Thursday, July 22, 2010

Beauty Secrets of Aging Frenchwomen

The United States is not without its beauties over 50. With very little effort, I can make a long list—Meryl Streep, Sigourney Weaver, Angela Bassett, Andie MacDowell, Diane Sawyer, to name but a few. So why am I drawn to articles on how to age like a Frenchwoman? Well, I suppose it’s because, right or wrong, I believe the average-looking Frenchwomen knows how to look her best at any age—better than the average-looking American does. Not all women—French or American—have genes like Meryl or Signourey. However, Frenchwomen, especially those over age 50, seem to have that je ne sais quoi, if you will. And I always want to know: What's their secret?

A recent New York Times article, Aging Gracefully, the French Way, attempts to shed light on this French phenomenon. Amid photographs of French beauties—Isabella Hubert (age 57), Juliette Binoche (age 46) and, of course, the French goddess Catherine Deneuve (age 66)—the article offers a list of 10 Ways to Age Like a Frenchwoman.

Many of the secrets are predictable. For instance, French women...
  • Take care of themselves (secret #1)
  • Use creams and lotions instead of soaps (secret #3)
  • Eat carefully (secret #5)
  • Go to spas rather than gyms (secret #6)
  • Think sexy (secret #10)
There was, however, one secret that surprised me. Frenchwomen...
  • Swear by cold-water rinses after face-cleaning, shampoo or shower. (secret #4) "They say it improves circulation,” reports the NY Times.
And one secret I could really relate to. Frenchwomen...
  • Never try to dress like their daughters (secret #9)
I look at younger women and breathe a sigh of relief that I live in a parallel universe, where women don't feel required to follow the trends. At 50+, women can pick and choose the trends that look the best and feel the most comfortable on them.