Friday, 31 January 2014

Pretty Women

 
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I have two sisters-in-law, aged 68 and 74, who have been genetically blessed with good looks, height and slimness.  In fact, the elder was pushed to enter the Miss South Africa competition circa 1963.  Their younger sister, although tiny, was very pretty and won Miss Karoo when she was a teenager.  Of the three, she is the least worried about her looks these days (possibly because she still has to work hard to earn a living).  The other two have been farmers' wives all their lives, married very young, had to keep up positions in the community, and have spent their lives creatively, producing lots of children, bringing them up and generally running the domestic side of their husbands' lives (with the help of 3 - 5 housemaids).  Nowadays they are preoccupied with their looks: they worry constantly about the lines on their faces, their imaginary fat stomachs, and they trawl the shops constantly for flattering clothes. It is so hard getting old when you have been pretty. Isn't it easier if you have earned praise and attention during your lifetime more for your achievements than for your looks?  Or is it just that we receive so few compliments from our husbands any more and that leads to insecurity?  Or is it just the world we live in, where appearances are everything?  I've just finished reading: The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery, in which the shuffling, nondescript concierge of a posh Parisian apartment building, conceals an excellent brain and a multitude of eclectic knowledge on everything from Japanese culture to the great philosophers and classical music. Her life is fulfilled when someone sees through her facade. An amazing read. I guess the only way to stop worrying about one's looks fading is to focus on keeping busy and not looking in the mirror.

12 comments:

  1. I loved that book. People with thought lines on their foreheads and laugh lines around their mouths, actual thoughts in their heads and interesting words coming out of their mouths are far more attractive to me than those who are only interested in their mirrors.

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  2. I am 65 and I don't dye my hair anymore and to get a decent haircut is something else, I notice how people talk to me about being a retired/senior even though I volunteer and work harder than when I had a paid position..Getting older in the USA is something else, obsessed beauty worship in California really drove it home to me when I was only 18 and on up to almost 30..Who the hell cares what one looks like if one never does anything, says anything to help all of our world, really, I think beauty is from within and always has been..I had a sister never ever see her she is only a half sister, she gives séances to make money, conning grief stricken people out of money in order to live, she was always pretty, I heard it day and night I am 5 years older my Mother her Mother too died when I was young she was very little, I was told to be nice to her that her Mother died, well hell's bells she was my Mother too, she was not pretty inside and tried to use that to con everyone and still does, no thank you, she is now 60 and still full of crap..Beauty in a female or male is within and what they do in this life, it is not physical beauty which fades damn fast..I love your blog, it to me is honest, kind and informative you sound pretty damn beautiful to me..happy Chinese new year today 1/31/14 year of the Wooden Horse, may your year from of beautiful moments, love, joy and peace, ciao!

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    1. Hi Anonymous, I really appreciate your long and thoughtful comments. It's fascinating to have an insight into the lives of others. I actually thought I only had two readers....it means so much when someone bothers to comment. I think some of my own residual insecurities stem from my childhood in the sense that my parents never complimented or praised us, but rather found fault. I think they were terrified of us becoming 'big-headed' and so rather went the other way.

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    2. Many thanks for your good wishes. And the same to you!

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  3. I meant to say May Your entire YEAR be filled with BEAUTIFUL MOMENT FULL OF LOVE, JOY AND PEACE. I got so emotional about writing about my halfsister I did not get the computer to type it correctly...My hubs is a good looking fellow he has always thought of me as lovely, even though I have grown shorter (how can that be) fuller, but he still see's me as his bride of nearly 40 years, toooo bad his drivers license when we first got married nearly 40 years (may 1974) made a year mistake and makes him 3 years younger than me when in reality we are the same age for 7 months...He still in my eyes looks like the young man I married, he has a beautiful inside and out, he is soft spoken, kind and loving, he never liked cats and what have we had the most pets of all cats, he is sweet to our only child adoring her and it has been a hard time for her, she wants someone like her Daddy, corny, sweet, thoughtful, loving and kind, doesn't matter what they look like to her, if they don't have a bone in their heart for love and adoration and compassion they are never gonna get to keep anytime with her....Plus they better do something in this world and I mean give a hoot about their fellow man yersiree Bob as the term is used...She thinks I am gorgeous and her daddy too, can you imagine how that makes me feel beautiful inside and out..praise to your blog you are sweet as sugar..ciao!X()

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    1. I couldn't let you say all that and not reply. I am thrilled that you have such a marvellous husband. I have long thought that there is a very special blessing in falling in love when you are both young and staying together, blissfully, for the long haul. We are in the same position: to me my husband looks exactly the same as when I married him (it's all in the eyes). I couldn't imagine ever being attracted to any other (old) man.

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    2. I am sure your daughter will find someone just like her dad. - That will make him an easy son-in-law for you to love.

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    3. NB - My blog name is now somewhat dated but I am reluctant to change: I am 64 this year.

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  4. As a consolation of being born ugly, I always told myself that there is an advantage to being born ugly. When you get old, fat and ugly you only have two variables to get used to.

    I agree with Olga, it don't matter how much beauty you have on the outside, if something thoughtful, interesting, or kind comes out of their mouths, they are far more beautiful...skin deep and all that.

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    1. Hello Sextant. Nice to see you - sorry I have been quiet lately.

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  5. There are no guarantees in life. Looks, education, wealth, spirituality... I've known people who have all of it and more, yet have no peace.

    I remember someone once saying, "Accentuate the good, camouflage the bad." They were speaking of looks, however, I see it as a metaphor for all of life.

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    1. Very good metaphor! Worth thinking hard about, Should we camouflage the bad though?

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