Let’s get something straight right off the bat. I’m sixty-seven years old; I have wrinkles. I don’t always love my wrinkles, but I don’t hate them enough to erase them with “tweakments,” plastic surgery, botox, or even with photoshop. And while I don’t condemn women who do, I don’t admire them either. I look for inspiration to women who age with a certain amount of acceptance and aplomb. Who are realistic about the advent of their grey hair and wrinkles, and yet soldier on. Women like Helen Mirren, like Andie MacDowell, like Emma Thompson. Women who still want to look good, who live vital, interesting lives, but who don’t mind looking like who they are, at the age they are.

So, I don’t know what I was expecting when I rushed out recently and bought the first issue of Vogue that I’ve purchased in a long, long while. The issue which would feature the return of the fab four of nineties supermodels. I loved Vogue back in the nineties. Especially the September issue. This was the fashion bible for the upcoming season. The photos always inspired me. And laid the groundwork for my fall fashion planning.

So what was I expecting with this issue? Something groundbreaking, maybe? Something interesting, maybe? An honest discussion of aging and fashion? I don’t know. Not what I got, anyway.

Not the overly-photoshopped, not very interesting, nor very inspiring photos I found when I finally sat down, poured myself a cup of tea, and leafed through the September 2023 issue. Sigh.

Wearing purple Uniqlo sweater, white Levis jeans, burgundy Sam Green loafers, holding the September 2023 issue of Vogue
Me and my Vogue.

I’m not sure why I was disappointed, or even surprised. I guess I’d bought all the hype that heralded the return of the quartet of fifty-something, nineties super models to the cover of Vogue. Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington, Cindy Crawford, and Naomi Campbell, all in their fifties, all beautiful women in real life, looking unnaturally smoothed out and unreal. I wanted to shout, “What was the frigging point in that?” Forget that the clothes are boring, the fashion shoots uninspiring. Why bother to photograph beautiful fifty-something women and then photoshop them to look like beautiful thirty-something women?

September 2023 issue of Vogue
Vogue, September 2023

Frankly, I think that Anna Wintour has lost the plot. That she can’t read the changing mood of society. And particularly the mood of women of a certain age. A demographic to which, at 73, she belongs. And who, I assume, are her readers. I mean, I don’t think the young crowd is loyal to Vogue, do you? But then again, I don’t know that for sure.

And I don’t know for sure that the mood of society IS moving in a direction that accepts women’s changing looks as a natural part of aging. Maybe it’s just me who is inspired by all those older women like Charlotte Rampling (77) in runway shows, and Helen Mirren (78) ironically sporting blue hair on the red carpet. Maybe it’s just me, and I’m simply looking for affirmation now that I’ve made the decision to let my hair go white. Perhaps it’s me that is out of touch in expecting that Vogue, long the most powerful arbiter of fashion, run by the most powerful woman in fashion, should reflect something different than the same old same old.

And of course the final results of all that photoshopping can’t be laid entirely at Wintour’s door. The shoot was a collaboration between American Vogue and British Vogue. And editor-in-chief of British Vogue Edward Enninful was the fashion director on the shoot which was touted by Wintour as “history being made.”

Ha. I am so tempted to misquote Amanda Priestly from The Devil Wears Prada here, and say with a sneer… “overly photoshopped models … ground breaking.”

You know, I gave up reading Vogue quite a while ago. And now I’m giving up on them all over again. I should say, though, that I enjoyed the article by Sally Singer which accompanies the famous fashion shoot. And I wish we had Apple TV because I’d like to watch the documentary The Super Models which is due out this month and which Wintour says gave them the idea to feature Christy, Naomi, Linda, and Cindy on their September cover.

But I miss the old Vogue. I still have some of my favourite issues from years gone by. Like the September 2000 issue, above left, which, when I leafed through it this morning, had pages and pages of wonderful fashion that I still love. I well remember the advent of the tweed skirt suit in 2000. In fact, I still have the jacket to the Max Mara tweed skirt suit I bought that year. Note that the August 2006 issue on the right featured an earlier “come back” for the nineties supermodels. That issue featured a beautiful forty-one year old Linda Evangelista on the cover looking much as she does in this month’s issue. Although, I must say, the content of that 2006 issue is by far more interesting. Sigh. These days I look elsewhere for my interesting fashion content.

I had some fun this morning when I was cropping photos for this post. I played with my little retouching tool. And erased the wrinkles in my neck. Or most of them. Then I did my upper lip. Then my forehead. Jeeze. You can see how one thing leads to another with this stuff. The results are above. Original me on the left. Improved me on the right.

