Gwyneth Paltrow: What happens to your identity if you’re not ‘f–kable & beautiful’?

Gwyneth Paltrow stuns in a white dress as she leaves the Valentino 2020 Fashion show

Gwyneth Paltrow is 46 years old. Though I hate to give her credit for it, I halfway respect the way she’s owned her real age and the sometimes messy ageing process. I mean, she’s not really talking about down-and-dirty sh-t with ageing – which is fine, women aren’t required to do that – but she talks about ageing with a lot of positivity. She backs it up by not looking like a Real Housewife with a frozen AF face too, which I appreciate. I feel certain that Gwyneth has had little tweaks here and there, but she keeps her face and body mostly natural and I like seeing that. Anyway, as part of Goop’s The Beauty Closet podcast, Gwyneth spoke about what it’s like to be one of those women held up as “f–kable and beautiful” in her 20s, only to see that go away as she got older:

Gwyneth Paltrow has given a frank appraisal of the ageing process. Speaking on her Goop The Beauty Closet podcast on Wednesday, the actress confessed she felt typecast in her younger years, leading to feelings of losing her identity because she was no longer considered ‘f**kable and beautiful’ as time went on.

The 46-year-old Oscar-winner said: ‘I’ve been considered, not by everyone… It’s a weird thing to be, I don’t mean in a pejorative way objectified, but sort of cast as something and put in a box….And then I think when you come to age, if you have this broad identity as that, like, what does it mean? To get wrinkles and, like, get closer to menopause, and all these things…what happens to your identity as a woman if you’re not f–kable and beautiful?”

Gwyneth went on to say that she believes that internal beauty begins to shine more as the years go on.

“Luckily, what’s happening at the same time in parallel … is you just start to like yourself,” Gwyneth added. “I think you get to a point where it’s almost like your sort of pulchritude is waning in a way and your inner beauty is, like, really coming out, and so it’s this funny shift that’s happening.”

[From People & Just Jared]

Several years ago, I covered a Kristin Scott Thomas interview where she talked about what getting older meant to her in her daily life, and how she “feels invisible” at work and in life, and she said, “When you’re walking down the street, you get bumped into, people slam doors in your face – they just don’t notice you. Somehow, you just vanish. It’s a cliché, but men grow in gravitas as they get older, while women just disappear.” I always think about that, and how for beautiful women like KST or Gwyneth Paltrow – women who are always praised for their beauty, and put on “most beautiful” lists, etc – they all really have a moment where they’re no longer the hot young thing in town. I wonder if an ageing beautiful woman’s “invisible” is a normal woman’s daily life though? But Gwyneth’s question remains: “what happens to your identity as a woman if you’re not f–kable and beautiful?” Hopefully you have some personality and talent and drive and ambition to, you know, keep on existing in the world.

Gwyneth Paltrow steps out for Met Gala in gold

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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187 Responses to “Gwyneth Paltrow: What happens to your identity if you’re not ‘f–kable & beautiful’?”

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  1. astrid says:

    I’d hold up people like Helen Mirren. A woman can still be older and beautiful and not be ignored or overlooked. And she’s not the only one

    • Devon says:

      Great call astrid!

    • Brunswickstoval says:

      I’d wager the main reason Helen Mirren is not ignored or overlooked is because she is much more than her beauty (although it is great).

      • Mrs.Krabapple says:

        Yes , but Kristin Scott Thomas is just as good an actress as Helen Mirren. (Paltrow clearly got jobs based on looks and connections in the industry)

      • Tina says:

        I have seen both Helen Mirren and Kristin Scott Thomas on stage, and Mirren is a much better actor in my opinion.

    • KittenHeels says:

      I would imagine Helen Mirren would agree with KST though, that at some point men don’t drop what they’re doing to hold doors for you. You can be this enormously talented person, still absolutely rockin’ it, and men’s heads are instead turned by any 16 year old that walks by.

      • Kitten says:

        16?? O_O
        I hope not!

      • KittenHeels says:

        You don’t have to look hard to see it. Every hot day I walk around, there are very young teenage girls wearing shorts and short skirts (which is their right, I’m not criticizing that part) and fully grown adults men whipping their heads around. I’m certainly not the only one that notices it.

      • Kitten says:

        Gross. I’ll take your word for it but I personally don’t know any grown man who looks at a 16 year old as anything other than a child. Men who sexualize teenagers aren’t men who’s opinion I would ever care about anyway so I guess it’s win-win for me.

      • Kitten says:

        LOL ah ok I get what you’re saying. I would say any construction site fits the bill, for instance. Those dudes typically have zero shame.

      • Tushy says:

        @kitten, they can’t tell how old they are because children are masquerading as adults in a highly sexualized world.

        At 16 people thought I was in my 20’s. When I was in my late 20’s early 30’s I stopped wearing makeup and dressing for me and not to please others eyes I started getting mistaken for a child and carded.

        If you live in a world that has normalized sexualizing children they no longer look like children. Especially since most 16 year old girls have a fully formed adult body even if they were indeed children.

        The conversation shouldn’t be about men who can’t tell whos an adult anymore because most of us can’t. The larger conversation should be about the normalization of the sexualization of children.

        Even shopping for my second grader is hard at times because of how sexualized even very young childrens clothing has become.

      • Laurabb says:

        I am the mother to three daughters. The first time I noticed that men stared at my oldest daughter, she was 13. My middle daughter is 15 and very California beach girl beautiful with long blonde hair. It is crazy how much men just watch her. I often walk a few steps behind her and when a man whips his head around to look at her, I catch his eye and stare him down while shaking my head. It is pretty scary for a mom.

      • KittenHeels says:

        Laurabb, it’s so awful isn’t it? I remember the first time it happened to me, full-on sexualised cat-calling. I think I was 13 or 14? And it pretty much never stopped from there. I remember how uncomfortable my mother was, but we didn’t talk about it. People didn’t really talk about it, I think we all remember that. You just tacitly acknowledged well, this happens now.

        I like your tactic – my kids are a bit younger now but I’m already terrified.

        What disgusts me is the shamelessness. They know it’s a child. Even men that don’t shout, they stare, they ogle, and my god I’d be terrified to see their browser history.

      • Jaded says:

        I know…it’s a wonder they don’t all get whiplash from all the head-turning. It always made me horribly uncomfortable when I was a teen, in fact I was molested by a friend of my parents at 13 despite the fact that in those days (I’m 66) we didn’t dress in a sexually provocative manner. @Tushy is right – the sexualization of young women starts early when they can’t pretend to comprehend the effect it has on men. Very sad…I can’t imagine what you women with teenage girls must go through.

      • KittenHeels says:

        I’m so sorry to hear that Jaded. I hope you’re okay.

      • Amy says:

        Oh man, 16 is nothing. I got verbally assaulted for the first time when I was 13. And I’m watching men notice my niece who is the same age as well. A waiter full on flirted with her in front of me. It’s disgusting. (And we were both dressed age-appropriately, as if that is any reason NOT to be hit on.) Frankly, I’m also being much more frequently sexually harrassed now by younger and younger men, in more and more vulgar ways. I’m not sure this is the reason, but I guess it’s p0rn, which is also (according to NPR) why kids are having less s3x these days. It’s super creepy to have 14 year old boys ogling you when you’re 45 and dressed like a 65 year old.

      • Nahema says:

        Yes and if nobody knew who Helen Mirren was she would vanish into the background too. I wonder whether it’s even really a solvable problem. Men are called out now and cannot so easily get away with the behaviour they once did (although things are far from perfect still) but I really think that the way men are programmed means that they really cannot help but notice young ladies while ignoring older women. Healthy and fertile is just what catches their attention on a subconscious level

      • Cee says:

        I remember the first time a man looked at me *that way* – I was 13.
        Some men are very, very gross.

      • Nan says:

        I went to Paris with my niece who was a teen then and really looked it too – she didn’t even have any breasts to speak of yet. She was ogled and stared at by nearly every man on the street, no matter HOW old. I thought, OK, Paris, maybe European men are pigs? But when we got to the airport in NYC again – lo and behold – there were businessmen with white hair gawking at her. She was certainly very cute – a blue-eyed blonde with a big smile – but she literally looked about 13. Her mother and I were really grossed out.

      • Amelie says:

        Yeah once you start noticing how men are SO predictable when a pretty young thing walks by in a skirt/dress/shorts and they whip their heads around to follow her, you see it everywhere. And I’m not talking about just construction workers, I’m talking about businessmen in NYC out in the streets or in the suburbs waiting for the train/subway. It’s like they are programmed and can’t help themselves but I’ve noticed them doing it with even young girls who look barely legal. Pay attention and you can’t unsee it. It boggled my mind when I first noticed it a few years ago.

