If Keanu Reeves’s Date Can Embrace Looking Her Age, I Can Too

The actor’s rumored girlfriend Alexandra Grant is inspiring me to feel more comfortable with getting older.

Comments: 230

  1. She is taller than him! Disgusting.

  2. As much as Ms. Drucker says she is longing for a society that will accept her looking her age, it sounds like she is really wishing she will never age.

  3. @Madeline Conant: I think most of us would like to not age (both men and women). But we do age. And it beats the alternative.

  4. @Madeline Conant Yes, she was very upfront about that. The two go hand-in-hand. If society didn't care, then maybe women would stop caring, too. When I was young, I looked very young, but now that I've hit my thirties, I look about my age and yet people feel the need to insist I look younger. The reason? Because they think it would make me feel bad to look like a woman in her thirties. Society needs to stop telling women they decline a mere thirty years into their life.

  5. @CL If you're in your 30s, you are still young. Full disclosure: I just turned 50 and have no idea how it happened.

  6. So the appropriate age is 10 years younger? Are we really celebrating that because of so many men date a wider age gap? I am not even mentioning women older than their partners. "Heroes" come in strange ways. Maybe I missed the point and this refers to being OK to look your age because of an actor's choice of girlfriend. Even stranger.

  7. @Aurace Rengifo - As far as I can tell, "age appropriate" means "too old to be his daughter."

  8. Turn the issue around, and numeric age starts looking like a crude metric. Mr. Reeves looks 10 years younger than his date.

  9. What I see in the picture is two happy people sharing a precious moment together. Who cares how old they are, or how they look? Life is worth living for Love, Hope and Dogs (or cats, if you are a cat person). May Keanu and Alexandra share many more lovely moments together.

  10. So what? It’s character not age that makes a difference! Old wine is enjoyable.

  11. Good wine is enjoyable

  12. Corny but date people who make you happy. If older men want to date younger women, so be it, there are plenty of men in the sea who want to be happy and not have a trophy lady on their arm but a person who shares their life with them. Life is very short and Americas obsession with age is an obsession to make more money for our shareholders in the cosmetic business. Cosmetic surgery is a choice we dont have to be victims to the whims of others, stand up for ourselves and enjoy the ride. It is over far to soon for most of us.

  13. @Tony "there are plenty of men in the sea who want to be happy and not have a trophy lady on their arm but a person who shares their life with them" Clearly you haven't tried being a woman over 40 on an online dating site.

  14. @Nancy Fortunately I'm not, and would not want to be either a man or a woman on an online dating site. But I can understand your point.

  15. This is not the dating experience of every woman over 40. I’m days away from turning 50 and can’t manage the constant onslaught of “likes” that are being hurled my way online. Many lovely, sincere and respectful messages from men ages 40 to 60 who want to find an intelligent, active, enlivened woman to connect deeply with. My profile is authentic and intellectual. And, yes, I’m healthy and youthful but not hiding my age. The face of aging is changing. I wish people would stop making blanket statements about the decline and negative experiences of women over 40. For me, it is the best time of life ever!

  16. There are few things more humbling than ageing. Those who do not embrace it lose one of the great chances in life to gain wisdom through humility. They may talk about wanting it....talk, talk, talk.....and never get there.

  17. Women who are 25, look even younger and who are very cute or pretty can suddenly drop dead just like that. Long, long ago that person was my close friend and she did worry about growing older. My 2nd or 3rd thought after learning of her death, no more worries about growing old. That was taken care of. I still miss her.

  18. It’s going to take those of us of middle age—which I would exclude the op-Ed writer from, enjoy your youth by the way—not dyeing our hair, and not trying to live up to an unrealistic ideal, and maybe seeing more Jamie Lee Curtises out there, before society as a whole will allow women to be who they are, fully and completely. We are told from a young age that our value and worth is in our youth and sexuality, and this pernicious notion persists into our later years. Our fears about being seen as less than or being ignored as we age naturally make us vulnerable to being exploited by the beauty industry which is only trying to sell products and make money. Jennifer Lopez and those of her ilk aren’t doing regular women any favours; that’s not what a typical 50 year old mother of two looks like.

