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#1
Old 01-17-2007, 12:35 PM
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Beautiful people growing depressed with age

This is something that I've wondered about for a few years.

As beautiful/handsome/attractive (whatever) people grow older and those physical features which are traditionally associated with beauty begin to deteriorate, are they more prone to become depressed than those of who are, shall we say, not as genetically lucky?

For example:

I'm not a great looking guy - something that has never much bothered me (no, I swear. No, seriously. ). I have a couple of friends who are quite good-looking, including one women who is an absolute stunner.

As we age, will she be more prone to depression than me?

Naturally this depends on host of other factors totally unassociated with looks (eg personality type, self-esteem, professional success, marital status, etc) but has anyone every heard of a study or anything that sheds light on this?

I'm inclined to think that whatever depression may occur is fairly negligible - positive people tend to stay positive, negative people negative.

Any thoughts?
#2
Old 01-17-2007, 12:45 PM
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I just finished reading Sex with Kings. (Great book ) The author mentioned a couple of royal mistresses who became very despondent after their beauty faded. These ladies spent so much of their lives being lovely eye candy, they didn't have anything else.
#3
Old 01-17-2007, 12:50 PM
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From a seminar I took
http://work-is-not-for-sissies.com/Articles/5.htm

Basically, beautiful people can (I don't dare say 'do') get away with their looks for sometime, but when the looks fade, they've got nothing to back them up.
#4
Old 01-17-2007, 12:51 PM
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Unless they've gained a ton of weight, drink or take drugs an attractive but older person is still going to be more attractive, just older. A 60 year old Angelina Jole is still going to look better than a 60 year old Rhea Perlman.

It would probably be more upsetting if you were in a field where your career depended on your looks, like a model or actress. I think most people try to accept the realities of aging and lets face it, your life is different in your 50-60's than it is when your 20. At 20, a zit can ruin your day but when your older most people aren't as self-involved as they were and have different priorities.
#5
Old 01-17-2007, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caridwen
Unless they've gained a ton of weight, drink or take drugs an attractive but older person is still going to be more attractive, just older. A 60 year old Angelina Jole is still going to look better than a 60 year old Rhea Perlman.
Have you seen Christy Brinkley lately? She still looks hot and she's like 52.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P
Basically, beautiful people can (I don't dare say 'do') get away with their looks for sometime, but when the looks fade, they've got nothing to back them up.

I don't know if I buy the whole "good people don't have anything to fall back on" argument. It's like asking "what does Angelina Jolie have to fall back on when her looks fade?" Or Derek Jeter when he looses his batting power. Their large pile of money, that's what.

Someone who is good looking and attractive may have years of opportunities that regular people never even see.


On the other hand, what I've sometimes seen is that many women who might have been very pretty in high school or college sometimes have problems when they get older. They may find that they can't find people who want them for anything other than as a sex object or that pretty gals are a dime a dozen (especially in New York).



I guess there is no one answer, but I would say that if you define yourself by your looks, you might run into trouble if you are unable to find some other way to define yourself once those looks fade.
#6
Old 01-17-2007, 02:24 PM
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I'd imagine there are disadvantages as well to being perceived as attractive. The attention probably gets old and, for some, maybe it's a relief to finally be less scrutinized, less pressured to uphold some physical standard.
#7
Old 01-17-2007, 03:47 PM
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I worked with a woman who, perhaps 25-30 years ago, was most likey pretty hot. These days she's pudgy around the edges, saggy here and there, and has that leathery skin people get when they spend the first 20 years tanning every chance they get.

I wouldn't call her ugly, but she wouldn't be my first flirty choice.

She still acted like she was all that. When she wanted something done from a man, she'd wink and flirt and try to act cute hoping to have them do her job for her. I can only guess, but it seemed to me she's been able to pull this off in the past. In our office it didn't fly.

She avoided woman and was often very short with them (I don't think one woman in the office liked her).

I wouldn't do this woman any favours mostly because I thought she was a bitch. I saw how she treated the other woman and disliked that about her day one. Several times I bluntly told her I'm not doing that for her because that task is something I don't do.

