Saturday, October 11, 2014

Gracefully Aging, Day 11: Charla Krupp's "How Not to Look Old"

Several years ago I was introduced to the book "How Not to Look Old," by Charla Krupp.

This from the New York Times:

"At a moment when many women of a certain age in the United States were debating whether to Botox or not to Botox, the book provided nonsurgical suggestions on how to avoid the appearance of senescence, often delivered as capital-lettered pronouncements like: “NOTHING AGES YOU LIKE ... YELLOW TEETH.”

"The book became a style manual intended for women of all stripes, whether they were sales clerks, homemakers, college professors or venture capitalists. “

""My book is hitting a nerve because I am giving not looking old a spin as if your life depended on it,' Ms. Krupp said in an interview with The Times in 2008.

Sadly, Charla Krupp died of breast cancer in 2012, at the age of 58. But her book remains as a guide to some very practical, nonsurgical ways to keep from aging yourself.

In the book, Charla's pretty opinionated about some of the wardrobe items she thinks we need to get rid of in our quest for a more youthful appearance, and I can't say I agree with her on every point...but here's the list:

Holiday sweaters with bells and appliqués (reindeers, teddy bears, bumblebees, pumpkins).
Granny necklaces that tell how many grandchildren you have.
Souvenir T-shirts.
T-shirts with meant-to-be funny sayings.
Acid-washed jeans.
Ripped jeans.
Shoulder pads.
Flannel shirts.
Muumuus. (**Does this really need to be stated?)
Photo handbags (the older you get, the more sophisticated your accessories should be).
Flesh-colored hose.
Penny loafers.
Oversize blazers.
Mommy robes.
Thin gold chain necklaces.
Elastic-waist pants.
Granny undies.
Baggy sweats.
Bearlike, full-length fur coats.
Short shorts.
Cargo pants.
Stockings with reinforced toes.
Three-piece suits with vests.
Again, I don't agree with her on everything, but it's worth thinking about, isn't it?  I do recommend the book, as Krupp goes into detail about why she's opposed to these things.


Interestingly, the book did invite a bit of controversy.  Again quoting the New York Times article:

."Some critics likened the premise to encouraging people to fight prejudice by hiding their ethnicity.

"Ms. Krupp argued, however, that in an era of ubiquitous cellphone cameras, Facebook photo albums and workplace downsizing, camouflaging one’s age was a professional necessity for women.

“'For our generation, looking younger isn’t just about vanity,'” Ms. Krupp wrote. “Looking good is about our personal and financial survival.”

What do you think? Should older women proactively try to appear younger, or should you give up and go with the flow at some point?  Let me know in my comments!

I'm participating in "31 Days: A Writing Challenge,"  in which I 'll be blogging on the subject of Gracefully Aging every day during the month of October.  Click the button below for more information and links to each post as they become available!

1 comment:

Lisa @ Life is Crazy Beautiful said...

I've been meaning to stop by for a visit, but this was my first opportunity. I'm in the camp of doing what you can within reason to stay healthy, vibrant, present a joyful countenance, but without going to extremes of cost, pain & reconstruction. I think wrinkles, gray hair, even a softer body can be beautiful. I know this crazy world discriminates, but I'm tired of the plastic, line-less people. I want to see faces that have expressed themselves. Our experience is our beauty and I don't think we should try to erase that.

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