I wonder if retouching is like having plastic surgery, and injectables, and botox. If after too many alterations, your eye changes and the retouched version looks not good enough. So eventually you have erased all evidence of a life lived. And Barbie-ized yourself.

As someone who struggled with self-confidence in my youth, I can’t imagine what good comes from the overuse of filters and photoshopping. But that’s not a new issue. And it’s not one that I’m qualified to address.

Anyway. I am not trying to cast shade on the four supermodels who posed for Vogue. I enjoyed the little video below where they talk about the old days. They look wonderful. And not at all like in the final photos in the magazine. Which brings me back to my point. What was Vogue thinking? Or maybe they weren’t thinking at all.

So, herein ends my rant. I forked out ten bucks, plus tax for that magazine. More fool me.

I’ve been a sucker in the past for the Vogue September issues, long after I enjoyed them, in fact. This recent relapse was a throw-back to the days when the publication of the September issue heralded, as I said above, the planning of fall fashion shopping. Which I am pleased to say still happens every September, without the aid of Vogue September issues. I may be getting older but my love of fashion still burns bright. I’ll be sorting through transitional outfits soon. Pulling some pieces out of storage in order to feel as if I am dressing for fall even though the temperatures are not fall-like. Not yet, anyway.

And speaking of fall fashion and of wrinkles. I may love my wrinkles, mostly. But I am not adverse to hiding some of them behind a turtleneck when the weather calls for it. Ha.

Now, how about you, my friends? Are you getting ready for fall yet? Looking forward to jacket and turtleneck weather like me?

P.S. Please note that I do not make use of my little retouching tool as a rule. I edit my photos to crop them, and occasionally to correct lighting. I’m far too afraid I’d get addicted to pictorial “self-improvement.” And then… imagine if I ran into someone who’d seen my photo and looked aghast when they saw that in real life I was much older and far wrinklier than in my photos. Besides, my family and friends read my blog. Imagine the teasing I’d get if I capitulated to filters and retouching. So I keep it real. The me you see in my posts is just me. For better or worse. 🙂

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88 thoughts on “Love Me, Love My Wrinkles”

  1. Yes the Vogue September issue in years of my youth was certainly the starting point for fall and winter outfit planning….the inspiration board….my very early Pinterest. I abandoned Vogue and Cosmo oh my more years ago than I care to remember because they no longer spoke to me. They were not talking to women my age. Besides the cost was over the top for mostly ads and odd pics of very thing young women in outlandish fashion that I couldn’t clean my toilets in, wear to my conservative work environment or go out with my husband in. You certainly made me laugh and I appreciate the forewarn so that I’m not tempted to buy the issue. It’s in the low 90’s here and honestly I’m enjoying summer as long as it wishes to stay. I have no desire to rush through the season I’m in. You look lovely with your white hair and wrinkles. Don’t change a thing!

    1. Thanks, Kat. Un-loving Vogue was a slow death for me. First the quality of the photos and the fashion shoots went down. Then the articles stopped being interesting. Now I can’t quite believe the difference in the magazine today and the old copies I’ve kept.

  2. I haven’t looked at the new Vogue but I agree with you. I think your white hair and wrinkles are beautiful. I think Helen Mirren’s new shoot with the black coat or dress and her hair pulled back and her wrinkles is breathtaking!

  3. A long time ago, I loved getting the Sept issue of Vogue too, Glamour, any fashion mag. I just received the Talbots fall collection catalog and got the same fashion giddiness I used to.
    Fashion is fun and I love shopping from my closet. Love your blog!

  4. Sue, what a fabulous read!
    How I’d love to see Anna Wintour / Edward Anniful read this and reply.
    I used to love both fashion and home magazines, now I find them a real disappointment too.

  5. You’re absolutely right . I’d seen this cover already & recognized Naomi & Linda but the other two ? Unrecognisable to me now , so much work done . As for Linda she’s a very good example of the dangers of too much messing around with your body . I sympathise with them to a degree . The face & the body must dominate your life in the strange world of modeling & it’s bound to be demoralising to focus on every little sign of aging . Perhaps it’s a little easier for actors , they have a craft to pursue where it is natural to age . The examples you give of Helen/Charlotte etc ( plus Judi of course ) are all intelligent women , not relying totally on their appearance. It’s often said that women have the right to ‘ improve ‘ their bodies but how sad that they should feel they have to erase all signs of natural aging . I tried to watch the video but didn’t get far I’m afraid . Vacuous women talking so seriously about something of little importance . Rant over , sorry – no Vogues in this house 😁

    1. That’s the sad thing. Both Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford have wrinkles and show signs of aging. I cannot believe that they agreed to that cover and to looking so plastic. I agree, though, the video was a bit vacuous. I don’t think that any of them had anything that interesting to say. But it was good to see what they look like when they are not photoshopped.