She used to get really mad at another woman in the office. She was a really cute, fresh out of college, young woman. Really nice, very sweet, kind of shy. I would help her out all the time. Not because of her looks but because she was really nice (for the record I also used to always help the big, doofy dude with bad hair because he was a really nice guy as well). The older woman would see this and respond by treating the younger woman like crap.

She ended up getting very frustrated because she was expected to pull her own weight. After a handful of months she quit with a big scene, writing a letter to point out what was wrong with each of us and how the business would fail.

Interestingly enough, not long ago in Portland I worked in another office where almost the same thing happened.

So, depressed from no longer being the hotest piece of ass in the office? Perhaps. I can tell she used to use it in the past and now it's no longer working.
#8
Old 01-17-2007, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caridwen
Unless they've gained a ton of weight, drink or take drugs an attractive but older person is still going to be more attractive, just older. A 60 year old Angelina Jole is still going to look better than a 60 year old Rhea Perlman.

.
Some folk wisdom would take issue with that. Somewhere I read the supposedly encouraging maxim that "the nice thing about getting older is that we all start to look the same", an idea that scares the bejesus out of me even though at nearly 49 now I don't consider my looks to be anything out of the ordinary.

Old I can deal with. But I don't want to ever be just "a generic old person".
#9
Old 01-17-2007, 06:36 PM
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I work with a girl who I refer to as a "tissue." She is definitely used to getting her way because of her looks. She is about as mean to other women as anyone I've ever seen. Then again, she did date the boss for a while, so it doesn't seem to matter. She's dumb as a brick too. I can't for her to lose it and only have her rude personality to sell.

There are fabulous old women. I hope to be one.
#10
Old 01-17-2007, 07:11 PM
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I think it depends on how much of your self esteem you have tied up into "beautiful" and if you have a lot of it tied up into "sexy."

Most women, in particular, don't do sexy well as we age - exceptions abound, particularly in the celebrity world where you have a professional stylist and a photographer who makes the light look right. Oh, we do it ok for our husbands and men our own age, but there is some point at which you realize that hot 24 year old guys in leather jackets aren't likely to go for you any longer. If your self esteem is too tied up in "I can have any guy in this room" it will take a hit when that becomes "I can have any guy in this room of a certain age."
#11
Old 01-17-2007, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537
Have you seen Christy Brinkley lately? She still looks hot and she's like 52.


.
So's my wife. What's your point? He said old.

As far as the OP, no I'm no more depressed than my old friends.


What?
#12
Old 01-17-2007, 07:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
Some folk wisdom would take issue with that. Somewhere I read the supposedly encouraging maxim that "the nice thing about getting older is that we all start to look the same", an idea that scares the bejesus out of me even though at nearly 49 now I don't consider my looks to be anything out of the ordinary.

Old I can deal with. But I don't want to ever be just "a generic old person".

I have noticed that some men start to resemble a woman when they get older. Paul McCartney being an example of that. So you might be on to something.
#13
Old 01-17-2007, 07:43 PM
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Since we're all anecdotal here already, I will reveal that I have a friend who spent her first 40+ years as a knockout, and the next 10 as a moderate KO. And yet, she was always depressed. She's no more so now.

However, recently we were shopping and I was going to tell her about the 55+ discount at Kohl's on Tuesdays (or maybe it's Wednesdays) and I started by saying, "Hey, you're not quite old enough yet for this but--"

and she interrupted by denying, quite vehemently, that she would ever, ever, EVER take a senior discount of any damn kind, for anything; not for 15%, not for 30%, not for 50%. 75%? The possibility begins to emerge, and is rejected.

She makes a huge deal of not looking like she's...53. (I believe it's her actual age as I've known her since college.) Usually she doesn't look that old. But sometimes she does. Not that any of her friends would ever actually say so.
#14
Old 01-17-2007, 07:44 PM
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Some celebs have turned bitter, that's for sure.
Especially those with high-profile exes that are still making the news.
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#15
Old 01-17-2007, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caridwen
I have noticed that some men start to resemble a woman when they get older. Paul McCartney being an example of that. So you might be on to something.
He does look eerily like Angela Landsbury, doesn't he?

