With my 30th birthday a fading-fast memory as I hurtle towards 31, I recently had cause to reflect not for the first time on my good fortune at being born male, in the face of what messages the media has for women:
Women feel most beautiful at 29 when they are in love and less stressed
Four in 10 women believe their looks are at their peak the year before the big 3-0.
Almost six in 10 women polled said self-confidence at that age made them feel good.
Source: Mirror, 6th November 2013
The same story also, unsurprisingly and much more substantially, made the Daily Mail:
How 29 is the age when women feel most beautiful (good news for Katy Perry and Alexa Chung) – and it’s all down to surging confidence and falling in love
The rosy cheeks and fresh-faced looks of their teenage years might be gone but it seems that’s no impediment to beauty, after a survey found that women feel most beautiful at the age of 29.
Although the majority remain wrinkle-free and are yet to feel the effects of the middle age spread, confidence was pinpointed as the top reason for the finding followed by falling in love and enjoying a stable relationship.
Interestingly, more women said they felt confident without make-up (17 per cent) at the age of 29 than they did with a fully made-up face.
Source: Daily Mail, 5th November 2013
There we have it, then – for me, that’s a bullet dodged: I’m able to persist in the illusion that my looks are only improving as I age, because I’m male, and I therefore don’t have an entire industry founded upon my manufactured sense of insecurity:
But stress, tiredness and being in the presence of beautiful women made them feel less attractive in the St Ives skin care poll.
That’s St Ives, the beauty product company, so it’s easy to see why they might want women to worry about their looks after the age of 30.
Nicole Melmore, brand manager at St. Ives, said: ‘From age to occasions, our research shows that beauty really isn’t skin deep.
‘In fact, with more women stating that they feel more beautiful when they are at home without their make-up on (17 per cent) compared to when they’re wearing lots of make-up (seven per cent), it seems that feeling attractive isn’t just down to having a perfectly made up face.
‘We hope that women across the UK – of all ages – discover the little things that make them feel more attractive and have the confidence to embrace their natural beauty as a result.’
Nicole went on to add:
Just kidding! We paid a PR firm to come up with an article aimed at making women feel insecure about their age and looks, so really it’s pretty clear that we’re all about shifting product. Have you noticed how bad your crows feet are?!
At least, she would have done, had the world been a fair place.