      • MC2 says:

        For many men, it IS the fact that girls are children that is appealing. This idea that a man doesn’t know a 16 y/o when they see one?! I’m not into gaslighting & giving these pedos passes. Yes, we have an issue sexualizing children in this society & we also have an issue with people who want to sexualize children *knowing full well that they are children*…we should discuss both & not normalize pedophiles. I was a late bloomer, thin, looked young for my age, didn’t wear make-up, was a tom boy & was hit on by men once I turned 11. They were not confused about my age & let’s not give them any passes.
        (One woman’s experience does not define all of our experiences but it is theirs & valid)

    • Seraphina says:

      On point Astrid.

    • nikki says:

      You can’t control other people’s reactions, and lots of men don’t “see” older women. All you can control is your own self esteem and personhood, and people like Helen Mirren who are fierce and strong in their personhood manage better to cope with the dismissiveness, invisibility, and even mockery older women face every day.

      • Amy says:

        And no wonder men lose our respect. I can’t respect a man who doesn’t see another human being.

      • It’sjustblanche says:

        If it helps, men my age (54) are petty much invisible to me too. They’re mostly all soft and feminine looking to be honest.

    • henry f acosta says:

      Women are beautiful at all ages. Paltrow shows she is just another shallow plastic women who thinks her looks are everything. They aren’t.

      • jennifer says:

        @henry, yes! paltrow sees herself and the world through very shallow glasses. i can’t relate to a thing she says.

    • Pixie says:

      I must say though, it is always very interesting to me that women can ALWAYS tell when a girl is under the age of 18. Yet, somehow men are always so confounded and unable to tell when a girl is underage.. Ultimately, young girls should be able to play around with make up and wear whatever they like without being sexualised, on account of the fact that they are children. There is something pretty sad and messed up about our culture and the skewed expectations for young women, vs young boys.

      • kwallio says:

        The men can tell, too. They just don’t care. I started getting groped on and catcalled at 11. I did not look grown, at all.

    • minx says:

      Honestly, I’m in my 60s and I’m relieved to be done with all that. I think I look fine, people tell me I look younger, but I’m more concerned about feeling good and healthy, keeping up my energy, getting around, more so than looking hot.

      • MrsOdie says:

        I’m 47 and honestly it’s HEAVEN to begin to be invisible to the lecherous world of men. Sadly, I have two daughters approaching their teens, so I will have many years of being reminded of the trauma of being involuntarily sexualized in every public space by men of all ages.

    • entine says:

      Helen Mirren is beautiful at any age. I’d say that not everybody, male or female are as lucky as she is. I’d say that even as she obviously got great genes, she also is rich and can get great skin and medical care,even if she is aging naturally.
      My jowls are coming with a vengeance, and they’ll look worse in my fairer skin than in my darker mom, so not everyone gets the gene lottery. I feel a little glum that my legs and thin skin are nothing to be proud of nowadays, and their looks went down in a matter of a few years. Hormones are a bitch. I can still manage, but for me, it takes time and money to improve my appearance. I never was one of the pretty ones, but I got way with things, nowadays, bleh, I look at women my age and I don’t look so beaten up,not going for f*** able,but having younger husband, I have to take care of things anyway.

      • MrsOdie says:

        Using Helen Mirren as an example actually makes Gwyneth’s point. The reason Helen is not invisible and irrelevant is because DESPITE her age, men still find her sexy enough to consider having sex with her. And that is how it is.

    • Snappyfish says:

      Helen Mirren is a great example. Class, Beauty & talent. As for Gwenyth, who has none of the aforementioned to fall back on, seems someone watched Akeelah and the Bee.

    • Snappyfish says:

      Helen Mirren is a great example. As for Gwyneth, seems someone watched Akeelah and the Bee.

  2. Brunswickstoval says:

    It really is time all magazines moved on from most beautiful lists (not even sure if they still have them).

    My favourite saying on this is that a person’s beauty is the least interesting thing about them. I hope it becomes the norm one day.

  3. KittenHeels says:

    But Gwyn was ONLY ever f*ckable (and only to some), whereas Kristin Scott Thomas is and was a beautiful elegant goddess.

    Also keep in mind tweaks and surgery are only acceptable to Goop if she’s had them too. Suddenly breast surgery was fine to her after kids because it was, in her words, restoring things to how they had been before. It’s a not-stop river of judgmental bullsh*t when she speaks.

    • Flying fish says:

      Thank you Kittenheels.

    • kerwood says:

      Anyone who remember her in that pink Ralph Lauren dress the night she won her Oscar knows that ‘how they were before’ wasn’t all that perky.

    • Granger says:

      I remember when KST was cast as Katherine in The English Patient, opposite Ralph Fiennes. She was 35 years old and had CHILDREN, god forbid. The powers that be were NOT happy — they wanted a pretty young thing in her early 20s. But Anthony Minghella pushed for KST because he wanted someone with maturity and strength, who could easily convince the audience of Katherine’s boldness and independence, and, at the same time, her confusion and torment.

      My point is, I don’t think KST has ever been thought of as “f*ckable” in the way Goop means. And I don’t think she’s ever defined herself in that way. She’s a great actress, a hard worker, and an intelligent person. She has much more going for her than someone who only strives to be f*ckable and beautiful.

  4. OriginalLala says:

    We (individuals and society) need to stop attaching so much of our identities and self worth to being “fuckable and beautiful”….

    • Tiny Martian says:

      Yes, thank you.

      We also need to stop defining aging and menopause as purely negative events. I’ve heard young women use “menopausal” as an insult to describe an older woman, and I just can’t get over how incredibly ignorant that is.

      We all age, it’s part of life. If we don’t treat older people with respect and dignity, then we can’t expect to receive respect when it’s our turn. We need to stop worshiping at the altar of ignorance and youth and recognize the wisdom of our elders.

      • Algernon says:

        I loved Kristin Scott Thomas’s scene in Fleabag where she talked about how great menopause is.

      • himmiefan says:

        I’ve seen it on here in some of the comment sections, people being judgmental when a woman is too old to have children. Like, when did baby making become our one and only reason for living, and when did aging become a character flaw?

    • nikki says:

      This is true, but most fairy tales feature a beautiful princess. Beauty pageants are starting to lean more on talent, but mostly it’s about beauty. Media and ads feature beautiful models. The reality is that women only had power through their beauty for a lot of human history, and now we really do need to fight for a sense of personhood and inner strength as we are raising young girls and teens. It takes an awful lot of effort to battle these cultural stereotypes even today.

    • KittenHeels says:

      Well it’s not like Gwynny can fall back on her intellect or charming personality.

    • Actual Denny Lsu says:

      Exactly. There’s more to life than sex.

  5. Prim says:

    You lose part of your “privilege” and that’s great as it was never real in the first place. If you build an identity on the external gaze, that’s no real identity at all, as its not internal self esteem. Old age demands emotional resilience and courage. Frankly the sooner a man or woman grows out of using their looks to get by in the world, the better off they’ll be.

    • adastraperaspera says:

      Well said, thank you.

    • Kitten says:

      This is so perfectly-stated.

      I’m torn between feeling empathy and understanding for the conundrum and shift that women experience as we age and also being SO sick of what is a vapid and superficial conversation to begin with.

      Mostly, I wish as women we could enjoy the freedom and peacefulness that comes with getting older and not being obsessed with male attention instead of mourning it as some sort of great personal loss. I understand it’s complicated, but it feels like a false choice to me.

      I’m 40 and I still feel really attractive. It’s possible.

      • BengalCat😻 says:

        I still feel really attractive at 46. I may not be able to rock a bikini like I did in my 20s, but there are other things I’ve grown to love about my appearance. My dad used to stand in the mirror and say “Bengal Sr., you are SO good looking!” He was being silly of course, but sometimes we have to be our own cheerleaders.

      • OriginalLala says:

        @BengalCat I’m sure you still rock a bikini! 🙂

      • Prim says:

        I can really understand you thinking it’s a vapid conversation. It does seem that way! I think that if a person has any attachment Issues from early childhood, they get triggered when overt sexual attention wanes. If a person had a secure attachment they can weather that identity storm, but if they have any attachment wounds they haven’t dealt with? Then the loss of the male/female gaze can be rough.

        It can be a time for reassessment and growth though, or a descent into a desperate attempt to hold onto youth. I should say that’s just my own take on attachment.

      • BengalCat😻 says:

        @OriginalLaLa, I assure you, I can’t but I’m working on it! And I’m sure you’re as beautiful as the rest of us Celebitches 😘

      • Monicack says:

        It’s really weird for me because I was a late bloomer. Completely overlookable until I was 27 and not smokin’ until around 35. Having been a certifiable geek until then it was both exhilarating and terrifying to suddenly be the fuckable one.