  19. @RM Agree with your comment in some ways, but what is wrong with older women making individual choices about their cosmetics and hair dye/no dye? I choose to dye my hair at age 70, do not like it grey. It is not white, it is salt-and-pepper, slow to change, sort of highlighted but overall gloomy. Same with cosmetics. If an individual likes makeup, wear it! I recently met two sisters in their late 70s at the doctor's office waiting room who were darling. Both dyed their hair, wore a lot of makeup and were very kind and gracious and took care of their mother to her death. They looked their age, as do I. I change the color of my hair all the time, sometimes to blue, green, pink and purple. Not to look young, because I don't look young, but to be creative. Lighten up ladies! Misogyny is not changed by dying one's hair and botox, it is changed by political activism and women empowering one another through all the generations and smashing antiquated stereotypes at all levels in the workplace, home and on the streets. The main issues with appearance are lack of grooming, good posture and fitness (and kindness). The rest is irrelevant detail. "For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others. For beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness. And for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone." -Audrey Hepburn

  20. @RM I completely agree. I am of an age where I have to choose: will I accept they grays and the wrinkles? I have decided that the money and time it will take to maintain the illusion that I am preternaturally youthful looking are simply not worth it to me. But I am also aware that in many circles, I am already starting to look "older than my age" simply because I have visible grey and un-botoxed wrinkles and all the similiarly aged women around me do not.

  21. @RM Helen Mirren is a better role model for graceful aging. No botox there.

  22. To pick up on just one theme: It is a fascinating tension to observe, Ms Drucker's need on the one hand to suppress all cognitive and emotive data which strongly suggest that physical appearance is a central player in female psychology an of vital importance to self-concept, while on the other clearly finding the reality that implies, personally unlivable. This seems to be the case for so many female feminists, that one wonders how they manage to sustain the contradiction without seeing it - or if they do see it, why they cannot admit it. It is a strange position to advocate for a kind of life one is not capable oneself, of living. One is inclined to think that there must be some self-deception, intellectual dishonesty, some kind of denial or extreme malleability operative. This has to be a somewhat uncomfortable position to be in, I would think, unless insight is entirely absent. Ideological commitments come with a price, etc.

  23. @Econ: "Ms Drucker's need on the one hand to suppress all cognitive and emotive data which strongly suggest that physical appearance is a central player in female psychology; Me thinks that it's a central player in female psychology because it's central to male psychology. If you're a woman you're going to feel the social and cultural implications of how your attractiveness is implicated in all aspects of life--because we're still largely framed through the male gaze regardless of whether we individually identify as feminist or not.

  24. @Anne Close but no cigar. Physical appearance is a central player in human psychology, and in most animal psychology too. Males and females are genetically programmed to want to be seen as someone the opposite sex wants to have sex with. The reason is survival of the species. Saying "younger women are more attractive than older women" reflects our genes saying "younger women are more likely to be able to have healthy babies than older women." You can't really say our genes are wrong, because those genes survived and the other genes died off. All that said, I admire people who want to rise above our genetic programming (which is another way of saying "the unexamined life is not worth living"). I like women with gray hair, who dress in shirts and pants, and who wear minimal makeup and jewelry. I remember how Sissy Spacek's look at one of the Academy Awards put all those overdone starlets to shame. They might be eye-candy, but I wouldn't want to date them.

  25. @Anne: For most females in my life experience are much more concerned how other females perceive them than males.

  26. Closing in on 65, I may regret my decision a decade or two ago to age as is, rather than become an old woman who’s spent a fortune on “improving” her appearance. No one is fooled - do I want to appear old as I am or dress my age up with all that’s being marketed to me every day. For now, I’m aging in place so to speak, even reverting to natural hair (there is some frizz - what horror!) but I am comfortable with my values. And sometimes finding what’s really valuable doesn’t come until much later in life.

  27. @Lauren So well said. Becoming comfortable in our skin is worth the wait.

  28. @Lauren My daughter followed her Mother and turned silver in her early thirties. We both are wearing it as is. One of my son's college roommates told me he liked the silver color I dyed my hair. I said "thanks sweetpea". About 2 years ago, I went very short. If I got my pixie cut at my long time hair dresser, I paid 45 dollars plus tip. I go to the local barber and pay 20 dollars including the 5 dollar tip I always give. Same haircut. I figured who would be more experienced cutting short hair...a barber who's majority customer are men with short hair. No appointment. No fuss. In and out in 15 minutes. No bed head. No long hair drying. I sometimes miss my long hair but not enough to take on the expense and hassle.

  29. @Lauren -- Too bad we can't be born old and wise, and get younger with time.

