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Sexy, Nude or Bikini Clad: Women in Their 40's and Beyond Prove Age Means NothingSocial Commentary by Tim King Salem-News.com
Twenty-somethings step aside, older is sexier and more can be better in 2009.
(SALEM, Ore.) - Goldie Hawn with her permanently girlish natural attributes, in my opinion, may be the Queen of Hollywood when it comes to defying age, and Dolly Parton still blows minds without a doubt, but women of the next generation, which happens to be my generation, are showing the world that fitness and health can keep age at bay for a long time.
First of all, let's establish that those of us who grew up in the shadow of the 60's are indeed a generation. I don't know what you ideally call it, and maybe it will never have a name. People born in the 60's are, up to I think 1965, deemed the last of the Baby Boomers; the generation that began after the G.I.'s came home from WWII.
Plenty of people born in the 60's associate themselves with Generation X, though I think that really accounts for people still in their 20's and 30's for the most part.
It often occurs to me that my wife, only twenty days younger than me, looks far younger than the calendar would have me believe. I swear, my memory of women in their 40's when I was a kid, was that they were way over on the other side of the hill.
Hair in 50's styles, horn rimmed glasses, some women of the 60's and 70's all too often had a style that seemed to come from somewhere back in the 40's.
Today I see women well into their 50's who look like they are in their 30's. I know women in their 40's who look like they are in their 20's. Maybe things aren't that different, but I suspect they actually are. Technology in terms of healthcare and medical care help, and there is so much more available than there used to be. Vitamins, healthy living and exercise are ingredients that keep a person youthful.
Just thinking young can make a person young. You don't have to be a Hollywood actress, but why not look at the example? They are the evidence that you can keep yourself looking great for a long time.
I think I am most moved by the incredible Valerie Bertinelli, whose bikini-clad splash back onto the TV screens and magazine covers in recent weeks at the age of 48, could not be any more impressive.
Of course most people who grew up in this unnamed generation did so with the boys from Pasadena, Van Halen.
One of the world's best rock guitarists in history, Eddie Van Halen, took her as his bride many years ago and today their son performs with his dad on a regular basis.
Eddie and Valerie are a thing of the past, and I'll bet he's one sorry rocker, but that's how life goes sometimes. Today the lucky guy is financial planner Tom Vitale, who has been in a relationship with Bertinelli since 2004.
I only saw her once, it was probably 1977, after a parade in Los Angeles. She was signing autographs and I guess I was bashful; I didn't have what it took to approach her and ask for what would have sure become a treasured autograph. Oh well, live and lose.
I'm not a star watcher but I knew over the years that Valerie Bertinelli didn't always have the figure that she did when she was such a regular fixture on television. I think she looked great even when she wasn't super fit, but what has happened with her recent weight loss is inspiring.
Apparently she and Eddie have both talked about how they cheated on each other and that kind of living probably didn't do a lot in the self esteem category.
I assume that period is well behind her today.
For those of us who grew up watching One Day at a Time, this actress' triumphant reentry into the camera's eye has been something to cheer and a reminder that today's version of "middle age" has really, seriously changed.
Another forty something actress who still looks utterly fantastic, is Justine Bateman. She is 43.
I'm sure everyone in my generation remembers her from the show, Family Ties, as well as many other roles in movies and TV shows.
Justine Bateman, as far as I can tell, was able to maintain her physique and good looks since being a teen actress.
Wikipedia states, "She played the role of superficial Mallory Keaton on the television sitcom Family Ties from 1982 to 1989. Mallory was presented as a vacuous airhead, which was fodder for jokes and teasing from her brother."
Along with Michael J. Fox, she was a fixture for years in a program that mixed great writing with quirky personality traits and ended up having something for everyone to look forward to.
While the approaches in her presentation vary, Justine Bateman is just as much of a knockout as she was years ago, with a refined air.
Her dark hair and her unique smile beam with the same beauty, and a personality that is now more developed, and more experienced.
Unlike other actresses of her generation, Bateman has endless abilities at achieving different looks. I personally think her original look still works very well, while the others are at minimum, very interesting.
While she said she would never do it, she finally relented and performed a nude scene in 2005 in the Showtime series Out of Order.