        I’m glad I got to experience that, not gonna lie, but it also kind of made no sense. I benefited greatly while also realizing I had absolutely nothing to do with it. It wasn’t “real”. Now at 45 I’m at the crossroads lol. I feel amazing and strong and valid, more so than I ever have while also realizing that the landscape is changing. It’s not depressing though, it’s interesting.

        The thing that angers me is the fact that it’s always about the male gaze. I get the most attention now from guys in their late 20s and their 30s. They try to milf me and feel I should be grateful for the compliment. It’s like men are just waiting with the damn label gun at every single life stage and they can’t see that maybe you are the one in charge of how you see and define yourself, using your own metrics and value system.

      • Digital Unicorn says:

        I’ll be 45 in a few weeks and while I need to lose weight (i need to be careful of type 2 diabetes) I feel better about myself now that I ever did through my teens, 20 and early 30s. I didn’t start feeling comfortable in my own skin till my late 30s.

        People who focus on their own and others appearance do so to not only project their own insecurity/vanity but to mask how shallow and empty headed they are. In my experience people like that are all ‘fur coat and no knickers’ as my mum would say. LOL

      • Mami says:

        Not to be a bummer, but the end of the 40s are bringing me some mourning for my youth, my beauty, and the sad recognition that some of the attention I got for being intelligent and witty and funny and kind was, in fact, the male gaze. I say we deal with other women with kindness. Aging, like childhood or motherhood or anything else, is both blessing and not easy.

  6. Elkie says:

    Well, I’ve never been either, yet somehow I muddle through.

    • Inchokate says:

      Ha! Same. To quote my dear Calamity Jane from DEADWOOD: “Aw, is that so? That is too bad! Join the f***ing club of most of us!”

  7. Naddie says:

    I don’t know, I think it’s more a famous people’s concern or people that have a career based solely on looks. I’m no beauty example and I’m not this invisible, ignored poor thing that an ugly or average woman is supposed to be. People still hold the door for me, apologize and say hi. I think if you’re anonymous and poor, you have to be really vain and shallow to have your identity messed up because you’re aging.

    • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

      I can understand what they’re talking about. I’m 62. A few years ago, when I did some dating sites, men my age would literally say to me, “You seem very *nice* (hate that word! lo), and you’re very pretty, but I’m looking for someone younger”; they were all pretty much looking at women 15 yrs younger than me (or more!). The men who DID message me were 15-20 yrs. OLDER (no thanks! lol). I think that’s what she’s talking about, this invisibility.

      The invisibility is, IMO, in our DNA; it’s “wired” in, in that men, regardless of age, look to the younger, “fertile” female, not the older ones.

      Eh… I’m with a great guy now who doesn’t care if I have a few wrinkles, or that parts of me have succumbed to gravity lol. More importantly, I DON”T CARE that these things have happened. I’m HERE: I survived cancer, I have a loving family, friends, enjoy my life and am still commenting here lol

      • L84Tea says:

        It reminds me of the monologue moment in the movie “Something’s Gotta Give” when Frances McDormand basically lays out what it’s like for middle aged women to Jack Nicholson, and how as they get older they get ignored for younger women, while simultaneously becoming more productive and interesting people, which then scares men off even more. It’s the best thing I’ve ever heard in a movie. at the 2:44 mark.

    • Van_Rijn says:

      Commented on wrong post!

  8. drea says:

    I hated that Kristin Scott Thomas interview when I first read it.
    I’m 45 (about to be 46). I’m not ignored, doors aren’t slammed in my face. Men still smile at me. People still notice me. Of course I’m not as “ogled” as I was in my 20s, thank god!
    Sometimes I think women are their own worst enemy when it comes to aging – they believe they will be tossed aside, so they look for/expect it. I never equated my self worth with how much attention I received from others, so it’s probably harder when you are an actress/model?
    I’m still attractive, I’m still smart, I’m still funny and I’m still kind.
    She is right, I do like myself more now and have more confidence than I ever have.
    Nobody would age if given the choice to stay young, but it’s not as terrifying as I thought it would be.

    • Kitten says:

      Your attitude is exactly what I was describing upthread.
      More of this please!!!

    • OriginalLala says:


    • Jenns says:

      Thank you. KST”s quote always bugged me. Also, I just saw her in Fleabag and she looks fantastic. So it’s a shame if she now believes she’s invisible.

      And if you are getting bumped into on the street and doors slammed in your face, then bump and slam the f**k back. Things aren’t going to change until you refuse to allow yourself to be treated this way just because you’re a woman who ages.

    • Slowsnow says:

      I saw KST in Paris around the time of this interview and I can tell you she is gorgeous. I also find this interview so stupid. I’m 43 and do not feel invisibe at all – but maybe I was never looking to be the f***able one even though I could to some extent. My experience has been that if you surround yourself with like-minded people who are interested in your spirit, your style, your smile, even only out of friendship you can be far more fulfilled than with creepy looks that see you as a banging wrapping paper.

  9. elimaeby says:

    This has been a (shameful) source of anxiety for me. I spent most of my 20s being told how gorgeous or sexy I was. I know, it’s a humble brag; I’m sorry, really!

    Now I’m in my early 30s and on cusp of becoming a mom for the first time, and I have had the thought more than once: “My last f**kable day is behind me. I’m a dorky mom now.”

    • Naddie says:

      In a lesser extend I’ve been through it too, (and without the sexual part) being white in a mixed race country (I honestly think some people can’t see the difference between being white and being really pretty) so at one moment I found myself missing compliments from people, but the irony is that I’ve never felt so good in my skin as in now, my early 30s. This kind of validation adds nothing to us, if anything makes someone an insecure entitled a**hole.

    • LinaB says:

      You’re not sorry, really.

      • elimaeby says:

        I really don’t want to sound like a head-up-my-own-ass narcissist like Goop, so I’m always sorry when I say something like that. I was very pretty in my twenties. My thirties brought a pregnancy that gave me bulldog jowls almost immediately. I look more like my Gran daily. LOL.

      • KittenHeels says:

        We demand women spend their time and money chasing “beauty” but demand they apologise or act self-deprecating when discussing it. I think that’s odd.

      • Amanduh says:

        Why *should* they be sorry for saying they’re attractive?
        Man, confidence really rubs people the wrong way…
        I was gorgeous in my 20s and I’m gorgeous now at 38 with my two kids in tow. Sorry not sorry 🤷🏼‍♀️

    • Emily says:

      I had a baby 3 months ago and my stomach really bugs me some days and others I think it looks damn good for being stretched like it was. I also think of JLO and like, moms can be hot.

    • Claire says:

      I feel you on this, I’ll be 32 this fall and the compliments aren’t exactly rolling in like they were in my 20s…I know we’re not only supposed to focus on looks, and I have so much more to offer than looks, but myself esteem has taken a bit of a hit as I age

    • MeghanNotMarkle says:

      I felt the same way when I had my first kid but now that I’m 36 I honestly couldn’t give a sh*t less what people think of my looks. My focus has turned to being kind, compassionate, and smart. I’m trying to instill those values in my kids so that they don’t base their values on their looks like I did. My mom was largely at fault for the way I felt about myself but I also had that male desire boost a lot when I was growing up. I thought that was all I needed to be happy and now I know better.

  10. Lightpurple says:

    Her mother Blythe Danner has always been and still is a gorgeous woman without doing a ton of stuff to her face. With those genes, she shouldn’t either.

  11. JanetDR says:

    I’m not sure that I have any marvelous to add here. I’m in my 60s and I’m more beautiful and as f**kable as ever ! Stop ripping people off Gwyn, you’ll feel better about yourself.

  12. lucy2 says:

    Ugh. This is why people need to stop placing so much value on external appearance, especially when it comes to women. Intelligence, compassion, ethics, character, humor, and passion are all SOOOOO much more important.

    • Amanduh says:

      Definitely…but in the same breath: have you ever noticed/checked out a person walking down the street because they look compassionate…?

      • Bettyrose says:

        Amanduh, that’s true, but when I notice someone on the street it’s usually because something about their body language, their demeanor, their style of dress appeals to me as someone whose company I’d enjoy, not just because they’re conventionally attractive.

        But as is often true for women (and emotionally intelligent men), f*ckabiility for me is more than just purely physical.

  13. LinaB says:

    Idk Gwyneth, there are plenty of us out there who have never been considered beautiful or f***able and yet we’re not having identity crises about it. Stfu.

    • Starkiller says:

      But when it IS your identity, or a significant part of it, it makes more sense and seems less silly. I certainly don’t know from experience (I freely admit that I’m ugly and have the body of a 10 year old boy), but I have close friends who were (and still are) truly beautiful, including several who were models. If you’re constantly told that you’re beautiful, if you earn a living based on your looks, it IS a large part of your identity, and when you lose a large part of your identity, it can easily lead to a crisis.

