Trying to Age Gracefully in an Ungraceful (and Ungrateful) Age

There is an interesting interview with Ellen Barkin on Violet Grey, The Violet Files, centering on the star turning the big six-oh and how she refused to have her photographs retouched for the accompanying photoshoot.

Barkin has a lot of positive things to say about getting older, and how women should embrace their age, and individual beauty. She looks great in the photos, but, not so unexpectedly, they are rendered in black and white.


She is to be applauded for putting herself out there, recent pixie-cut and all.

"It was a direct response to watching the Oscars alone in my bed and saying, “You know what? I’m done.” As women age, they start hiding their faces more with their hair. So the bangs get longer and you see like this much of their face. I am taking everything off of my face, and I am going to say, this is what it looks like, nothing is hidden, you can see my forehead, my jawline, my neck, this is it. And ladies, it’s not so bad."


As much as I applaud Barkin and hope that other women also choose to own their own style more and more, lets keep in mind how much easier it might be for her to go "au naturale" than the rest of us. She claims no plastic surgery, but owns up to lots (and lots) of laser work to present a less-wrinkled visage to the camera.

"I feel strongly about retouching. ... I have not been under the knife. I laser. And I’ve tried every type of laser out there. Now I’m into the Ulthera Laser. I do it once a year. It’s extremely painful. You don’t have any downtime at all. And I am religious about my Fraxels. It gets rid of discoloration and smooths out the surface of your skin. I still have hardly any pores on my face."


A quick web search confirms that those two procedures are far from cheap. But as Barkin points out, if you can, why not take advantage of technology? We can definitely use more and more photoshoots and articles that don't rely on retouching and Photoshop. Especially ones that feature folks older than thirty. Barkin is an example of someone who is using her assets, personal and monetary, to be her best self.

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