Showing your age

Have you seen a recent photo of Tom Ford?

He is, I think you could say, a handsome man, but I suspect he is having a little trouble with the idea of getting older. In fact, he has been quite open about his use of Botox and the cosmetic filler Restylane.

No doubt there are pressures from an industry built on insecurity and vanity, but I had always thought Tom Ford would age naturally, with a more fashion approved, calculated nonchalance.

The question is, how far would you go to remain youthful? When it comes to ageing, do separate rules apply to men? I have heard women say men get better looking as they get older, more comfortable in their skin, and in doing so develop a natural attractiveness.  I hope so.  In fact, I’m counting on it.  I plan on being the guy Scott Schuman takes a picture of at the Pitti Uomo shows in Italy, as an innocent passerby embracing the coolness and liberties bestowed on the old and the wise.

I understand the benefits of taking care of our skin, of not exposing it to too much sun (although enough for happiness), of eating ‘good’ fish, of not drinking too much alcohol and so on. But just how far are you willing to go?

There’s a growing segment of society, predominantly women but a growing number of men, that have used Botox or undergone minor surgery and don’t look any younger.  They haven’t managed to turn back the clock but have, in an ironic twist of fate, actually drawn attention to their age.  By having tight skin and no wrinkles they give away the fact they’re not 25 anymore.

Growing old gracefully has never had such a powerful ally.  Of course it takes more than money to look like this. There is no doubt an extraordinary amount of self-discipline and dedication to heath and fitness, which really should be enough.

Do you find yourself looking in the mirror of a morning, analysing your eyes and your forehead, pulling at the skin and imagining the possibilities? Would you ever consider cosmetic enhancement or do you have a strict diet and exercise regime?

How do we accept the slow but steady flow of sands through the hourglass?

This article Showing your age was originally published in The Age.