      • KittenHeels says:

        I won’t accept you saying that, even if you’re an internet stranger. You’re not ugly. Beauty might be shallow and surface, and you may not feel you’re beautiful, but “ugly” only comes from the inside. Are you kind? Helpful? Hopeful? Then you cannot be ugly.

      • (TheOG)@Jan90067 says:

        That’s beautifully said, KittenHeels! And so very, very true! 🤗

      • nikki says:

        I second KittenHeels here, Starkiller. Please reflect on what she says <3

    • Elle says:

      @kitten and TheOG – You are effectively dismissing the experience of other women. When other people consider you ugly, you endure extra hardships. I have been stopped on the street by strangers just so they can point me out to their friends and laugh. I’ve been spat on. My life isn’t a disaster. I am intelligent and kind, but I am not physically beautiful or pretty. Never have been, never will be. That’s okay. I think that’s LinaB’s point.

      • Amy Too says:

        And ugly doesn’t mean bad or evil, and most people who refer to themselves as ugly aren’t saying they’re bad people. Jumping in to say “no, you’re actually beautiful!” is similar to telling someone who identifies as fat that they’re not fat, or not “that fat,” or whatever else. It’s okay to be fat. It’s okay to be ugly. They are just descriptors of one’s physical appearance and are not moral judgements. Not everyone NEEDS to be pretty or beautiful. People who can honestly say “I’m ugly (or fat)” don’t need other people to jump in and tell them they’re not. Because when you try so hard to convince someone there not ugly or fat, it makes it seem like you believe being ugly or fat is a bad thing.

  14. duchess of hazard says:

    They say at 20 your face is what you’re born with, at forty your face is what you deserve. So I’m not bothered by that at all.

    But I wonder if this is a white woman thing though. In terms of say, on the accepted yardstick of beauty (white, pretty and thin) I was always on the outskirts (being of Afro descent) when it come to most people, so I just carried on as I did. Now that I’m in my 30s, I don’t really feel I’ve gotten markedly less attention than say in my 20s.

    So what Paltrow is saying to me, my reaction is, “Oh, okay, I can’t relate.”

    • Maples says:

      Being a woman of colour I know what you mean. My colour makes me unattractive, regardless of how beautiful or not I may be. Men never really gave me any attention because of my colour so I have no idea what most of the comments are talking about when they speak of all this attention they received for being considered beautiful. As for Paltrow, I personally never considered her attractive or beautiful at all, even when she was young, but I think society’s criteria for being beautiful is number one to be white or to have white like features. Other criteria is to be young, blonde and thin. It is interesting because, again, it doesn’t matter if you are actually beautiful or not as long as you have these attributes you will be considered beautiful. It is rather ridiculous when truly analyzed in depth.

      • charc says:

        brown woman here, couldn’t agree more. brown skin feels like a cloak of invisibility at times.

      • Truth Bomb says:

        Thank you! I am so glad all you non-White folks chimed in. I feel the same way! The definition is pretty/attractive/desirable is: young, thin and WHITE. I see average looking White girls and I know I’m better looking but they get WAY more head turns, and attention than I’ll ever know.

  15. SM says:

    What I found out is that when you past 20 ies, the men that approach you are easily scared of by the fact you had a baby come out of the place that interest them. I find it hilarious and a quick way to end a convo in a coffee shop.

  16. Faithmobile says:

    That feeling of loosing your identity as you age is real but necessary because what you lose wasn’t real to begin with. 40 has its problems but self esteem isn’t one them.

  17. AA says:

    As I’m now well into my 40s, I’m hearing this a lot from contemporaries. I don’t think I was ever “beautiful and f*ckable” but I think I was cute and fun, and still am! Honestly I don’t see a huge difference in how people treat me now. I think the issue is that when women are constantly told this (how beautiful and f-able they are), and then that gradually starts to stop, it’s like they can’t figure out how to “be” in a world where no one tells them that all the time. World’s tiniest violin? I’m glad I wasn’t those things, because it forced me to develop, I don’t know, a PERSONALITY, and relate to other people as human beings, not people who were there to tell me how great I was. Try explaining this concept to a young woman, though, and they don’t get it – especially the part about how beauty is fleeting but dumb/zero personality is forever. I don’t know, I guess it’s an age-old lesson, but I don’t like how G.P. acts like she “discovered” everything, including aging.

  18. smee says:

    In my 30s it “dawned” on me that ‘hey, I’m not one of the hottest women in the room anymore” and it forced me to realize that I couldn’t let my looks define me.
    It’s not easy – every message out there is SEXY IS EVERYTHING….

    Now I’ve reach the not effable stage where men no longer notice me…all I can do is stay healthy, be in shape and love myself, which works for me. Unfortunately, my husband has turned into a silver fox and still gets lots of attention 😐 Being an aging women is hard.

    • nikki says:

      The media really does push the message that sexy is EVERYTHING. It takes effort to own your own sexiness as you age, even if men don’t see you as sexy anymore. I’m in my 60’s, and my sexuality is still very important to me, sorry to dismay you younger gals! I don’t run around in clothes that are too revealing or youthful for me, but I feel my life force and joy, and it’s part of me no one else’s dismissiveness can take away.

    • pinetree13 says:

      I agree smee. Very mixed experiences in this thread. I am smart but my entire life did people praise me for being smart? Rarely. They praised me for my looks. And now my looks are fading fast and it is very, very hard to deal with. It’s difficult to talk about too because you don’t want to sound vain or shallow or lame. But at the same time when you’re used to getting attention and praise effortlessly, the sudden absence is really….depressing? I don’t know. It’s dumb. But I can’t help feeling sad about it. Everything is easier when you’re considered attractive. people are nicer, opportunities come easier. It can impact your life in a really positive way even though it is totally stupid.

      So yeah, maybe it was a dumb thing to value in the first place, but I can’t lie and say that I’m not depressed about losing it.

  19. Aang says:

    I’m 45 and still get cat called sometimes. Much less but it just happened a few days ago. It’s not fun. I like being noticed less for my looks. I feel more confident and like age and experience gives me more authority to speak my mind.

  20. Frida_K says:


    I think it’s all in the attitude.

    When I was a youthful love kitten just starting out in the world of relationships and attractions, I drew a certain attention and that continued throughout the more mature love cat years. Now I am a vintage love tigress and still phenomenal, if I do say so myself. The response is different but so am I, and that’s fine.

    I have no doubt that my venerable love dragon years will be just as thrilling and just as much different.

    I really don’t care what other people think of me and my so-called f*ckability. I care about what I think, and I think that I have a lot more going for me than just the spice shop.

    Attitude is everything, compañeras. Ever-y-thing.

    Cultivate it.

    • nikki says:

      Great attitude I agree with 100%!

    • Slowsnow says:

      You said it in a far more compelling way than I ever could. 👏🏼
      Especially this: “The response is different but so am I, and that’s fine.”
      I don’t want the kind of attention I had when I was younger.
      I am looking for far deeper apreciation of my sexiness.
      A guy hit on me the other day with a very clear proposal and I was super super shocked. We had a work meeting as soon as I arrived he started it. I realised he had looked me up online, liked what he saw and went for it. 20 years ago, silly me would have been flatered. Now I was just… annoyed. Especially because all I wanted was to work… But that’s another issue.

  21. Jb says:

    Isn’t this why we (should) teach young women that their worth isn’t solely based on their physical appearance? That it’s a part of what makes us, us (I don’t think lying to children that looks don’t matter isn’t a solution either) but that our personality, our intelligence, our talents, is what we bring to the table. It’s a bit scary because my nieces are still young and their mothers look up to people like The Kardashian’s and put so much emphasis on looks that I feel like this generation will be lacking personality but be photo-call ready until no one really wants to take their photo, then what??

    • nikki says:

      In the old movie “Our Town”, a young girl asks her mother if she’s pretty. The mom answers something like, “Pretty is as pretty does; it’s far more important what you are on the INSIDE.” and I was stunned, because today’s moms would reassure the girl she’s gorgeous, or take her to a plastic surgeon for fixing if not! It’s big business to “fix” females flaws, and the anti-aging business is booming. We really DO need to emphasize to girls (and women) every day that they are more than their looks!

      • gabrielle says:

        I remember the mom said “You’re pretty enough for all practical purposes.” aka getting married.

      • nikki says:

        Oops, thank you gabielle!! I just remembered she didn’t immediately reassure her, and I thought she was downplaying the importance of beauty. Didn’t realize she was saying her daughter was pretty enough to get married someday!