  6. I am in a period of separation with glossy mags in general, though for years I found them the greatest treat. They all have a fixed demographic – that is baked-in to get maximum readership and advertising – and I don’t slip in anywhere. Still, I read Vogue online most days because I like clothes and fashion interests me. Not so much models and plainly they are fine with all the adjustments as they understand it is part of the job, along with make-up and stylists and all the things we do not see. But I do find it dull to encourage such worship. And cosmetic surgery always look obvious because it tends to make old faces resemble the smooth roundness of childhood. That is peculiar and unsettling. Fortunately none of this is compulsory and I am one who either admires nor condemns – but I have little sympathy when it goes wrong as it did with Linda Evangelista. Who appears to be wholeheartedly behind the concept of enhancement, despite that. A mad world, my masters.

    1. I heard a plastic surgeon on the radio the other day speaking of the phenomenon that afflicts women who have had multiple fillers, in that they cannot recognize what is normal and what looks over-filled after a while. It’s like they lose the sense of what they should look like. She said she has had to refuse many women who come back too often and too soon. Then she said she told one woman, “It’s better to look old than odd.”

  7. If you check the toes and feet on most retouched pictures of older women, you can see the effects of age and high heels in their bent toes and thicker ankles. Somehow feet are rarely photoshopped into a former decade. (just an observation)

    1. I saw something when I was researching this post called a “liquifier”… it kind of dissolves the edge of the body part and allows the manipulator to move the line of the skin around easily. This is how Kim Kardashian has her photos retouched, butt enhanced, legs and waist slimmed down.

  8. I am like you. I used to love and look forward to September Vogue. Not any more. Not sure what happened to the great articles in addition to the fashion advice for women who were attending real events and not a series of costume dramas. I saw this September issue at the airport and opted for a new John Grisham novel instead.

  9. I read a similarly negative review of this shoot in the NYT the other day.

    I’m kind of weird in that I’ve always liked clothes but never bought the magazines. I’d read them in the doctor’s office or somewhere else if I came across them. I might have bought one Vogue when I was back in my teen years. My reasons are somewhat mixed, but include that I always hated having large wads of papers or magazines lying around and having to recycle them! I’ve been mostly paperless for a couple of decades except I occasionally succumb and buy the LRB or The Paris Review.

    I grew up with women (mother and grandmothers and aunts) who never coloured their hair or even wore makeup, although my mother wears a little bit now. I always wore mascara and not much else, and never coloured my hair, so I admit I’m pretty immune to the pressure to cover up the truth of aging. I’ve always found women beautiful for the contents of their hearts and brains and their determination in the face of life’s challenges, not how smooth their faces are. When I was young I thought I was ugly because my nose wasn’t perfectly straight, but I got over that preoccupation fortunately and have never really looked back. I often share this story, but a older French man who was a friend before he died used to tell me that, growing up in his French village before WWII, he believed that women looked beautiful because of the dark shapes under their eyes! (He liked older women.)

    In Italy they seem to get around the wrinkles issue by simply blasting light in the faces of, e.g., journalists, although there is a lot of botoxing and lip boosting and colouring, too. What I really admire in Italy though is how free older women feel to still be flamboyant and to care about their fashion. It’s lovely to see the care they take with that. It’s an art form.

    Occasionally I’ve watched those makeup videos that some of the supermodels do in their bathrooms. It’s interesting to see how very beautiful women look aged and how they make up their faces. A little bit of makeup can be fun and put some shine back on without covering up the beauty of the years.

    1. Oops….always comment before having my coffee, which is a mistake. “an” older French man. Also forgot to mention that Charlotte Rampling (!) whisked into a café I was eating on Saint-Germain in Paris last year and it made my whole trip. She was simply dressed in basic black clothing and had her hair natural and cropped short. She was a vision – smiling and friendly and joking with the staff. I started texting my mom madly to share the moment once CR was out of view.

    2. It is amazing what skilful makeup application can do with contouring and highlighting. But you have to be careful if you’re going out in public versus having photos done. Sunlight can show everything. Ha.

  10. I totally agree with you about Vogue- it presents a one-dimensional world that doesn’t interest me. And I used to LOVE the September issue. While I admire all of the actresses mentioned I do not agree that they have not had plastic surgery; and do not think less of them for that. Good plastic surgery is not obvious but reverse aging on the big screen is evident as is the smooth jawline despite the gray hair and facial wrinkles. I applaud all types of aging. We cannot expect women to remain natural beauties and not have surgery and I just want to stop judging people on this issue. How many actresses have we seen avowing they have had no surgery (“I just drink lots of water”) when it is quite apparent.

