It seems to me that we women have a problem. We *sharp intake of breath*...age.
It's true. Despite all scientific research, none of us has yet found a way to stop the march of time, regardless of which potions, lotions and treatments may promise us otherwise.
You wouldn't expect a natural bodily progression experienced by all of nature to be an issue, but if you are female, it very definitely is.
If you want to see evidence of this problem, simply read any of the mainstream media. Page after page devoted to assessing how many lines, wrinkles and injections one woman or another has had.
Notice I say women. As I discussed in my last piece 'No! We neither need, nor want to be lied to about age' men in the public eye are considered relatively ageless.
Men can grow paunchy, lose their hair or dress 'old'. I have never seen a single article referring to an ageing man with euphemisms like 'tired', 'grey', 'mature' or my personal favourite 'frumpy'.
Women grow a line here or there, or dare I say it, a grey hair or two and suddenly the clichés emerge. 'Worried' pieces about how former beauties have 'let themselves go'.
And yet if the same woman takes action to combat the signs of ageing, be they surgical or otherwise, she will face a whole new barrage of clichés. Articles on what she has had done. Did she look better before? Does she still look like 'her'?
Who actually cares?
It makes me so angry, that in this day and age and despite the success so many women are enjoying at all ages, we still click on this junk and comment in our droves.
So you will understand why I CHEERED to see one successful woman come out swinging in defence of another woman in the public eye.
Make-up artist Lisa Eldridge, a cult icon in the beauty world, broke one of the biggest rules a make-up artist has to openly speak about her clients features. Kate Winslet, who at 36 and with children as young as 18-months could be forgiven for looking less then flawless, was featured in the Daily Mail under the heading:
"Face it, would YOU have recognized Kate? Smoother, slimmer and so scarily glam... has she gone under the knife?
Apparently Kate looked too nice on a night out. Damn her.
Picture from Lisa Eldridge Facebook Account
Featured below the heading were two pictures of Kate looking identical, except for one slight difference. In the first one she was nine months pregnant. Hence the slimmer appearance. This did not stop accusations of major surgery, cosmetic enhancements and an apparent obsession with looking younger.
Lisa was understandably furious at Kate facing such callous scrutiny, tearing into the mis-truths in the piece, to be supported by nearly 15'000 likes and thousands of comments.
Kate herself took to US Today to answer, saying:
"Someone speculated, have I had Botox? Look!" she said, raising and lowering her eyebrows expressively and crinkling her forehead over and over."
But I still maintain that she shouldn't have had to. It is nobody else's business what she does with her face! She looks great - leave the woman alone.
It was the same last year for Renee Zellweger. After a hiatus chilling in the sun, Renee hit the red-carpet and proceeded to nearly break the internet - why? Because she 'may' have had surgery. So what?
"Beauty is 'ageless' - it's more about being 'you', confident and self-assured."
I'll never forget an event I attended a few years ago, arranged by High 50 magazine. The fabulous Jo Fairley was there debating the merits of surgery vs cosmetics with surgeon Dr Daniel Sister. Following well-constructed arguments from both sides, Jo's preference for cosmetics won out (despite the use of non-surgical procedures rising by 14 % in two years).
As the owner of age-perfecting makeup brand Studio 10, makeup works for me, and I firmly believe also benefits the majority of women who want to wear it, so that is great. But does it work for all women? No.
The thing is, we all get older. It's a fact. It isn't a crime, it is reality. You might be chilled about it and not care. That is amazing.
I always think in these situations about Jo Glanville-Blackburn. Her philosophy on beauty is not about being 'young'. I think she sums it up brilliantly when she says beauty is 'ageless' and that it's more about being 'you' - confident and self-assured.
Jo, who is Beauty Director for Woman and Home Magazine, also re-defined women in our 40/50s as being in our 'middle youth' - couldn't have put it better myself.
It might be that no matter how many times you tell yourself that you are cool with it, you still want to look great - like the best versions of yourself. For some of you that will mean clever use of highlighter. For others, it might mean choosing surgical options.
Either way, it is nobody's business but yours. You feel great, you look great. How you get to feeling great, is your choice. The fact that you look great is fabulous. And you can look great, because beauty is ageless, no matter what anyone else says to the contrary.
Now, let's talk about your achievements!