  30. Shopping for a plastic surgeon at 30 seems a bit extreme and yet the author says she hopes the world will accept wrinkles and gray hair? A significant sign of her youth is that she erroneously thinks women in their mid-40s can only look youthful if they have enough money to afford trainers and cosmetic procedures. Genes help but so does a gym.

  31. The New York Times opinion pieces lately have me feeling as though I'm back to reading seventh grade essays. Only they're not as thoughtful. Hey, kids, I miss you. Your writing always gave me a lift and hope for the world. The writers for the Times -- not so much.

  32. This is the most bizarre thing I have ever read in this paper. I am 65 years old. 18 months ago I lost my wife to cancer, She was 60 and more beautiful than when we first met 38 years before. Ms. Grant and Mr. Reeves look happy in the photo. I am happy for them, and for anyone else who finds a satisfying love relationship.

  33. @David Finston Your comment is very thoughtful and kind. I’m so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you and your had a wonderful marriage. Best wishes to you.

  34. @David Finston I am sorry for your loss. May you find peace in the days ahead.

  35. @David Finston They do look happy and that makes me happy for them as well. I wish them the best. I wish you the best as well. I'm sorry for your loss.

  36. Date, marry, love who you want (as long as it's legal). It's one of the benefits of being an adult. As Richard Pryor once said in response to someone asking him why he dated white women, his response was "Yeah, why should I be happy?" We do want others' happiness. Don't we?

  37. @A. jubatus Hmmm. Not sure about that response. I guess it’s a joke.

  38. She's 10 years younger - and that means she is "his age?" Seriously? Try Macron and his wife for context.

  39. @mona as opposed to rich men dating women who could be their daughters....yes, she is close enough to his age.

  40. If brilliantly successful men didn't fall in love with beautiful younger women, some of you people would have no one to judge in order to feel good about yourselves, so be thankful for small mercies.

  41. Why is it that a woman who goes out with an older man is taken to have no agency in their relationship? Why is she the passive object of an 'age-inappropriate' choice made by a 'bad' man? Maybe people choose each-other for reasons other than age? Maybe (stick with me here) Keanu's date chose him, and he just feels lucky that she did? Ali Drucker worries about lines on her face, but it is her derision for age-different relationships that is so unattractive.

  42. @James There often is a power imbalance in a relationship with an older man and a much younger woman. The man usually has more wealth, power, and often education.

  43. @Lifelong Reader Thanks for your reply. I think that a younger woman has more of the currency of this realm, which is beauty, and she can more easily find someone else if the person she has chosen doesn't satisfy her. I think that it is simply mistaken to think that we will be better recognised as an equal by someone of the same or similar age. Having a partner with many like properties (age, income, education) does not make it more likely that they will be the like-minded person we have been longing for.

  44. The writer is in her 30’s and comparison shopping for botox!!! I proudly wear my hair long, grey and shiny! The alternative to aging is death. We are all going to age, hopefully, so why waste time and money trying to deny where we are in life??

  45. @Deborah Some of us suffer from ageism in the job market and we need work. We don't have the luxury of ignoring prejudice.

  46. You know, it's interesting that people are so quick to condemn Leonardo DiCaprio for having consensual relationships with women over the age of 18 without stopping to consider this: maybe, just maybe, those women also WANT to be with Leonardo DiCaprio? Just food for thought.

  47. @PubliusMaximus : Yes and the fact that he's rich and famous has NOTHING to do with it!

  48. I suspect that dating younger women has less to do with silver hair and wrinkles than with a feeling of control and confirmation that “you still got it.” Of course, it’s rare to see a young, beautiful woman on the arm of an undereducated, underperforming and unsuccessful older ogre.

  49. @Angelica: The awful biological and scientific fact is that men prefer women at peak fertility, i.e., ages 16-25. And young women gravitate to men of power, wealth and fame. Good looks don’t hurt, either. The expression “age appropriate” was invented by women who can’t compete in the mating marketplace and failed to find a mate during their peak years of fertility.

  50. @Angelica Youthful looks are a part of it as well.

  51. This op-ed piece is hilarious. How many women in their 20s look as good as Ms. Grant does now at 46? She's gorgeous! I'd be more impressed with an op-ed telling me its ok that I don't look like Matt Damon. Did I say this op-ed is hilarious?