    1. I’m sure that some of the women I’ve mentioned have had something done. But I applaud them for allowing themselves to look normal and show some signs of aging. Some more than others, I might add. Even two of the models in the photoshoot have wrinkles and signs of aging, which you can see in the video. Apparently jawlines are the newest thing that people are having altered… according to the latest issue of Vogue. I just wish people would stop pretending about it all.

  11. I won’t be buying the September Vogue…I used to love that issue. It was my guide for fall fashion…
    I was at the medical spa for treatment of my rosacea and stood waiting to pay. Next to me was a woman in her 60’s maybe 70’s? She had no facial wrinkles, large lips that looked swollen (Botox?) platinum blonde hair and was dressed in head to toe designer clothes with labels….she looked at me and gave me the head to toe scan…I smiled. We obviously were both listening to “different drummers” it’s a minefield out there when it comes to aging…we have to be “comfortable in our own shoes.”

    1. I used to encounter the famous wife of a famous Ottawa businessman when I shopped at Holts. Wow… the work she had had done. And wow… did she ever look …well… odd.

  12. I almost rushed out to buy it (for the first time in about 30 years) but when I saw the cover published somewhere, it changed my mind. I was particularly surprised by Christy Turlington, who campaigns regularly for women aging naturally. I was disgusted by the cover! I remember the good old days of Vogue, and like many of you, relied on it to help me plan my “look” by copying some of their editorials. And I think Sue is right….I have a daughter who is 40, and she and her friends would never buy Vogue, ever.

    1. Christy looks quite natural in the video I included. She is beautiful and shows signs of aging. As does Cindy Crawford. Which makes that cover all the more weird, in my opinion.

  13. Ah. Yes the Vogue September issue! I would look at this cover to cover when I was younger and thought every new style was meant for me! And would look good on me! lol. Does anyone remember Seventeen magazine in the days when it was a huge magazine? It was my go-to mag when I was young and wanted new clothes. I had a job in high school which enabled me to buy whatever I wanted. I had had to wear hand me down clothes from my grandmother when I was a sophomore in high school and was mortified by having to wear wool skirts which made me itch (I am allergic) rolled up 3 times at the waist so they would not drape on the ground. That has led to a lifetime love of fashion and buying clothes! I also do not like the botoxing and face lifting of it seems everyone in Hollywood. I understand why they do it– they want to keep on working as long as possible. Once you start that process, it seems you can never stop! I think you look great. No retouching is necessary!

    1. I still remember the first few pieces I bought with my own money too. Back then I was also inspired by Seventeen. I didn’t start with Vogue until I was in my early thirties. But I remember lugging that huge September issue home every year and couldn’t wait to crack it open.

  14. Julia Louis Dreyfus’s podcast ‘Wiser than me” as she interviews Diane Von Furstenberg is worth a listen. Also, her interview with Jane Fonda. Wonderful.
    DVF is a gem, and such a delight. Lovely words on aging and life.

  15. Sue I so get you re: Vogue (or Vague as my other half insists on calling it but he’s right;) I too was addicted in the 80’s & ‘90’s
    I don’t understand the equivocation of social media at all anymore..celebrate the gray, pro aging, wrinkles but present celebrities with botoxed, scalpled, photo shopped faces as reality. Ugh Martha Stewart Sports Illustrated photos were pathetic. 60 is the new 40? No. Way. At 40 I had a toddler and another baby still to arrive at 42. I had horrific endometriosis with equally horrific periods. I was working non stop and dealing with the toddler and a far travelling for work hubby. was a cake walk compared but life is different …more loss but more acceptance too. 60 is 60. Now I am 68 and I can’t surgically or Botox remove a lot of the challenges that come with the years but I can accept life. In acceptance comes serenity and in serenity comes real beauty. Life and I are still dancing and that’s what really counts.
    Although when I catch a view of my resting b@#ch face…LOL

  16. I’ve been following @paulinaporizkov on Instagram. I love her take on aging when you’ve been in the model/fashion world.

  17. Good morning….I think you look way better in your untouched photo!!!
    I am almost 76 and have loved fashion since I was about 12. That was when I learned how to make my own clothes using a very old hand operated sewing machine with the help of a lovely neighbour. I still make most of my clothes and knit my sweaters.
    I bought my first September Vogue when I was 15 for 50 cents ( new). I picked strawberries all day in the fields in our Fraser Valley to earn that money. Since then I have had subscriptions etc. But for the last 10 years, our local library has offered me all sorts of magazines from all over the world for free. And with the digital age, I read them on my laptop computer to my heart’s content. Now I notice that at least the first 50 pages are all ads. The September issue was 100 pages. With many more throughout!!!
    I really admire Helen Mirren in her open and unabashed realness.

