Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
The French actress Catherine Deneuve, famed for her luminous beauty, once said, “When you get older, you have to be ready to trade your ass for your face.” If the results of a new survey are any indication, more women would prefer a fresh-looking face, thank you very much.
As reported by the Daily Mail, the skin-care brand Sanctuary Spa recently surveyed British women to gauge their attitudes toward aging. (The research was done around the launch of the brand’s Wonder Oil serum, which promises a plumper-looking face.) Sixty percent of women revealed that after age 35 the best possible compliment would be, “You look young,” not,” You look thin.” And the majority of women start to freak out right before their 40th birthday—even if Cameron Diaz makes the age look great.
Among other not-exactly-shocking findings, Sanctuary found that one in three women feel pressure to look young, and that two thirds are using anti-aging products. We’re not sure how to explain that discrepancy, other than the possibility that some women give zero hoots about getting older, but are really into skin care.
A few caveats on this news: The article didn’t include information on the sample size, nor did researchers extend their survey to women on this side of the pond. Still, we’re guessing that women here in the U.S. feel just as self-conscious about aging — if not more so, considering the relative paucity of over-45 women in American pop culture as compared to British pop culture. (For instance, Maggie Smith alone has more wrinkles than the entire cast of an average Thursday-night network lineup.)
As unsettling as these findings may be, the survey offered a nugget of hope to anyone who’s depressed by the focus on youth: women over 55 worry the least about how they look. It seems as though getting older makes women care less about looking “old” — which takes us right back to Madame Deneuve. When asked about aging earlier this year, the actress had a much different take on the subject. “It’s not that I enjoy it,” she told Reuters. “It is just not that much of a problem.” It’s that attitude, more than any cream or serum, that may be the key to aging gracefully.