Ageing not so gracefully

Jul 3 / Leona Nieta
Watching a recent film starring Nicole Kidman, I found myself grappling with a mix of emotions—shock, sadness, and a profound sense of loss. Once celebrated for her natural beauty and exceptional talent, Kidman now appeared as though she was wearing a mask, her face devoid of the expressive qualities that once made her performances so compelling. This wasn’t an isolated observation. A secondary character, reminiscent of Kathy Bates, further highlighted this unsettling trend. It wasn't until the credits rolled that I confirmed my suspicions—it was indeed Kathy Bates, albeit a version of her that seemed alarmingly altered.
This phenomenon isn’t limited to Kidman and Bates. It’s a widespread issue in Hollywood, where aging gracefully has become an almost unachievable ideal, especially for women. The pressure to maintain a youthful appearance is so intense that many actresses resort to cosmetic procedures that leave them looking like caricatures of their former selves. The irony is palpable: in an industry that thrives on expression and emotion, these procedures often erase the very features that make these actresses unique and relatable.

The male counterparts, though not as heavily scrutinized, are not immune to this trend. Actors, young and old facing the same pressures, are rapidly following the footsteps of their females colleagues, perpetuating a cycle that distorts the natural process of aging.
In Thailand, the most popular cosmetic surgery aims to make eyes look more European. This trend, like Hollywood's obsession with youth, underscores a global issue: the rejection of natural beauty in favor of a standardized, often Westernized, ideal. It's a stark reminder of how deeply ingrained and widespread the fear of aging has become.
We must ask ourselves why society, especially the entertainment industry, clings so fiercely to the notion that old is ugly. Why do we prefer to see a distorted, youthful visage rather than the natural beauty of age? The answer lies in a pervasive culture that equates youth with value and beauty, marginalizing those who dare to age naturally.
The impact on younger generations is particularly concerning. They are growing up in a world where the norm is to reject the natural aging process and strive for an unattainable ideal. The rejection of oneself. These distorted representations of beauty send a harmful message: that self-worth is intrinsically linked to physical appearance and that aging is something to be feared and fought at all costs.

We cannot be more ridiculous!

Sorry, not sorry.
I'm not calling these people ridiculous. They're individuals, each one one more victim of this monster that eats us all. 

Inflicted fear
Completely unreal fear
Extremely harmful fear.
I think I've got an article about fear, let me find it. 

It's time to shift this narrative. We need to celebrate the beauty of aging and the wisdom that comes with it. Our icons, the actors, and actresses who influence so many, should lead by example. They should show that aging is not something to hide or be ashamed of but something to embrace with grace and dignity.
The pressure to conform to these unrealistic standards is immense, but it is not insurmountable. By speaking up and demanding change, we can start to dismantle the harmful stereotypes that equate aging with a loss of beauty and value. We can advocate for more roles that celebrate women and men of all ages, showcasing their talent and experience rather than their ability to defy the natural aging process.
In conclusion, the transformation we see in Hollywood’s beloved faces is a symptom of a deeper societal issue. As viewers, fans, and human beings, we have a responsibility to challenge this narrative. We must encourage and support our favorite stars in embracing their true selves, wrinkles, and all. Our children deserve role models who demonstrate that true beauty lies in authenticity, self-acceptance, and the grace to age naturally. Only then can we hope to create a world where aging is not seen as a curse but as a beautiful and inevitable part of life.

I haven't written the article about love and fear so it should be coming soon ish... 
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