In this issue I am an ageing punk, with Alexa Taylor. Photographer: Karolina Amberville
We are witnessing some very interesting developments. The market has become aware of the presence of the grey pound (or grey dollar, euro...substitute the currency) and there is a frenzy of events for and about older women. This is in addition to blogs that tell us what to wear, magazine spreads where stylists feel a little more adventurous and drape older bodies with more vibrant colours, columns in newspapers and magazines meant to reassure us that ageing is not bad, and a plethora of self help books that will advise on how to age. I am particularly impressed with this burgeoning self help category, the 'how to age' which tends to be written by women for other women. Apparently, we have to be told how to do it properly.
It's very much on trend. I picked up one of such books recently and read it in under ten minutes. Seven chapters, for which I had to pay a fiver, that told me the following:
1. ageing is a natural process - really? I never knew, you must be kidding me, how can that be?
2. ageing is irreversible -OMG, you mean, I really cannot go back in time and be a teen forever?How's that?
3. ageing is a state of mind, you are the age you feel - ok, so if ageing is a natural process how come it is a state of mind? Also, there is the small matter that the mind is in the body, the two are not separate, so you may feel what you wish, but your body is still the age it is. I have never seen a disembodied mind, have you?
4. don't bother with botox, creams and potions, your skin will continue to age. I have never been interested in botox so yes, I agree with the author here. But I am not averse to using a moisturiser. It will not erase my wrinkles, but it will give moisture to my skin, something my skin really needs, just as my body needs water regularly. Try to go without water- you will end up dehydrated.
5. don't bother to exercise to keep your body young, it will continue to grow old. Nooo, really? and I thought that by building up muscles I would look like a twenty something. Actually doing weights keeps you healthy and strong. I don't want to fear going down the stairs, in case I fall and break some bone. I want to be able to fall and get up. Is that too ambitious?
Photographer: Apar Singh
I love swimming and I love dance and recently, for the fun of it, went back to ballet class, which I had not done in a long time. I am painfully aware I am not as fast as I was when I did it in younger years, my pirouettes are rubbish, my balance needs serious improving, I am no longer sylph like, and even though I keep reminding myself that Margot Fonteyn still danced Aurora in her forties, so maybe there is some hope, I also know she was absolutely exceptional and very sylph like and elegant.
But my posture benefits from it, I become aware of my alignment. I may never strengthen my ankles enough to be able to wear point shoes and walk away from the bar, but this does not mean I should give up practising. Ballet is a fun thing to do, even at ninety. As a hobby, of course. Professional dancing is a different matter altogether.
We all know that ageing is part of living and that it is not an easy process, do we really need someone to profit from whatever insecurity we may feel to tell us what we already know?
Photographer: Apar Singh
Photos unless otherwise stated modelled by Alex B.