Fashion Quote: Tom Ford on Gisele and Ageing

gisele, tom ford, fashion quote, aging women, models

Gisele won’t be this hot forever.

Tom Ford’s recent comments in V MAN about Gisele and ageing have gotten a lot of criticism from media and bloggers.

“This sounds negative, but when you’re considered one of the most beautiful women in the world, it’s very, very hard when that starts to slip away. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when people react to you differently. And, Gisele, I hope you’re not reading this, because it’s going to sound so negative but I know through some of my best friends who are really famous actresses–I’m not going to mention their names–who were at one point considered to be among the most beautiful women in the world at different periods of time, and how hard it is for them emotionally. So I hope Gisele is prepared for that, because it’s so difficult.” (Tom Ford, from Fashionista.)

gisele, tom ford, fashion quote, aging women, models

Brigitte Bardot is often applauded for her decision not to have plastic surgery. But the media isn’t clamoring to do features on her, either.

While I’ll agree I’m not exactly sobbing for Gisele and the “tough times” ahead (her vast fortune will certainly make things easier), I do think he makes an excellent point, and I would not want to be in her position. When you are the best of something, you can only go downwards (remember those stories of chef’s committing suicide when they lose a Michelin star?) and when you are one of the most beautiful women in the world, well, you can only really get uglier from there. We’d all like to think that everyone will remember Gisele for being the babe that she is, but I doubt that will be the case.

Liz Taylor is a great example. Yes, we can look at old photos of her and think about what a stunner she was, but there’s no erasing the images of her in her last days, looking haggard and old. We openly applaud the older actresses and singers who have had no plastic surgery, but there’s no denying they are getting less (or less glamourous) work then their “corrected” counterparts. On the other hand, look at Demi Moore, some may think she looks great, but everyone thinks it is pretty weird that she dates guys the same age as her kids, her plastic face barely shows emotion, and the pressure has obviously gotten to her, in more ways than one.

gisele, tom ford, fashion quote, aging women, models

Liz Taylor didn’t age with my grace, only lots and lots of diamonds.

Of course for us normal women, this isn’t a huge concern. Most of us aren’t the most beautiful women in the world, so we don’t have to worry about losing that status. Many of us will probably be in partnerships with men roughly the same age as us, and therefore will hopefully not feel the pressure to look twenty at fifty. And most importantly, many of us are not in jobs where our looks are our main asset. (Let’s not get started on the fact that better looking people are more successful, that’s a debate for a whole other day.) Things are different for Gisele, and all the other models and celebrities who have at some point been “officially” considered “very beautiful,” because it is hard to stay at the top forever. And while people might say Tom Ford is all doom and gloom, the fact is, he is right. Personally, I’d rather be a decent-looking person that is spared the pressure of constantly looking good, and I am thrilled I won’t be making tabloid headlines when I get my first cellulite wrinkle. I’m one of the many guilty of pointing out Kate Moss’ cellulite (on a recent Louis Vuitton catwalk) but when you are a model, you are expected to look perfect, and it is very hard to get old. Isn’t being normal great?

P.S. It does suck that this is an issue that women have to deal with, more than men. But that too is an argument for another day…

Image sources: GiseleLiz Taylor young, Liz Taylor old, Brigitte Bardot young, and Brigitte Bardot old.

  • AllisonP

    Us “normal” women DO need to be prepared as well. My mom told me to be prepared what she wished someone had told her – at a certain age, prepare to become “invisible”. That is, people will stop considering whether you are beautiful or not…’re just old.

  • Jill

    There was a fairly recent article about Brigitte Bardot in Vanity Fair, which focused mainly on her efforts on behalf of animal rights and I believe the writer touched on the fact that she herself said fame and beauty did not bring her great, lasting happiness. I think it’s wonderful how she segued into a completely different life after her movie star career was over, has been doing something very meaningful to herself (and for animals!), and doesn’t seem to look back and feel bad that she is no longer young. Great post on an interesting topic.

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    Yes, a very good point. But I’d much rather be doing that privately, than having the whole world gawk at my wrinkles.

  • alexandrasuhnerisenberg

    That is great that she doesn’t look back, media isn’t as forgiving though. And she doesn’t strike me as the type who realized her beauty the way some of the starts did today. I read a recent quote about how her beauty wasn’t a big deal for her, she strikes me as quite grounded.

  • Helen

    Superficial beauty isn’t yours to keep and that goes for everyone.

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