    1. I even used to love the ads in the September issue. As long as they were pictures of clothes to give me a feel for the season. Now I get my inspiration in email form.

  18. When I was young and slender, athletic with good skin and hair, I was clueless about fashion and makeup, and it kind if didn’t matter anyway. Now I am 77, and most of those things are mostly gone. I worried about it for a good many years and imagined what I could do to improve things. Then I grew up. Today I feel lucky to be alive, healthy, able to do the things I like to do, and have a wonderful family and friends. The wrinkles and gray hair are only part of who I am and the extra respect I sometimes get from strangers who insist I get in line in front of them, for example, kind of tickles me.

  19. I dislike Vogue magazine intensely! I used to love it, back when the clothes were far more expensive than my younger self could ever afford. Now that I’m much older and can at least theoretically afford them, they are the last thing I would ever waste my hard-earned money on. Well, perhaps an occasional splurge (such as your beautiful green Max Mara coat). Generally I prefer minimalism, sustainable fashion, and shopping my closet. There is no greater thrill than successfully creating a successful outfit from items I already own. Your wonderful blog is an inspiration in this regard.
    As for the 50+ year old models, they are simply boring.

    1. They are boring, aren’t they? I guess I was hoping that the fashion shoot would include something inspiring… maybe the models in their own clothes, jeans etc. That would have been nicer. Not sure who picked the outfits for the shoot but they missed the mark for me. I love shopping in my closet too. I am looking forward to wearing my green coat again this year!

  20. I stopped buying/reading Vogue in 2011 when they published an article praising the fashion sense of Asma al Assad, wife of Syrian dictator and human rights abuser Bashar al Assad.

    1. That was when I quit, too!
      Fashion in these magazines has gotten too goofy looking. Guess I am finally showing my age. I see some runway shows on Facebook and 1/3 of the gowns are lovely. The rest are too much cleavage and way too much fabric wasted on trains etc.

  21. I couldn’t agree with you more, Sue! Those gals are drop-dead gorgeous and I can’t for the life of me understand why Vogue would choose to alter their appearances. I find it interesting that earlier this year Vogue Philippines featured 106-year-old Apo Whang-Od on their cover. Perhaps it says something about how differently age is viewed in different cultures. Shame on western culture for not seeing beauty in aging!

    Like you, I choose not to artificially alter my appearance in real life or in the photos I use on my blog.

    I hate to admit that it’s time to start thinking about fall, but as I peer through the pall of wildfire smoke hanging over us here in Alberta, I see that the leaves are beginning to turn colour. I am looking forward to bringing out some of my sweaters and jackets soon as well as a favourite pair of ankle boots. Not sure yet what I’ll be adding to my fall/winter wardrobe, but I see that red is big this season and I would definitely like to add a piece or two in that colour to brighten things up a bit.

    1. I’m thinking of adding some red too, Elaine. I like red a lot more now that my hair is white.
      P.S. We have friends who live in Kelowna. What a summer you guys out west have all had! I’m just hoping it doesn’t become the norm.

  22. I far prefer thoughtful blogs such as yours, Sue, to any magazine in print with the possible exception of magazines devoted to sewing. However, even there, interesting blogs are always a more realistic and better connection to my life.
    I don’t doubt that those who have made their living as fashion models have a lot of need to try to somehow preserve that image. At least these days there is now some acceptance for other examples of beauty, but an aging beauty is still pretty much an insult if not an oxymoron.
    Vogue magazine used to create stories. Sure, it was often aspirational, but at least there was imagination. Now it all just seems so weird. I am not against avant garde, it can be very creative, but that is not every day stuff for me.

    1. I agree. The photoshoots used to be fun and aspirational. But I could always see how I might want to wear an individual piece. Now the photos in Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar are not what they used to be. I wonder if it’s the use of digital photography that doesn’t create the wonderful shots that film did.

  23. Aside from the reality of altered images being around since the inception of the printed page, I’ve thought long on this response.

    I’m sad *we* still have commentary on the choices other woman make in their journey.

    I accept everyone’s reality and choices in their aging process. Whether it be hair color or implants or fillers or Botox or lifts, et al. IMHO, it doesn’t matter if that’s not my cup of tea as to how I want to age. More importantly, it’s also not my place [imho] to have commentary on it: No more than I would want others to have commentary on my aging face or body and the choices I make.