    • pinetree13 says:

      I don’t think you can escape society. My mom NEVER cared about appearances, didn’t wear makeup, didn’t compliment my looks….yet here I am getting down about my aging looks. It’s sad but no matter how you try to shelter your daughters….my whole life people treated me *better* cause of my looks. Now that they’re fading I’m not getting that treatment anymore. And it sucks. And it hurts. And it’s stupid. But my mom praising my work and not my looks did not protect me from it. How can it when the whole world elevates those for their faces (just look at who is popular on instragram) and dismisses the elderly. I do think society is shifting though. I love that it’s becoming a faux pas to body shame. I wish that it had been that way when I was a teen and half the girls were teased for being “too fat” and the other half were teased for being “too boyish and not curvy”.
      I guess what it really boils down to, until we break the patriarchy women will continue to get sent the message that their value is partly determined by the male gaze.

  22. Sue Denim says:

    I’ve actually been thinking about this a lot lately. In context too of all we’ve learned in recent years about too many men… And now it’s actually a relief to age out of that kind of attention, and the confusing messages — of wanting to be appealing, but too often at the expense of being all we really are, underplaying our strengths and talents, buying into the idea that we’re somehow not as worthy on so many levels in big ways and small… Kavanaugh was my snap out of it moment. Like if he can sit on the f-ing Supreme Court, I can say and do whatever I want…no gods or heroes there… Maybe other women are like this all along, but for me, I like the freedom to just be who I am, and not worry what others think. And I just reject the messages of ageism… It’s so liberating…the one good thing that’s come out of the whole mess of the past few years, having the scales fall from my eyes…

    • gabrielle says:

      Same. listen i’m 36 and a mom of two little ones. for me I love to exercise and made getting back into shape a priority. being told i’m still hot and people can’t believe I’ve had two kids feels like getting extra points.

      I wish I could be more confident with just my internals. I’ve been working on that.

      I know it shouldn’t feel so important. But your last fuckable day is not behind you. You’re still young.

      Congrats on the baby!

    • maryna says:

      Having lived through the soul and self disforming, crushing existence of being an “ugly duckling” from the age of 11 to 16, and then being transformed, suddenly, through only through others’ eyes as a swan, I became too absorbed, too often, by the vast, pale, accumulative reflections of my own self in the one way glass pane of the mirror. At 11, when I was mocked, teased, hit or ambushed with tiny fleets of paper planes and pens, the world around me was my jury, and they’d read my final verdict: I was ugly, To be ugly meant to be openly harmed and unwanted, to be ostracized in classrooms among teachers who smiled past and overlooked the name calling attacks by other students. So many awful, explicit names shouted and hurled at me, like multiple arrows that were easily aimed to impale the nearest target, me. To be ugly meant to be in ongoing, braced awareness of your trails of flaws, of which you had far too many of to hope to hide some. In 7th grade I was still flat chested and short, bow legged, and far too pale, like an ostrich that had spent its whole life and full body under sand. My eyes were round, overly large, like the stupid, most easily tricked and peripheral character’s face in a cartoon. These same eyes were also far too wide set, so other students crossed into my permeable field of vision to chant at me, “E.T., why don’t you go home?” Their voices overlapped, rose in midair twirling around me like a heavy pollen, then, like echoes, seemed amplified by all directions, both in separation and division, . At the house where I did have to go back, or the one where I returned myself each day, I was too ashamed to tell my mother or other siblings of my school plight, refusing to openly reveal to them, too, the collective disgust and scorn and hatred that had been transferred to myself from all the others. I too despised my own, visible body, which I could no more hide from view than a tortoise can remove or displace its battered looking shell, its whole life’s possessions and residence dragged every place it went,, from which there is neither transformation or escape.
      But I was not an entrapped tortoise, nearly crushed by the weight of my whole life: I would get out from under it, I’dchange. Becoming, at 15, what many people would call beautiful, I got followed by some of the same boys who used to trail me home just to taunt me that much longer. It was other people’s attention, men and women’s, that became my new reflection: If people eyed me with admiration or desire, even envy, I was safe, I flourished. Though my own reflection through a mirror would remain still in my blind spot, just an outline, or sometimes hardly visible at all, I was assured by multiple others that I was transfigured, I was lovely, I was loved. I’ll be honest: I fear that beauty was the most sacred of every personal possession I have ever had. It gave me–even if just partially–entrance to a world which I was coaxed to join, not hide in, a world to move about without fear, or shame of being seen. In the world where personal beauty half transformed me, the various features of other people’s hands and bodies all rise up and outspread, wishfully, and move to lure me to them, as if to free a single wallflower out of its wannest, most condensed corner of a room, the dark from where it is transferred, finally, out to the purest, brightest center of the floor.

  23. Lesanne says:

    If you build your self concept (brand-whatever) on your physical symmetry you are never going to be content. What truly gives people beauty is their ease inside themselves which shows in every gesture and in repose. If your fuckability at 46 is based on the admiring glances of strangers what are you? Why aren’t you out grabbing those fucks yourself instead of getting shallow titillation from oglers. I find my beauty in interesting conversations, ideas, new experiences etc. I am 60+ and have traveled all over the world on my own for months at a time. Worrying about your attractiveness does not open doors to deeper worlds.

  24. Tami says:

    My entire life I was the ugly sister, and to an extent, I still am. I was never beautiful or fuckable, and while some men still found me attractive, once I got over the self-pity, it was freeing and empowering to have to develop other parts of myself. I developed a wicked sense of humor and ability to connect with others, that has served me in my academic and professional pursuits. We are all on different paths, and I don’t judge someone who relied on her beauty to get ahead in life, just as I hope someone would not judge me on my lack of beauty. In the end, I think I was better off and I have accomplished more because of my unfortunate features, but I don’t begrudge someone who used their beauty to their advantage.

    • nikki says:

      I loved your post Tami! While I was actually pretty, I grew up feeling unattractive because my sister was a stunner. My dad actually introduced us once as “This is my pretty daughter, and this is the smart one!” (Not very enlightened, he probably thought he was complimenting us!)

      • Tami says:

        @nikki, I am sorry your father said that. How rude! My dad never said anything like that about me, but I was always the smart and funny one growing up. My sister was, and is quite beautiful, and she relied on her looks for a lot of things. She famously got a ride in the Goodyear blimp one time because she flashed the pilot. She was the “talk of the town” in San Diego during a Padres playoff season because she wore a bikini and painted her entire body dark blue for the games. Unfortunately, that’s a hard bar to reach as one gets older, and she found it hard to adjust when her looks inevitably began to fade. I have seen her struggle now that she has two teen boys, and her husband left her for a hotter, younger model. Life is hard for everyone, not in all the same ways, but we all have our “cross” to bear. In the long term, being smart is probably preferable, but how do you tell a 16 year old that when all she wants to be is attractive? I guess what I am trying to say is that beauty is a privilege, but it’s one with a time limit.

      • nikki says:

        Loved your response too, thanks!

    • april says:

      That’s exactly it! You stated it perfectly. I like a response that acknowledges both sides of the coin.

  25. Other Renee says:

    I bet she enjoyed working the word “pulchritude” into the conversation.

  26. Karen2 says:

    She can still take comfort from the fact she’ll always be Bruce & Blyths daughter. lol.

  27. Josie says:

    I think we seriously underestimate the amount of work necessary to maintain Gwenyth’s “barely tweaked” face.

    I’m at the end of my forties now, as are my friends, and not one of us has the smooth, full faces and crisp jawlines of the actresses our age — except for one friend in LA, who says that for white women, it takes monthly facials, 3 treatments annually of micro-Botox, twice annual laser treatments, and juviderm treatments specialized to your particular face, plus daily prescription retinonal, to come close to what Hollywood implies is natural. And if you got the wrong end of the stick genetically, you’ll need some kind of treatment to refill the area under your eyes on top of the juviderm.

    Total cost for my friend? $6-8K annually (its the laser treatments that run up the cost). Median household income in the USA? Something like $60K.

    Plus, the longer my friend does the Botox/fillers, the more she gets LA face. She’d tell you this herself — over time, even micro-dosing permanently alters the substructure of your skin.

    More power to the women who can afford this regime, but let’s not call it minor tweaks. It’s a major financial cost that never ends.

    • Hildog says:

      Amen!!! I love when people say that she is barely tweaked or aging naturally. The advances in fillers, laser work and other aesthetic procedures is amazing. I was at my doctor the other day and she said the field is advancing almost too fast for doctors to keep up. If you are a Gwenyth, however, you have the time, $ and a team working on keeping you looking fabulous and natural. She has an entire business dedicated to steaming vaginas and $3,000 facials.

