it's because you're ashamed to have a cabinet full of labels screaming "anti ageing", that's one thing, and if it bothered me that much I would put masking tape on it or rip the label off... but I would be no less ashamed if the label said 'plumping and smoothing' than if it said 'anti ageing'. If it's because you genuinely think "anti ageing" is an insult, then why not just stick to a slathering of vaseline when your skin feels tight, and let ageing take its unabated course. By 'plumping' for that plumping cream, you've admitted this is a fight against ageing. You're old enough to accept this without a cynical ploy by a magazine taking payments from these companies and taking photo-shopped images from plastic surgery celebrities who swear on paper that this is down to healthy eating. To force brands to rename creams just to spare your feelings?! How about they say they'll no longer run adverts for anti ageing creams unless the celebrity is actually ageing? Or unless the celebrity is actually ageing without surgical intervention? Hmm well that is a step too far, evidently.