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Sarah Jessica Parker Opens Up About The Problematic Beauty Standards of Aging

Fashion icon Sarah Jessica Parker has criticized the ageist nature of conversations that surround women’s beauty standards as they grow older, commenting on the unnecessary characterization of women as “brave” for embracing their gray hair and wrinkles. This hot topic was brought up in her “Sex and The City” reboot, “And Just Like That” by the character Charlotte, who criticized the character Miranda for refusing to dye her gray hair. SJP has pointed out how problematic it is that women are either congratulated for “aging gracefully” after feeling pressure to use products or undergo surgery to make them look younger, or they are applauded for having “courage” that they actually embrace the age they are without attempting to conform to the absurd beauty standards.

Double-standards between men and women within the public eye are heavily present in areas exceeding strictly beauty standards, but Parker has commented that the media never bats an eye when men begin to age, go gray, and develop wrinkles. In fact, aging in men is actually idealized in many instances such as the “silver fox” type, where men are considered even more attractive as they begin to go gray. For women, the “beauty standard” is set by women in their early to late 20s, while it is said that men “peak” in attractiveness at age 50, illustrating the astronomical difference between the sexes. 

Once women begin to reach middle adulthood, they are bombarded with products that advertise youthfulness and “combat aging,” demonstrating the subliminal ageist agendas within our society that seem to only target women. Sarah Jessica Parker, who is the face of RoC skincare, says that she values taking care of her skin in order to be her healthiest self, rather than to hide her wrinkles and signs of aging. SJP told Bustle magazine that “The person you want sitting next to you at a dinner party is really about a bunch of other things unrelated to their face or wrinkles or what they’re wearing,” but media outlets tend to focus on the changing appearances of women as they age more so than the person themselves. 

It may be a long time before we see any fundamental changes to female beauty standards in relation to aging, but it is important that influential women like Sarah Jessica Parker speak out about the double-standards of appearances as we strive to change society’s uber fixation on aging women. 

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