Bill Maher had a joke: "One of the great injustices in life is that, as men age, they tend to look more and more like Sean Connery. Wheras, when women age, they tend to look more and more like Sean Connery."
#16
Old 01-17-2007, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowMindThinking
So's my wife. What's your point? He said old.
Yeah well, I hate to break it to you but half a century is generally considered "old".

And my point is that you don't find a whole lot of women who look as good as Christie Brinkley does at 50. Especially without the benefit of a "soft-focus" lense.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze
...and she interrupted by denying, quite vehemently, that she would ever, ever, EVER take a senior discount of any damn kind, for anything; not for 15%, not for 30%, not for 50%. 75%? The possibility begins to emerge, and is rejected.
Shit...I'm just hoping I can keep taking my college discount until I'm old enough for a senior discout.
#17
Old 01-17-2007, 10:25 PM
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Angelina Jolie and other rich celebrities will be fine as they age. They'll have money, and may find being out of the spotlight refreshing. Your ordinary beautiful person might not be so lucky. A formerly hot bartender may find that male patrons now aren't giving her thirty percent tips just 'cause she chatted with them for a minute. The trophy wife who married the rich asshole may find herself out on the street when said rich asshole trades her in for a new model. The guy who could pick up every woman in the room may find that 22 year old girls aren't that interested in someone who's 48.

Some pretty people have a good head on their shoulders and age gracefully. Others can suddenly find themselves stripped of special treatment they took for granted.
#18
Old 01-17-2007, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537
I don't know if I buy the whole "good people don't have anything to fall back on" argument. It's like asking "what does Angelina Jolie have to fall back on when her looks fade?" Or Derek Jeter when he looses his batting power. Their large pile of money, that's what.
Yeah, but those are celebs bringing in millions of dollars a year for a lot of years. What about the receptionist in a 30k/yr job but due to her looks was bringing in 50k and living quite nicely. Eventually she loses her looks and at some point the company decides to bring in a new face. What does she have? She went into this job right out of high school and now she's 50 with no skills.
Same goes for a hot waitress at an upscale restaurant that was taking home $200/night in tips, or a saleswoman that made a hefty commision because she could sell anything to anyone.

I think these are the people we're talking about, not the Angelina Jolie's of the world.

On the other hand Sunset Blvd is exactly what you're talking about. She's still got the money but depressed becuase she's washed up.
#19
Old 01-17-2007, 11:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Borgia
Angelina Jolie and other rich celebrities will be fine as they age. They'll have money, and may find being out of the spotlight refreshing. Your ordinary beautiful person might not be so lucky.....snip.....
Of course most celebrities, (and others among the ultra rich) will be fine as they age. They've got platoons of plastic surgeons, personal chefs, personal trainers and custom home gyms, make up and hair stylists, and the list goes on.

Out in reality land I think it's a bit of a different story.
#20
Old 01-18-2007, 04:40 AM
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About the ultra-beautiful staying beautiful, a lot of that depends on how much of their beauty is bone structure. If it's flawless skin, they're screwed.

I once saw a photo of an old woman and thought "wow, that woman's stunning! She looks like Ava Gardner, must'a driven them nuts when she was young." Aaaaaah... she was Ava Gardner. Wrinkled, yes, but those bones! If I wasn't a straight female, those are bones to kill for. Dang.

But there's many other actresses that need a great effort of the imagination to find the young girl inside the old one. Some Spanish divas from the 50s have been ironed and pulled so many times that their eyebrows now smell like feet, but all they've managed to do is look like rich old women - not to look beautiful.
#21
Old 01-18-2007, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava
About the ultra-beautiful staying beautiful, a lot of that depends on how much of their beauty is bone structure. If it's flawless skin, they're screwed.

I once saw a photo of an old woman and thought "wow, that woman's stunning! She looks like Ava Gardner, must'a driven them nuts when she was young." Aaaaaah... she was Ava Gardner. Wrinkled, yes, but those bones! If I wasn't a straight female, those are bones to kill for. Dang.

