“Women look really fresh and young and tired and old!” say cosmetics companies

There was a spot of good news for beleaguered women recently, with even the usually-very-critical Daily Mail celebrating a win for the girls in the never-ending, media-fed competition of ‘which of the two main genders is best’:

Good news girls … we are FINALLY ageing better than men (but one in 10 women still worry that their partner will leave them for a younger model)

The age-old stereotype that men age better than women appears to be a thing of the past.

Researchers who carried out a detailed study into the perception of aging revealed women think they are aging better than men … and men agree.

The study found nearly two thirds of females said they were aging better than their partner, and 59 per cent of men said the same.

Source: Daily Mail, 23 January 2013

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Oh, finally, thank god! After all this time of waiting for the tables to turn, it’s finally, finally time for women to be the ones who age better. Take that, men! Because that’s how society ought to work – with the upperhand visciously see-sawing between genders. That’s how equality works, of course.

Still, see-saw it has, and now it’s the men who are old before their time, with women retaining that youthful effervescence for longer… but how much longer, exactly?

Men said they start to ‘look old’ at the grand old age of 44, whereas women said 46.

A full two years – or, as statisticians would likely label this, ‘noise’. What’s more, the story arose following an online opinion poll which asked people to choose which gender looks youngest longest – so an entirely subjective choice, based on very little.

Having not seen the questions asked in the survey, it’s impossible to comment on any bias present, although it’s not unreasonable to suspect there may be some… especially given the source of the study:

The study by anti-aging product Forever Youth Liberator by YSL also found two thirds of men said their wife or girlfriend looks better for their age out of the two them.

Yesterday a spokesperson for YSL said: ‘We wanted to discover the age at which men and women most widely consider to be the point of aging.

‘Women have always been much more aware of the aging process and as a result this may mean they are making provisions that men aren’t…

‘…perhaps women are taking action to fight the signs of aging.’

A survey funded by an anti-aging cream (conducted via OnePoll) discovers how great it is that women are using anti-aging products – congratulations to Daily Mail journalist Toni Jones for uncovering that particular gem. And by uncovering, I mean copying 71% of the original press release.

Still, at least it was good news for womankind – there hasn’t been a lot of that lately. In fact, on the very day before the YSL survey declared women to be aging wonderfully, another article in the Daily Mail (and The Sun) found quite the reverse:

Work stress and toll from weekend partying means women look their oldest at exactly 3.30pm on Wednesdays (while Thursday is the time for romance and Friday is fun day)

Women look their oldest at 3.30pm every Wednesday, a new study reveals.

This is when energy levels plummet, work stress is at a peak and the effects of any weekend late nights finally kick in.

The research shows one in ten women (12 per cent) find Wednesday the most stressful day in a typical week. 

But they reveal Thursday is the day they are most likely to have sex.

It gives them a youthful rosy glow which could contribute to why women feel so happy on a Friday – 60 per cent name it as their happiest day.

Source: Daily Mail, 22 January 2013

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This story – with an attention to detail regarding sex on days of the week not seen since Craig David was in the charts – clearly tells a different tale, with women looking tired, stressed and old. What kind of product would be behind such a negative, damaging story? Don’t they know what the anti-aging cream manufacturers YSL have discovered? Well…

The study, carried out by tanning brand, St Tropez to support the launch of their new anti-ageing products, revealed two thirds experience a ‘slump in energy levels’ mid-afternoon every Wednesday.

Nichola Joss, St. Tropez skin expert, said: ‘It’s fascinating that 3.30pm on a Wednesday is the time women look their oldest.

It’s fascinating, and yet wildly implausible, yes. 

Why would these two anti-aging product manufacturers disagree? Aren’t they working in the same industry – how could they possible come up with such totally contradictory findings, just one day apart?

And, more to the point, how could the Daily Mail publish these two entirely-opposing stories, on consecutive days? It’s as if the writing staff in their ‘Femail’ department don’t speak to each other. This whole contradictory mess could have been avoided, if only the author of the YSL piece – Toni Jones – had spoken to the author of the St Tropez piece… a certain Toni Jones.

Just to clear up any confusion: there is only one Toni Jones writing for the Daily Mail, and it appears she’s neither discerning nor subtle about whose press releases she publishes, or when.