Now southern girls have a reputation for our good looks. When I was in college, the Phi Mu's from Auburn University were known as world class beauties. And if you can find pictures of them from the late seventies, early eighties you will see that their reputation was justified. My Daddy used to say that there were no women more beautiful than those chosen as the Magnolia Queen and her Court at Wake Forest College.
But maintaining this beauty is not easy, even if you are genetically blessed. Fun in the sun, adult beverages, and the unfortunate inevitability of aging take their toll. But we have a reputation to maintain and the secret is maintaining the beauty and making it look effortless - looking beautiful and making it look natural, not contrived. Some are better at this than others. Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, if you have no shame and enough money, anything is possible.
We have one lady in town who, even though she graduated from high school in 1947, she has not a wrinkle on her face. Her complexion is flawless. Now, mind you she relies on her household help to dress her, her husband to drive her, she has problems walking and hearing, but her hair, her jewelry, and her St John suits are always immaculate. She has her priorities straight. Starting when she was in her late thirties, she would take "little vacations" to Atlanta for a week or two every year and come back "refreshed".
I knew my youngest daughter was southern to the core when she would not even think about stepping out the house unless her hair was "done" and her make-up was flawless. If the house ever caught on fire and she was not ready to leave, I would know where to tell the firemen to look for her - in front of her vanity frantically putting on the final touches of eye liner.
My goal is not eternal youth, but to age "gently". I have found a light touch of make-up designed for the more mature lady, together with a decent hairstyle goes a long way. There is no point trying to look thirty years old when you are fifty. Just attempting to evade the reputation of "frumpiness" (as my youngest daughter constantly accuses me of) is a full-time job. And, as I have said before, we can always control our hair color (See Feb 3) . So when they say that fifty is the new thirty, there is hope.