  28. Bettyrose says:

    Just speaking from personal experience. I was never a hollywood sex object but I do know what it was to be frequently harrassed walking down the street. Personally, good riddance to that. And the other day, my hands were full and a young guy held the door open for me. Out of respect – not a desire to flirt. Loved it! There’s plenty of gravitas to be had as women if we own it.

  29. perplexed says:

    I wonder how the experience of a beautiful person of colour differs from a beautiful white person’s experience.

    I feel less depressed after reading an interview with J-Lo or Halle Berry than with Gwyneth Paltrow or Kristen Scott-Thomas. The former seem less pessimistic. I guess Gwyneth is being “honest” and “frank” but I also wonder if maybe they’re more used to people being more polite to them by virtue of their skin colour. Someone like Halle Berry is just as beautiful (or more so) but maybe she’s used to experiencing rejection from time to time so it’s not as shocking when it happens when she gets older. Whenever I read an interview with J-Lo, I don’t come away with the feeling of fear of what getting older might feel like. She just seems to get on with life and is herself (even if it’s annoying to some people).

    Considering Gwyneth has a bajillion dollar fortune which she’s convinced she’s built on her own with no connections of her own, two (in her mind) great kids, and a husband she likes to show off, I’m surprised she’s wondering what her identity could be without extreme beauty. She does have a lot of things outside of her external appearance, much more than a regular beautiful person working in a small town with no prospects.

    • ME says:

      As a WOC I have noticed that if you are a White blonde woman you are automatically considered more attractive. As a WOC you damn near have to be drop dead gorgeous for anyone to notice. Put darker skin on Emma Stone or Gwyneth Paltrow and tell me they’d still get the same attention.

      • Elle says:

        As a WOC, I have to stand up for confident men of color and confident women of color. They are out there and they recognize and appreciate WOC. Quite a few White folks do too.

      • Joanna says:

        I always used to think, why are so many damn women going blonde? Then I noticed men would say a blonde was really hot, when really, her features weren’t pretty imo. That was confusing to me. Then I realized it was the blonde hair. For some reason, they go crazy for blonde hair. So then I realized all these women are going blonde to be seen as more attractive to men. Then I realized, that’s their ideal of beauty. Esp higher income conservative men love thin blonde women with deep tans. That’s my experience anyway. I’m a fair skinned white woman and redneck men hit on me frequently. I’m like wth? Then I realized it’s cause I’m so white and that’s what they like about me. Messed up, isn’t it? Have you ever noticed how all the conservative women, well, for the most part, are blonde, thin and tan? It’s the Caucasian ideal of beauty for many. To me, they all look alike. I don’t want to be cookie cutter, I want to be unique. I hope you guys find someone to love you for you. You’re not worth less because you’re not white and blonde. It’s just some person’s opinion of what they consider attractive. And if they don’t consider you “good enough” for them, fuck them.

    • JustACommentor says:

      Long time reader, first comment. Just to add my perspective as a WOC. I am conventionally attractive, also quite tall with a petite frame. I completely empathize with the comments of readjusting self worth— even though I dislike myself for being so shallow. I constantly reprimand myself for these thoughts , but beauty is a currency and privilege that transcends race/colour. I am smart, kind, loving, and funny and know that should be top priority, however, literally stopping traffic, never paying for things (or deeply applied discounts),being praised for menial efforts and always being the center of attention has become the norm just for existing. When that disappears I can see it creating a existential crisis. To suddenly be normal and not catered to, I can liken to when a celebrities star begins to fade.

    • Maples says:

      As a woman of colour I can say that my experience has been that my colour has always made me unappealing and unattractive. I have learned that it doesn’t matter how ‘pretty’ or not a WOC actually is. Her colour is the flaw, at least in the eyes of most men. I can see from experience white women getting far more attention normally from men than a WOC. It always made me feel like a hideous, unlovable thing. Nobody wants to date you in high school and after that, when you go out into the world, the very few men that notice you are usually desperate and just wants sex. No man wants any sort of real, lasting relationship with you as a WOC and chances are you won’t get the opportunity to be married but if you do you will probably seriously settle for whatever you get. When you are a WOC you are always invisible, regardless of your age. Internal strength and beauty is all you ever really have.

      • Joanna says:

        Oh honey, I’m so sorry you’ve had those crappy experiences! There are good men out there and you will find one who loves you just as you are. I promise *hugs*

  30. Isa says:

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. What will people see when they no longer focus on my looks? I’m Certainly not classy like Mirren or KST.
    I think my self esteem is fine, but I just wonder if anyone else is going to care about the rest of me.

  31. Texas says:

    As someone pushing 60 who was both smart and pretty, I can tell you that in my youth, the only thing that ever got notice was the “hot” or “pretty” me. Now I feel that my mind gets the attention. I like that even though it is a real struggle to let the other go. I hope younger generation girls are able to lead with both. I love being a person rather than an object. However, it rankles when men in the office call me ma’am but joke around with my younger, cuter cohorts. It’s hard to be a woman! I have all of the confidence, education and success that I’ve worked for but cannot get away from the trivial matters of beauty and aging. I wish I didn’t care! My goal is to cut my hair to an inch long all over my head, never wear makeup, rarely if ever shave and to wear comfortable shoes and soft baggy clothes. And eat what I want when I want. This is a great look for some but not one I would rock easily. I say that but it will never happen! I have longish hair that takes forever to fix and costs a ton to maintain in color and cut, have professionally manicured nails and toes, fake tan (sometime), always wear makeup, wear lots of super cute jewelry and am usually impeccably and stylishly dressed (I spend a lot on clothes). Oh and I have lovely doc that “freshens” my face. I continually wage a losing battle with my weight and would love to lose 10 -20 pounds 🙄 It’s a lot and takes time and money. It’s constant and a pain in the ass. But I can’t let go of my identity based on my outside appearance!

    I know I have privilege and I’ve exaggerated a bit. I do schlub around the house quite a bit. But I think you get my point. It is about expectations.

  32. Andrea says:

    I grew up the ugly duckling in middle/high school. Braces, acne, along with wild, unruly, untameable curly hair made me unapproachable especially amongst the geeky boys who viewed me as really smart. Then I dyed my hair blonde and got a Meg Ryan haircut in 1999 for college, got on bc to control the acne, my teeth were finally straight, and I was never approached so much in my life! This carried on throughout my 20’s. Then, I hit my 30’s, moved to Toronto, and crickets. Men hardly ever glance at me, much less approach me. I find though when I am in the US or when I traveled to Ireland, men were all over me again. I am 38 and workout with a personal trainer two times a week, I have no wrinkles and everyone thinks I look 30 or 32 in age. I am not sure if it is the ME Too movement that is causing that up here or what, but I find myself starved for compliments lately, maybe because my last boyfriend didn’t know how to compliment much, so he rarely ever did. I don’t NEED compliments, but sometimes it is nice to know you are pretty—especially since I spent a greater portion of my childhood feeling ugly. I did, however, get two great compliments on my hair the other day: one guy on the subway told me my hair was f**ing amazing and a woman asked where I get my hair done at and said that it was friggin hot. I have red and pink hair now. Sometimes, it is just nice to know that you are a f**able individual to people still.

  33. DiegoInSF says:

    It’s funny how there’s a pressure to be beautiful and conform to the current aesthetic ideals but the moment you acknowledge it you’re full of yourself.
    I really try not to wrap my identity around my looks but it’s hard when you get approached daily to have people tell you how beautiful you are. It feels good, I’ll go as far to say that it’s addictive and I’m afraid how bad I’ll miss it when it’ll stop.
    Fortunately, I’m also really funny, charming and intelligent (modest too, ha!), so I have that to fall back on.

    • Catherine Page says:

      @DIEGOINSF, exactly! Women are told our entire lives that our worth is tied up in our ability to appeal to the male gaze. Yet if we acknowledge that we’ve internalized this message and have a hard time not finding sexual male attention validating, we’re told to “develop personality” or essentially that we’re vain and lack depth.

      It’s so odd to me when feminist poopoo women who discuss the role of conventional beauty in their daily lives while still acknowledging the role “beauty” plays in society.

    • Nahhhh says:

      Congrats on your good genetics 🙄

  34. Louisa says:

    I’m closing in on 50 and I was feeling fine about it. I knew I didn’t look 25 (or even 35) but I was still dressing the same, working out, taking care of my skin and felt I was looking good. Then recently I had to spend some time with a couple of 20 something year old women and I felt ancient! I hated myself for it, but couldn’t help comparing my face with the bags and wrinkles to theirs and it really hit me. I do look my age. I’m not normally vain, I’ve never had (or thought about having ) work done but it made me sad and I really can’t explain why.