    There is always the extreme in any direction of choices made, which can elicit a response or reaction. But isn’t part of the beauty of aging the wisdom that comes with it ? Acknowledging and accepting that everyone’s journey is going to be different, everyone’s reality and point of view will not align; whether it be personal appearance, lifestyle, fashion or more ‘important’ matters. And, just quietly leaving it at that? Hopefully, in most instances, their choices bring them joy and happiness, which is what we all seek in this chapter.

    I applaud and support everyone’s choices in how they want to embrace the changes that come with this chapter of life. As I say to all my aging friends … “Lift a sistah UP”.

    1. I agree that we should not be criticizing the choices that other individuals have freely made, which are, I assume, in alignment with their needs and their values. But I also think that media publications like magazines have a responsibility to society beyond making money for their shareholders. And I feel well able to criticize publications like Vogue for continuing to send the message that looking older is not good by photoshopping their models to such an extent they erase any signs of aging. Signs that are easily detected in the video which they also made… which seems highly ironic to me. I applaud public figures like Helen Mirren who refuses to bow out of the public eye because she looks older. Or like Emma Thompson who has publicly ranted that we as a society waste our precious time on earth by worrying about looking perfect. I can “quietly,” as you say, leave the personal choices individuals make up to those individuals. But I want to use the public platform that I have, small as it may be, to voice my support for women who inspire me in my own aging journey.

    2. I’m not sure it’s Sue who needs the admonishment, Michelle. The hypocrisy of “celebrating” women in their fifties by airbrushing them to look like teenagers isn’t lifting anyone up; it’s just reinforcing the nasty message that beauty and aging are incompatible even for supermodels. Any individual choices were callously airbrushed into oblivion—so much so that some of those famous faces were almost unrecognizable.

      Sue is right to cast a critical eye on the decisions made by Vogue in the September issue. Give me Sue’s kind of support to “lift me up” when I contemplate my 74-year-old visage in the mirror at 8 a.m., not Vogue’s.

      1. Marily and Sue, it was not my intent to cast a negative tone against anyone specifically. I am saddened that *we* as a society still have commentary on women aging in all aspects. It’s rare…if at all, that this dialogue takes place about men and the double standard of ‘expectations’ is tiresome.

        I enjoy Sue’s blog immensely. She is fresh and introspective and honest. I appreciate her invitation to comment on real life subjects not just fashion, even if I’ve only done so a few times.

        1. Thanks, Michelle. That double standard is so tiresome, isn’t it? I think we should take Emma Thompson’s advice and not waste out time worrying too much about how well or not well we are aging. As long as we’re still here, that’s positive aging in my books. Still, I may talk a good line, as my mum used to say, but I’ll still be worrying to some extent. 🙂

      2. I think the saddest part of the whole issue is the tenacity with which magazines hold onto the old values or ideas about women and beauty which I think are changing. At least I hope they are.

  24. I never did purchase a Vogue but was thrilled to grab a new Seventeen magazine when it hit the racks. For me, this whole aging process is a slippery slope. No one wants to hear the words age appropriate but if you dare step out of the lines, the sirens start blaring. Although I still add color to my hair and use a retinol treatment daily, I totally admire those who have embraced their natural hair color. I may have finally discovered my personal comfort zone and have the confidence to stand by it. There were far too many years where I was pulled and torn by outside influences. I am not a famous model or movie star and for heaven’s sake, why would I compare any part of my life with there’s. There is very little in today’s magazines that I can relate to. We can see and understand the sadness behind all the photoshopping but what about our children and grandchildren. How do they come to understand what’s real and what’s not.

  25. I don’t buy those magazines much. I stick with Magnolia, Southern Living and Coastal Living. As far as style and clothes go, I check out your site and Pinterest. I heard that Kate Winslet got mad at one of the magazines because they made her smaller than she was. I don’t think she has had work done. I am trying to check out turtlenecks more than I use to. I am 72.

  26. I can’t say I’ve ever bought many of the glossy fashion magazines. To start with I couldn’t afford them or the products they displayed. Later, when I could afford them, I didn’t have the time to read them as I had three children, a full time job plus coached sports teams and helped put on school drama productions. Not to mention being the taxi service for all my children’s activities. Now when I have both the money and the time to read them they depict a lifestyle totally unlike mine. I’m a jean’s and jumpers in the winter and shorts and tees in the summer type of person.

    As for the photoshopping of models and the anti-aging culture around us, I see my lines, wrinkles, sags and bags as badges of the life I have lived. Yes, at 70, still use makeup and try to keep slightly in touch with current fashion but only by buying clothes which appeal to my style ethic which I have to admit is pretty classic. Some years I buy nothing as nothing appeals.

