Our culture doesn’t set much value on the beauty of older women. As a result of this many women as they age resist the work of time, dye their hair, take knives to their faces, in a ghastly, hopeless effort to keep looking young.
It’s madness, of course, because older women can be extremely beautiful, and not just beautiful the way an old faded photograph is beautiful, but beautiful the way an old wine can be beautiful — intoxicating, and arousing.
I once ran into Tanaquil Le Clercq at a party in New York in the 1980s. She had been a principal dancer at The New York City Ballet in the 1940s and 1950s, wife and muse of its founder George Balanchine. She was still stunningly beautiful. My friend Kevin Jarre was with me at the party and he leaned over to me and said, “Look at that woman, Lloyd. She makes me . . . tense.”
He meant that she aroused him as an erotic being. She was at the time about 60 and confined to a wheelchair.
Elizabeth Warren is ancient by modern standards — in other words, my age, 64 — but her volatile intellect and energetic idealism make her erotically alive, a desirable woman, while the exhausted cynicism of Hillary Clinton is reflected in the crumbling of her face, which is starting to look like the crumbled face of Jan Brewer, the mean-hearted governor of Arizona. These are not women you’d want to take home with you, even at 3am after a long night of drinking.
I just saw an interview with Sissy Spacek from 2012 and felt that she was far sexier at the age of 62 that she had ever been in her so-called prime.
Let’s be frank here — I’m not talking about the beauty of older women as an abstract value, I’m talking about fuckability. Our culture has a sick and perverse notion of what constitutes fuckability in a woman. Many older women, who grow bitter and cynical and desperate before their time, pass beyond fuckability. Tant pis. Others keep their fuckability alive. Our culture needs to be more alert to their erotic power.