Mary Louise Parker
And just when it comes to nude scenes, we naturally find ourselves discussing the illustrious Mary Louise Parker, who is 44.
Does any actress have the ability to mix seductiveness with innocence the way she does?
Maybe I'm far off target, but I remember her portrayal of "Ruth" in Fried Green Tomatoes and I always associated her with Melanie in Gone with the Wind, that is until I saw her in a nude bathtub scene in the show Weeds and honestly, I was initially shocked.
In fact I was about two hours home from Iraq, where I covered the war for a few weeks over the summer, sitting in the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport using their Wi-Fi to watch the episode on my laptop.
I had no idea that the show even had nude scenes. I would be willing to bet that half the women half her age wish they looked half as good.
In addition to her role on Weeds, where she plays a mom and pot dealer named Nancy Botwin and Fried Green Tomatoes, she has appeared in the Drew Barrymore movie Boys on the Side, Proof, The West Wing, and Angels in America.
Unlike Bertinelli, Bateman and Foster, Mary Louise Parker is a relative latecomer in film, transitioning from Broadway around 1990.
She was an instant hit and it has been nowhere but up ever since.
At the age of 46, Jodie Foster is an example of a woman that absolutely dominates in everything she does, with looks and talents that seem infinitely adaptable to the roles she performs.
We all remember Jodie Foster from early childhood TV, she was once a captivating tomboy in The Courtship of Eddie's Father.
She was loved by millions as that cute little kid and then she evolved and grew into a young teen, starring in the movie Taxi about a teenage prostitute who is saved by a stranger who cares.
Like other movies she has performed in; this movie left a profound message and reached the public and educated them about the issue of child prostitution.
She later played a rape survivor in The Accused and showed in that role a particular sort of bravery that in turn, brought more awareness to sexual abuse.
While underscoring for Americans that essential understanding that a woman has a right to say no to sex and anything that takes place after that word has been spoken, this movie showed that rape is a crime that could land a person in prison for years.
It took a while it seemed, but Jodie Foster grew classier and classier and she eventually starred in a movie that at least for the time, defined her acting ability. Silence of the Lambs is nothing less than unforgettable.
Today Jodie Foster is elegant, beautiful and fit, and extremely sexy when she sets out to be. I think though that she fills the role of a serious actor far better than anything else.
Viewing Hollywood as an often criticized place and industry, Jodie Foster is proof of a constructive side of film making that leaves the public with a profound understanding about a huge social issue, and she did it more than once.
Her vitality may be the key; whatever the reason, it has been great watching her evolve over the years into an actress who commands so much respect.
These "over forty" women are true role models of our generation and a great example of the good people that Hollywood has given this nation over the years.
No Age Limits on Beauty
When I was with the FOX station in Las Vegas, I was sent to interview the crew of the movie Rat Pack during the premier. Several other stars were in the lineup and I had a chance to speak to almost all of them. The person who stands out in my mind is Angle Dickinson, who looked really, unexpectedly great.
I also met Marlo Thomas for an interview once in Las Vegas and while she wasn't particularly nice, she certainly looked fantastic under the lights for my camera. Her set had already been lit by her own people, and you would never have guessed at that time that she was actually born in 1937. I believe she is 71-years old.
The evidence is in and the heat is on when it comes to the appearance of women in their 40's and well beyond.
This isn't about vanity, most of the time at least, and in many cases it is about self esteem. It takes a lot of determination and work to bring about great personal change, but it is worth it. In some cases it isn't about being out of shape, but about getting a new look.
I hope this article can inspire women and above all, that it is motivating and helpful.
I happen to have the extreme fortune of being married to a woman who looks more beautiful today than when I first married her at the age of 24, or when I first saw her at the age of 18.
I'm sure Bonnie wouldn't appreciate me going on very much about our personal life, but I see her and shake my head in wonderment. I can't believe how her beauty grabs and affects me after 22 years of marriage.
I may be biased, but I am a broadcast news photographer and I really have an eye for timeless beauty. I swear, women in their mid-forties didn't look like this years ago (remember "Maude"?), but maybe I was just seeing them through a child's eyes and had no idea. Or, maybe things have indeed changed with time.
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