    I do feel sorry for those who do everything they can to be forever 21 rather than celebrating and enjoying their lives and ages. Personal choice I guess but I don’t think it should be depicted as the norm.

    1. I’m with you, Kenzie. I feel a certain amount of compassion for the stress and panic some women feel as they age. But somewhere along the line we all have to be responsible for our own choices. If I were a mum, I think I’d be worried about setting an example for my kids. But since I’m not a mum, I can’t say what I’d feel if I were. I do know that I always felt a certain responsibility to the kids who were in my classes, especially the girls. A responsibility to set a good example, and help them to love themselves as much as I could.

  27. My first fashion magazine was the September issue of Seventeen. I was fourteen at the time and I was hooked. Later, the September issue of Vogue became my fashion bible.

    It was a sad day when I realized magazines just didn’t do it for me anymore. That said, I glanced at the current issue of Vogue – first time I’d reached for it in years – and was utterly dismayed by the images of the four women. Cindy and Christy were unrecognizable and Linda and Naomi looked exactly as they did in the 90s. Neither was what I’d expected, nor was I inspired in any way, shape, or form.

    I’m still unclear as to the point of the Barbie movie (yes, I saw it), but my own thoughts about women’s struggles in first-world 2023 have much more to do with the questionable choices women make and the underlying insecurity that feeds said choices than the patriarchy. In so many ways we’ve become our own oppressors and this issue of Vogue underscores this point – at least this is how I see it

    1. I think I was fourteen too when I started reading fashion magazines. My mum bought me a subscription to Miss Chatelaine… probably because I was selling magazine subscriptions for school. Then I graduated to Seventeen. Then onto Vogue eventually. Now it’s all online content creators. And I only access Vogue content to see the runway shows, and even those I now watch less and less.
      P.S. Great comment about Barbie, by the way.

  28. I’ve never been a fan of Vogue magazine. The only time I would ever rush out to buy it is when my Nephew BOO GEORGE, the International acclaimed fashion photographer has done a photo shoot with one of his famous clients. Although I am interested in the fashion world and what folk are wearing, I think it’s all a bit false and too much emphasis is on trying to look thinner and younger! I agree with a previous comment that Sue you do a much better and interesting blog than any article I’ve recently read from Vogue.

  29. Ps. And as for Anna Wintour, why doesn’t she leave off those ridiculous sunglasses and let’s see what’s behind that perfectly coiffed hair fringe and glasses!

  30. Agree, agree, agree ! What is the point of showing these women as they are supposed to be now, but they aren’t , everything has been erased from their faces. Laughter, frowning, sadness, they are all on our faces and show that we have lived. I always think that it is particularly sad that the most beautiful women go down this road, when it’s obvious that they would have aged beautifully. Jennifer Aniston comes to mind, she had such a pretty little face, and I would have loved to see how she matured, but she has messed herself about and doesn’t even look like Jennifer Aniston any more. Why would an actress do that,their faces are supposed to be expressive !
    Helen Mirren is wise enough to use makeup to brighten and enhance her features while still looking very much herself. Lets face it , most of us need a little help , I often feel that I look old and tired ( because I am!), so I’m not going to face the world without my lipstick .
    I used to love Vogue magazine, while we still had a newsagents in my little corner of Greece I would wait impatiently for the big fat September USA issue, and I still have them all. Now I can’t remember when I last looked at a Vogue magazine.

  31. Great blog. I eagerly await every Sunday. I am not a fashion mag reader but I do know who the models are. BTW, you look fab in both pics. I failed to see the difference. I am in my early 80s and still love fashion. I always anticipate the arrival of Autumn because I love the colours and the change in seasons. I let my hair go grey (I was extremely dark haired naturally) seven years ago and decided I couldn’t wear the Fall colours again……that was a mistake. I threw everything out of my closet and started over with the colours I thought would compliment my hair. They did but I so missed the warmth of the Autumn colour, so back they came. This year I have purchased some new colours, for me, and have decided to wear my white jeans until the weather gets wet and dreary. Boots in all shapes and sizes are my new “go to”. You are an inspiration with your insight and thoughtfulness. Please keep up the good work. My sincere condolences on the death of your Mum. I lost my Mum seven years ago at 98. Your Mum’s resemblance to her brought a few tears.

    1. I’ve added a few fall like colours to my wardrobe too. Like a green sweater last year and a green silk shirt this year. I find a slightly warm green works for me if I wear a bright white tee underneath.