    • Adrien says:

      Oh yeah, my mom is youthful looking (she’s Asian) but she does not want to have her picture taken with youngins. She’s an aesthetician and makeup artist, she takes care of her skin, no wrinkles, visible sagging and all yet she says her age shows when she stands next to a young person. She got depressed one time a 30 something model called her Auntie. The model doesn’t mean to insult her, she’s from Asia and probably wants to show respect to someone older not necessarily old, old person. Still got her sad and asked me about aesthetic procedures in our clinic.

  35. minx says:

    Goop thinks that using big words (pejorative, “pulchritude is waning”) makes her sound intelligent. She does this a lot, enough so that I think she’s trying to assure us that even though she’s a college dropout she’s smarter and better than everyone else.

    • KittenHeels says:

      Around the time Goop was started, and she turned into this person instead of just an actress, I remember an magazine interview where she was saying something about “You know, when my family and I are sitting round the dinner table…” and it was so hilarious to me because that’s not the way Americans instinctively speak, and you can just imagine her stopping the interview just to clarify “yes I say ‘ROUND THE DINNER TABLE, NOT AROUND LIKE SOME PLEB, please ensure you make that clear in the text”.

    • Hoot says:

      You are correct. She is trying to speak to women on an intimate level, yet she must throw in a handful of words so as to appear on a certain level of intellect. Gmafb. She is unbearable.

  36. LouLou says:

    Not being sexually harassed all the time is awesome. I am enjoying not being fuckable. I am also convinced that a little weight gain in menopause is what our bodies are supposed to be doing since it happens to almost all of us. It’s just our immature culture that thinks otherwise.

    • Hoot says:

      In my opinion, it’s not so much immaturity. I think it’s ignorance that rules when most men have no understanding of what happens to a woman’s body during the three stages of menopause. It’s rarely a subject that is spoken about freely (and I agree with your take).

  37. S says:

    Ah, when the tiniest loss of privlege feels like opression. Please hand me a the world’s smallest thimble so I can collect all the tears I’ll shed for a star that remains wealthy beyond belief, catered to and feted, but doesn’t look quite the same as she did at 21.

    Being beautiful really does change your perspective. You glide through life in a way you think is normal, but is actually exceedingly privileged. Beauty is one of life’s shortcuts, along with wealth and proximity to power.

    Of course, I know this from observation, not experience. I’m a 42-year-old mother of three; a Nobody from Nowheresville, who, 30 pounds and 20ish years ago, topped out at “cute” on my best day. But, working in a male dominated field, where I was often one of only two or three women around, I had a tiny glimpse of what the truly gorgeous must experience on a daily basis. I mean, sure, just like the brief brushes with wealth I’ve experienced, it didn’t suck.

    But, also, as I age, I think how exhausting it must be to presume that everyone is envious of you because of your looks and popularity (spoiler alert: we’re not) and I’ve reached the point where I wouldn’t trade places. Would I want to be me, only with smaller thighs and a bigger bank account? No question. But there’s also small comfort in not having to worry about losing something you never had.

    Would I want to be Gwyneth Paltrow? Ehhh, not really. I hate socializing, believe in science and generally like my life. I love my husband and kids and have zero desire to be in the spotlight. Sure, it’d probably be fun for day or three to live that life, but I think it’s a fallacy to imagine that that’s the end all, be all and what every woman really wants, deep down inside.

    It’s certainly not universally true, but I’ve found that with a lot of people possessed of lifelong privilege—be it money, beauty, fame or a combination of all three—there’s no there, there. They never had to develop the interpersonal and professional skills all of us average folks did to survive and succeed. Of course there are exceptions, but there’s a reason the phrase, “God doesn’t give with both hands,” is a Southern saying. There’s a good bit of truth to idea that people fabulously blessed in one or two aspects, often severely lack in others.

    • Slowsnow says:

      Yes, true, Incredibly beautiful people or conventionally pretty (blonde, straight hair, blue-eyed interchangebale women (in mysoginy’s perspective of course)) don’t always edit or filter what they say because they are so used to people paying attention to them. I have a friend who is like that, looks like a model, both parents are models and she just goes on and on and on and on to the point where my husband and I look at each other with a little smile. She is a very good person, a good friend but bless her, so boring sometimes. She’s used to people being completelly in awe with her and putting up with anything she feels like saying. Sometime beauty can get in the way of personal growth, I agree.

  38. Texas says:

    Andrea, I was an ugly duckling too. But always smart. No one paid me a bit of mind until I got conventionally pretty. It didn’t matter if I was smart. Only how I looked. It was discouraging.

    Truthfully, I love menopause. I’m hoping that I can go back to the kid I was before I tried to fit in.

  39. Jaded says:

    Interesting that Goop used the word “pulchritude” which means beauty that is overwhelming. So she’s pointing out, yet again, that she believes her looks are off-the-scale gorgeous and once those looks fade you become, in society’s harsh glare, unf*ckable. That word pulchritude just rubbed me the wrong way – she’s right that there’s a time when inner beauty becomes more important but it’s about being confident in yourself no matter what you look like. Have you seen the YouTube video “Last F*ckable Day” with Amy Schumer, Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Patricia Arquette? Here’s the link:

    These ladies take the total piss out of the notion that women suddenly become a piece of furniture at a certain age. I’m 66 and I’ve never felt “unf*ckable”, though I’m so past trying to cling to my youthful beauty, and actually willingly gave up men and dating for a decade. Didn’t miss men AT ALL. I was making the choice to step out of the dating pool and learn to love myself without having to rely on men to give me self-esteem. When Mr. Jaded came back into my life 5 years ago he certainly didn’t think I was “unf*ckable” and the rest as they say is history. But once again, Goop subtly made it all about her superior beauty. I’m sick of her lecturing us.

    • Hoot says:

      “…pulchritude is waning in a way and your inner beauty is, like, really coming out…”

      Oh Gwynnie, spare us your inflated sense of self. I might have taken her sentence seriously if she’d left out “like.” It’s as if she wants to appear intelligent, show us she knows words, then she squashes it with “like.” So Hollyweird and so GP.

      My son and his fiancée currently live in LA (I spent five years in SD and OC – moved before having kids), and the emphasis on physical beauty is inescapable whether you’re in the business or not. I can understand the mindset she’s describing, but its such a relief that I do not need to embrace it any longer.

  40. NYC_girl says:

    I just turned 50, let my gray hair grow in (I have a cool white streak on one side), and am a 5 year breast cancer survivor who didn’t do reconstruction. I have also been looking for a job after getting laid off 2 years ago. Thankfully my skin is great and I’ve kept my weight under control (but I am NOT skinny). Oh – and I’m single. And hate dating apps. Not for nothin’, but it ain’t easy. Things definitely change when you’re 50. I just try to be grateful for what I have, and that I’m healthy and alive.

  41. Adrien says:

    So now that you think of yourself as un-f-able it’s time to give up your wacky-ass, new age beauty regimen and give in to artificial cheese and drugstore products.
    I remember how a lot of young men in my former office went gaga over 50 year old Paulina Porizkova (she was still with Ric Ocasek at that time) when she came to visit her colleague. I only saw her for a few seconds but I remember she was damn sexy and gorgeous.

  42. My3cents says:

    I think its actually freeing and a lot more relaxing to feel like you are not constantly judged. It must be how men feel all the time.

  43. BANANIE says:

    I’m in my mid-twenties and have no clue if the attention/harassment is due to my looks or just my age in general.

    This is going to sound really messed up, but one time when I was feeling really down I asked my husband if I was still pretty (which I know is dumb.) His response? “Yes, but it doesn’t matter.” I honestly believe looks don’t matter to him as much as brains or a sense of humor.

    Want to know the really messed up thing? It made me UPSET. It made me feel like if he didn’t care if I were unattractive, maybe I just was unattractive. Instead of feeling lucky to be with a guy who isn’t shallow. What the hell???

  44. Nessi says:

    Being “fuckable” implies passiveness. An attitude/behaviour that women should have given up long ago.

  45. laura-j says:

    As someone who is closing in on 50 with average weight and no botox and unfortunately back in the dating pool, it’s tough. The guys my age want women 15-20 years younger so they can have “more kids” and in the swiping culture being a perfectly cute awesome 49 year old isn’t exactly prized.

    I could lose weight and needle up my face… but I’m kinda punk rock and want to age naturally.

    I was never a great beauty, but I totally see people ignoring me and how many times I’ve been run into by people without a “excuse me” is bizzare. The whole Eff em thing is easy to say, but at times it’s tough to really feel undesirable anymore.

    Just my .02.

  46. Ariel says:

    I’ve had a strangely reverse journey with aging… when I was younger, I had a super round face and mostly read as “quirky/cute,” NEVER hot and fuckable. I never got hit on, and rarely got cat called or gawked at. I felt pretty much invisible to straight dudes, unless I was wearing loud clothes, and even then the response from dudes was mostly confusion. I was too weird/loud for harassment or something?

