Category: Aging

Anna Wintour and bare arms

I wrote recently about my “profound sadness” at reading about women our age wanting to hide their arms. I exaggerate, but it’s something I am very much interested in, if not obsessed with. Then yesterday, perusing some of the channels of social media that I do, I discovered this picture of Anna Wintour.


 And hallelujah sister, Anna Wintour does not feel bad about her arms!

I’ve been watching Anna Wintour’s arms now for awhile (see, it really is an obsession). I noticed years ago that she favors sleeveless dresses. Besides her ubiquitous sunglasses and snooty attitude, both of which I appreciate, she is often seen sitting in the front row of fashion shows in exquisitely cut, sleeveless Armani, Missoni, or Chanel frocks.

One can understand why she might like sleeveless dresses, she has very nice, toned arms. Apparently she’s an avid tennis player and still today you can see that underlying fitness. We all know that Wintour can afford to wear anything she wants.

Obviously though, at the age of 67 she still wants to wear sleeveless dresses. 

I’ve seen advertisements for creams that are supposed to fix the crepey skin of the upper arm, but I’ve never heard of any sort of cosmetic surgery for upper arms. If there was, I’m pretty sure Anna Wintour would know all about it and perhaps she would have it done. I like to think though, that just maybe she’d say to hell with it.

In any case, I find this picture of Wintour empowering, and I don’t even like that word.

Whether or not you can afford Chanel, if you can dress with style and feel good about yourself, don’t feel bad about your arms, bare them.



hiding, guaranteed invisibility


“How To Hide your Upper Arms” — the title of a post I read recently! It made me sad and then mad.

I’m not into maximum exposure at all times. Probably like many of you, I think that covering can be just as attractive as lots of skin, if not more so. For God’s sake though, hide my arms? When Nora Ephron said she felt bad about her neck, she didn’t say that meant forever after hiding her neck with turtlenecks, did she? 

The desire to hide what has changed so drastically over the years is understandable.



longer lives and fewer children


“Well into the twentieth century, people died not that long after their last child left home. (In 1900, the average US life expectancy was forty-seven.) Now, in an unprecedented shift, parents are likely to have twice as much time with their adult kids than they spent with them as children. Longer lives and fewer children are transforming the traditional “family tree” into what sociologists have dubbed the “beanpole family,” stretched vertically across time but with few members in each generation. Fewer siblings, aunts, and cousins, but related to more living generations. More shared history, more cross-generational relationships, exhausting and exhilarating.” 

From This Chair Rocks, by Ashton Applewhite



the male gaze


 “I had grown used to being invisible, had all but forgotten what feminists call ‘the male gaze,’ until accompanying my visiting granddaughters down New York City streets I became aware of the change in atmosphere. 


Men turned around to check them out. There were catcalls from construction sites. And the word ‘duenna’ suddenly popped to mind. That is what I was—the elderly chaperone, glaring and rushing my girls along; they all the while laughing (as those young Spanish maidens must have) at my futile efforts.


Do I miss being the recipient of a stranger’s sexual interest? Not at all.


Do I miss striding along without an ache or pain, in confidence that the physical self that was being contemplated could walk for miles on end without tiring. Yes, indeed.”


From The Lioness In Winter, by Ann Burack-Weiss

Photo: Tony Luciani.