But there's many other actresses that need a great effort of the imagination to find the young girl inside the old one. Some Spanish divas from the 50s have been ironed and pulled so many times that their eyebrows now smell like feet, but all they've managed to do is look like rich old women - not to look beautiful.
I recently met my uncle's girlfriend's mother. My uncles girlfriend is probably fifty - and a woman who was probably absolutely stunning when she was 22 - and isn't bad looking at all now (though I think her look is a little young for her age). But she has this killer smile. Her mother is 75 and I'm not sure I've ever met anyone more wrinkled. But the same killer smile. And both of them put themselves together each day with that sort of attention to detail that keeps less attractive people presentable and makes attractive people more attractive (Clothes that fit and hang well in colors that look good, appropriate jewelry, appropriate makeup. Attention paid to their hair - a skill I'm still picking up, btw - my mother does it, and I can still leave the house looking like a slob).
#22
Old 01-18-2007, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msmith537
Yeah well, I hate to break it to you but half a century is generally considered "old".

And my point is that you don't find a whole lot of women who look as good as Christie Brinkley does at 50. Especially without the benefit of a "soft-focus" lense.
I wasn't serious. I understand that 50 is old, for purposes of this discussion. I am old, in this context. Actually, my wife has aged very well. She wasn't in Christie's class 25 years ago, but she has aged better. Few would put her over 40, and her legs are smoother than Christie's.
#23
Old 01-18-2007, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nava
Some Spanish divas from the 50s have been ironed and pulled so many times that their eyebrows now smell like feet, but all they've managed to do is look like rich old women - not to look beautiful.
I love your turn of phrase, Nava. My co-workers are wondering why I'm laughing in my cubicle now. I won't even mention the fate of the Pepsi.
#24
Old 01-18-2007, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P
Yeah, but those are celebs bringing in millions of dollars a year for a lot of years. What about the receptionist in a 30k/yr job but due to her looks was bringing in 50k and living quite nicely. Eventually she loses her looks and at some point the company decides to bring in a new face. What does she have? She went into this job right out of high school and now she's 50 with no skills.
Same goes for a hot waitress at an upscale restaurant that was taking home $200/night in tips, or a saleswoman that made a hefty commision because she could sell anything to anyone.

Well, she has 30 years of experience as a receptionist, plus whatever else she learned on the job.

Realistically, very few people are so one dimensional. Your receptionist example may have found a nice husband or had some kids. She might actually have much more depth that no one ever noticed because they just took her as a hot piece of eye candy.

Besides, if the company is going to keep her on for 30 years, they aren't likely to replace her at 50 just because she old. They would have replaced her when she turned 30 and her hand crystal lights up.
#25
Old 01-18-2007, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joey P
From a seminar I took
http://work-is-not-for-sissies.com/Articles/5.htm

Basically, beautiful people can (I don't dare say 'do') get away with their looks for sometime, but when the looks fade, they've got nothing to back them up.
Well, except for the ones who are smart, talented, personable or have some sort of marketable skill. Which is to say most people.
#26
Old 01-18-2007, 09:00 PM
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Beauty is much more subjective than the media would lead us to believe. as a man of 53, my taste runs more to women nearer my own age. The current crop of celebrities Linsday Lohan, Paris Hilton, Brittany Speares ect. leaves me unnaffected. Just my opinion, but Holly Hunter (48) is much more attractive than Angelina Jolie. Likewise Joan Allen (50), Allison Janney (47), Rosanna Arquette (47) and the list goes on......
#27
Old 01-18-2007, 11:12 PM
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I would say this might have been responsible for the suicides of
Margaux Hemingway and
Pier Angeli
#28
Old 01-18-2007, 11:52 PM
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The thing about beauty is that not that many people truly see it in themselves when they look in the mirror. I think it's more common for people to be seeing their own perceived flaws. Women are always looking at old photos of themselves and saying, "I was so pretty!" and they can't believe it because at the time they thought their nose was to big or something.

I think people do get depressed to lose their looks if they believe that was all they had going for them but that's low self esteem. People who have low self esteem often find one thing they think makes them acceptable like maybe their looks, or their job, or their partner or their sexuality, and then they're in big trouble if they lose that thing because it was all they ever thought they had going for them. It's not caused by being beautiful though and I don't think most beautiful people have that problem.
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