  32. Buying the September Vogue was a yearly ritual for me. I’d set aside a day and spend it relishing every page — all that fashion and fun and inspiration. That pretty much stopped the year they put a Kardashian on the cover. I’ve picked up the September issue since then and was going to order it online this year since I can’t find it anywhere … but after reading your post today and several articles about the cover, that’s not going to happen. Earlier this year I decided to transition to grey hair. I felt inspired to do so after reading your posts about it and reading comments from other women. Your blog is one of the highlights to my week and I look forward to your insights and wonderful writing! Thanks for saving me the $10+!!!

  33. My summer outside the city has just started:). No internet connection,so I’m very late here! Vogue was not only the fashion bible,it was a completely different world for me. My travels usually begin with the new copy purchased in a Duty free shop (UK,US,Germany,I’ve loved them all) And the September issue……
    Not any more. Sorry,not sorry!
    I’ve loved all four of the supermodels of the 90-ties and find their (sporadic) street photos nowdays beautiful (Christy was even on Sarajevo film festival this year, Cindy looks pretty natural…. )
    What happened here?
    Botox,fillers,editing photos are not for me- but I don’t judge,to each their own….I think that, after some time,women who are natural, look better than those who don’t know to stop chasing eternal youth…but it is only my opinion,luckily I can be what I am,no pressure on working market or anywhere else….but I can understand it
    It is sad how supermodels were presented-for us who are their age or a little bit older,but especially for young girls…..
    I’m spending my mornings on the beach now ,swimming and drinking coffee,watching people…so many young woman who had thought they need to be different/ “better”….
    Dottoressa

    1. I hope you are enjoying your days on the beach Dottoressa. I’m imagining where you might be based on our short time on the Adriatic in 2019. Sigh. It was lovely.

  34. That Vogue issue has been quite controversial. A lot of women aren’t thrilled with how the photo of these stunning women was enhanced to make them look years younger. Back to the dark ages we go. I mentioned in one of my blog posts that some commenters on Cup of Jo shared good alternative cover options. I’m happy to see that lots of women prefer we celebrate how we look at every age.

    I only look at fashion magazines at the hair salon. It’s a treat to see the new styles, but I don’t need to purchase the magazines. I’m trying to keep magazines out of the house. I have far too many books to deal with and too much paper to sort.

    You look beautiful sans computer enhancements.

    I wish that I looked as good in turtlenecks as you do. I avoid them, as they do nothing for under my chin and the top of my neck. I also tend to run warm, so don’t need my neck covered (as much as I wouldn’t mind covering some of those wrinkles). You look great in turtlenecks and I already imagine how smart you will look in your fall outfits. It won’t be long now.

  35. Thanks for turning your attention to Vogue, and what it is not doing for us. I see and agree with your comments.
    To me, the most consistent message I get from Vogue is “You are not good enough.” Not even four supermodels are good enough, and must have their images manipulated beyond recognition.
    The magazine itself is so light on content, and even lighter on non-objectionable content.
    It’s hard to feel sympathetic with the plight of glossy magazines when they have dug themselves in so deep with crass and unattractive values.
    I am glad you are out there in the wilderness, giving us some real content.

  36. Ma chère Sue ,
    J’ai 73 ans , j’adore la mode , je porte des vêtements actuels et des talons ( relativement )hauts .
    J’ai adapté ,bien sûr , mon style a mon âge . J’ai horreur du jeunisme .
    Il est vrai que je ne reconnais pas toujours le visage que je vois dans ma glace le matin ! Hihi
    Mais bon !
    En règle générale je suis en paix avec moi même et j’essaie de tirer le meilleur parie possible de celle que je suis devenue . J’évite les décolletés, les manches courtes et les robes qui montrent les genoux .
    Mais j’aime mes rides car elles sont la preuve que j’ai vécu,ri ,pleuré et aimé.
    J’aime moins mes jambes enflées a cause d’une insuffisance cardiaque .
    Cependant je fais …comme si ma santé était excellente . Je marche beaucoup malgré une sciatique chronique , je sors ,je vais au restaurant , je voyage ..,et il m’arrive encore trop souvent de faire des folies .
    Mon compagnon ,avec tendresse , appelle cet état de fait ”mon tempérament artistique ”. Je n’abdique pas ma féminité ni mon droit au bonheur .
    Ma petite fille ,Clara , voudrait me ressembler ….plus tard . Hihihi
    Ma fille ,qui est magistrate, est parfois plus sévère ,….pour mon bien .
    J’avoue que cette partie de ma vie m’amuse beaucoup . Je me permets d’être enfin moi -meme .
    Il faut assumer ce que nous sommes et il vaut mieux accepter les changements inéluctables du vieillissement ,
    Sinon on risque d’en beaucoup souffrir.
    .

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