    It wasn’t until I hit 40 that the baby fat in my face thinned out, and I started working out a lot, and then all of a sudden I was like “Wait, why are straight dudes acting so weird around me wtf is going on?” It took me a couple years (I’m slow) to realize that OH WAIT there were, like, LOOKING AT ME!? I was so totally unused to it that was pretty disorienting. I was like “Wait, is this what all my hot friends used to complain about in their 20s?!” I’m not sure if I’d say it was better than being ignored (it felt much safer to invisible to straight dudes!), but it’s definitely different.

    I guess I can see how, if you came of age used to that kind of attention, feeling like an eyeball magnet with people watch you when you walked down the street, it would feel super disorienting to NOT have that any more.

    MORAL OF THE STORY: aging is change, and change feels weird AF.

  47. Tee says:

    This is a great conversation. I am in my early forties and have always been very shy. I love it that I am unnoticeable, invisible. I never got a lot of attention, but when I did, I just wanted to dissapear.

    My mom on the other hand, got lots of attention, used it to her advantage and just loved it. She is now in her mid sixties, overweight due to health, has wrinkles and has gray hair. It is really hard on her to see all the men look at the young beautiful women and ignore her. It really hits her hard.

    I think either way, when you get used to something, it’s an adjustment when it changes.

  48. Actual Denny Lsu says:

    I don’t have much sympathy for people who traded on their looks while they could and then denounce the practice once their looks have faded.

  49. Ali says:

    I do wish I could tell my 30 year old self, and every in their 30s woman, that you are not even close to the hill yet, so don’t sell yourself short. Don’t waste those years. Don’t hide from the world, from having fun, from being sexual, behind kids and/or thinking of yourself as old. Seriously. Don’t.

  50. Amyday says:

    Our worth is inherent, and not dependent on who is paying attention to us…ladies, this is a truth 💓

  51. Meli-Cali says:

    once you lose these “abilities” as Gweneth,,,puts it ((immho,,,you’re free**,,,do what you want,,,wear what you want,,,,eat* what you want,,,ect..(((frankly,,,i am loving it))) hehe ((single is awesome)) <3

  52. babyboo says:

    To Gwyneths of the world – Feeling shallow for something the world of men imprints into your self worth? Go figure! Can’t relate. I am bisexual and have gone through a self evolution in my 30s – I have left behind the male gaze beauty prototype of 21 y old blond stick think girl. I have grown to love myself and put myself first. I am attracted to women and men of confidence, intellect, kindness and humour. I adore all ages, shapes, colors that ooze this sexappeal of soul. Go on hotties, conqueer the world ❤️

  53. SJR says:

    Goopy, you shallow, idiot.
    She irritates me no living end! Shut up.
    My god, does she have any intelligence at all?
    Look around you, you over privileged tool. This woman has led an unreal life of money, connections and yet spends her time constantly looking into a mirror.

    Damn woman, if I was a man I would have zero interest in bedding you.
    The men I know IRL, look for partners who have some smarts, humor, heart, agreeable personality, shared interests, etc.

    Yes men find physically beautiful women attractive, thats how the species continues, but Goopy is so full of herself…ick.

    Reading these comments about very young girls 13-17 years old being ogled by men, yes, I have seen it. Repeatedly.

    IRL, my friend sent me her family Xmas photo with her kids, the oldest daughter was about 13 with long waist length blonde hair, very blue eyes and a smile that made you want life to be kind to her. All colt-ish long legs, just a very pretty, obviously still young girl. Surrounded by the rest of the equally good looking mid-west farm kids. This completely innocent picture of her kids, on display at my house, caused my Brother to comment
    “Good grief, Amy (her Mom) should be holding a sign that says “WTF are YOU looking at? She is 13! Creep.” for the next couple years, that kid is gonna get so much crap from guys, she should be getting karate lessons. Years later now, she is a very beautiful woman, educated, and the last thing she wants attention for is how she looks. She will simply hard stare.

    • Hoot says:

      Great story. The karate lessons (seriously) are a great suggestion for mothers of young girls.

  54. Here In My Jammies says:

    I welcome invisibility because I never really enjoyed the male gaze. Too many manipulative men out their with an agenda that doesn’t include loving and respecting the woman on their arm because they’re too wrapped up in what they want from her before they ditch her and move on. Now in my forties I just push men away. I’m so done with the BS.

  55. FredsMother says:

    Being beautiful, sexually appealing rarely has anything to do with looks once you get to know the person. It’s why men leave models and why men cheat on their pretty wives with people thought of as conventionally unsexy, or even ugly.

    You can draw both men and women in with a pretty smile, a whispered word, a bold and vivacious laugh, a wave at the other driver at the stop light, a quirk of the lips, a lingering hand on a wrist, a pat on the shoulder, bite of your lips, a wink, an offer to share a piece of your chocolate.. That person doing all of that does not have to look like straw-hair Gwyneth or ant Hollywood actress for that to happen.

    People are too invested in the fakeness of social media and believing the photoshopped hype to remember what it takes to draw someone in, engage, really socialise in real life. Get out more and chat more with strangers, build your confidence… you’d be surprised at how many people—men and womfm – – – you attract.

    • Hoot says:

      A+++++ comment! I’m not invested in social media. It is so freeing. I listen to friends complain about things they’ve read on FB, Insta, and Twitter. I’ve tried telling them “get off,” but they can’t or won’t. So I just listen. I’d much rather DO things than be tied to my phone or a monitor (except for this site!). I avoid TV for the most part, hate the commercials. People must stop letting others tell them how they should feel, live, be…

  56. CatWomen says:

    My husband told me several times when I was younger I was a prize. I had men asking to photograph me (straight up just portraits no nudes). It meant nothing to me. I got better looking as I aged in my thirties I was drunk at a party and experienced looking in the mirror and seeing a beautiful creature but it didn’t register as me. I’m 64 and if I do makeup I’ll look 50. It’s meaningless if you ego is not healthy, beauty is not meant to last. Just as in nature flowers roses and annuals fade life plays tricks. It’s more about confidence. A less attractive women with confidence will ace a more attractive women lacking confidence every time,

    • Hoot says:

      You hit the nail on the head in your observation of nature. The whole purpose of appearing attractive is to mate, and beauty will naturally fade when fertility is gone. As humans we have it all screwed up.

  57. justwastingtime says:

    Goop is predictable. For every stage of her life, we get the gee wow, I have experienced x and now I must preach to you’ll about it. Snore baby. I am sure we will be treated to long ” I just discovered hot flashes info soon enough. The only way she could become interesting would be if she stopped and highlighted what truly interesting people are doing in the world.

  58. Crystal says:

    These comments really make me feel like shit because I’m 21 and ugly ass hell thanks to my PCOS hormonal acne. Since age 12, I was always bullied for my looks and never for my personality because looks are unfortunately the only thing society judges girls and women on. Even my own narcissistic mother would compare me to other girla from age 11-14 saying how ugly I was and now at age 53, she’s aging and looks absolutely horrible so I guess you could say she got her karma. Imagine being a teenager always being shy to interact with your fellow peers especially guya because they’re so hellbent on looka instead of personality, character, intelligence, and humour??? Guys would call me ugly EVERY day in class, p.e., electiveas, field trips, hell even a 14 year old called me ugly at 19 while I was volunteering. Now as a young adult it’s worse because society likes to paint this over-generalization about women in their 20s being sexy, desirable, attractive, getting asked out on dates, catcalls, attention and I’m invisible (I like it because I don’t get catcalled), I’ve never had a boyfriend, girls my age are obsessed with emulating the look/appearance of Instagram models and only wanting to go clubbing, drinking, dancing like Meg Thee Stallion, ans just dressing like escorts. Everything is all about looks, looks, sex appeal, and looks. I’m slim, 5’6, baby faced, have acne, and I look the EXACT same way I did since age 14. It literally looks like I’m a teenager starting her freshman year in high school because I look so young and not sexy, or attractive like a young woman should. To top it all off, I have an insanely jealous and competitive mother who all my life made me feel like my worth is only on my appearance and now that she’s aging, she wants to emphasize education now in her 50s because her looks have faded amd she can’t rely on being pretty forever anymore. I’ve never had a “prime” in my looks unless you’re talking about puberty because aa soon as I turned 11, I started to get bullied for my looks relentlessly. I’m not enjoying the perks od being young and beautiful because I’ve never been. My personality is what is beautiful but since guys and men of all ages solely care about looks, youth, fertility, and all this shallow superficial bullshit, I don’t mind being alone. At least I’ll be healthy on the inside.