I've always thought a lined face was a beautiful thing. Wrinkles that run happy rather than sad under our eyes and our mouths; like lines in a poem that promised how beautiful life was if only we noticed. For me, they're a reminder of all those times I laughed a little too loud with friends in the middle of February, while huddled under knit hats in building doorways, waiting for a taxi to drive by. Or all the days I went reading on the beach, drinking champagne out of soda cans and not minding that the sun was acting a little unkind to my pale skin. Each little line shows I'm lived-in; that I'm letting my experiences change me.
But I know that's a thought not shared by many. I mean, we live in a world where Scarlett Johansson has been using wrinkle cream since her early twenties.
I think age is beautiful, and with age comes the confidence to be who you are and in a way that's wonderfully stubborn. With age comes not only wisdom — but playfulness, insight, and chutzpah.
To help plead my case, here are seven beautiful, dynamic women who try to convince us to find beauty in the places that we're taught we shouldn't (including some of the best quotes out there from the ladies themselves):
1. Linda Rodin, 66
"I think one does feel more liberated and independent when one gets older. More honest and open with yourself and others. But you still have insecurities — they're different, but they don't totally go away. But you reach a point and say, 'That’s OK.'"
When asked about her stance on face lifts: "Aren't we curious to see how we'd grow up?"
2. Iris Apfel, 93
"When you don’t dress like everybody else, you don’t have to think like everybody else."
"Coco Chanel once said that what makes a woman look old is trying desperately to look young. Why should one be ashamed to be 84? Why do you have to say that you're 52? Nobody's going to believe you anyway, so why be such a fool? It's nice that you got to be so old. It's a blessing."
3. Beatrix Ost, 75
"In your body is a good place to be."
4. Diane von Furstenberg, 68
"I know that people look at me and wonder why I have not succumbed to the progress of technology. Why have I not frozen or filled in the lines of my forehead? Why have I not clipped the bits of surplus skin on my eyelids? I am not sure, but probably because I am afraid of freezing time, of not recognizing myself in the mirror, the image I have been so friendly with. My image is who I am, and even if I don’t always love it, I am intrigued by it, and I find the changes interesting. Even staring at the small wrinkles that curl around my lips can be interesting. They just appear, one day at a time.
In my older face, I see my life. Every wrinkle, every smile line, every age spot. There is a saying that with age, you look outside what you are inside. If you are someone who never smiles your face gets saggy. If you’re a person who smiles a lot, you will have more smile lines. Your wrinkles reflect the roads you have taken; they form the map of your life. My face reflects the wind and sun and rain and dust from the trips I’ve taken. My face carries all my memories. Why should I erase them?"
5. Joyce Carpati, 82
“I never wanted to look young. I wanted to look great.”
"I’m 82 and I don’t believe in lying about my age. I’ve worked hard to be 82."
6. Beatrice Wood, 105
When asked her secret to her longevity, she respond: "I owe it all to art books, chocolate, and young men."
7. Carmen Dell'Orefice, 83
"We have to program the mind of the public that age is not ugly. Age is just age. Wake up, American children, and stop listening to other people's voices. Know yourself, be true to yourself and make a contribution. It took me half my life to know myself. I listened to other people's opinions and took them as gospel."
Images: Getty; Instagram/Courtesy Users