  52. Generally speaking, women desire men who are attractive and wealthy, men desire women who are attractive and young. If you think about the biological determinants of this axiom it has everything to do with increasing the fitness of potential offspring. Women desire wealthy men because it ensures they will have access to as many resources as possible to help raise their children. Men instinctual desire young women because oogenesis occurs in utero and DNA does indeed have a half life. Non-wealthy males can commiserate with the thesis of this article.

  53. @C. M. Jones While women's fertility drops sharply at a certain age, the genetic material has already been copied. In contrast, men who are producing sperm throughout life begin to produce sperm with lots of copy errors and mutations as they age, starting in the 30's. This results in children more likely to be autistic or have serious mental disorders like schizophrenia. I'm not saying that your biological explanation is false, but society has a role in generating the double standard. Throughout history and pop culture access to young women is seen as a reward for hardworking men. Men have not been similarly objectified.

  54. @C. M. Jones it is almost always men who raise the biology flag to make the points about who gets what and why. It conveniently falls to the perfect reasoning why (white) alpha male patriarchy does "naturally" continue to dominate. In the environment many other things are happening. Most women have been smothered and punched into their so-called biology. Testosterone may not be the best solution for our future survival. If the source of power reverses, fitness may need a new definition. Environment here we come.

  55. @E B ps- the idea that only men can provide the wealth to raise a family is very much a sexist cultural construct. Nearly half of households with children have a mother that earns more of the income.

  56. Obviously this woman doesn't care about aging. In fact to me she probably doesn't care what others think of her grey hair or wrinkles. Here she is holding hands with her date, with that absolutely beautiful smile. How liberating!

  57. @Martha White, you have made the most prescient point, which was missed, I think, by the author. So much of beauty or handsomeness is about confidence in one's self. Show me a person who is comfortable in her or his skin, and I'll show you an attractive person. It is indeed more than skin deep.

  58. Looking at the picture shown it seems like the only characteristic that gives her the appearance of being "her age" is her grey hair. Her eyes, smile and complexion look very vibrant and beautiful. As someone who started to go grey in my teens, it's depressing to know that I too look like I could be Keanu's date by Drucker's standards, although I am of age to be DiCaprio's instead. I can't help but think this kind of obsessive writing only further extends our hypercritical judgement of others. How about we all lighten up and focus on being better people inside instead?

  59. @Elizabeth Very well said.

  60. @Elizabeth She's full of Botox. Look at her forehead, it doesn't move.

  61. Beauty has no age. I once encounter Helen Mirren on the streets of NYC and at that time she was in her 50s. I was struck dumb by how beautiful she was and didn't think twice about her age. Ms Grant is also quite lovely, so I'm not sure what all the fuss is about, unless it has to do with the fact that she doesn't necessarily fit into the Hollywood archetype of "beauty" which tends to model itself on blandness and sameness.

  62. @Bookpuppy I agree. I grew up in Los Angeles then moved to NYC. All of my women friends who stayed in Los Angeles got cosmetic surgery (starting with nose and breast surgeries, when young, then moving on to procedures meant to make them look more youthful, after about age 40). None of my NYC friends have had any. I think it's a Los Angeles thing, and it does seem like they are all trying to look the same. What I find most interesting though is the way few people there seem horrified (as my NY friends and I are) by the results of bad cosmetic procedures. Every year, we see it when we watch the Academy Awards - the faces that now appear almost cartoon-like, and not in a good way.

  63. @Jennifer Recently I visited an ailing relative in Newport Beach, Orange County. There was something visually unsettling about the local population, and my travel companion nailed it: all the women over a "certain age" had the same face. It was a cosmetic Stepford Wives moment. I'll never forget it.

  64. It seems to me that our cultural obsession with looking younger than our years is, again, only our natural fear and denial of our mortality. Andrew Marvell wrote: "But at my back I always hear/time's winged chariot hurrying near/and yonder all before us lie/deserts of vast eternity." He also had his prescription, which matches what we still do today: "Thus, though we cannot make our sun/stand still, yet we will make him run." And that was written in the 1650s. Perhaps the old adage is true: there is nothing new under the sun.

  65. Interesting. A few weeks ago, you had an amazing pair of articles about Patti Smith and Kim Gordon. Both have always been amazingly cool, and are graying, both are still the essence of punk: they don’t give a care as to what You Think of Them. They are who they are. And always will be. Somehow, the issue of their looks always comes into the articles, no matter who writes them. I am now 50 years old, I’ve decided that dyeing the hair takes waaaay too much time and money. Mother Nature has told me that, at 50, I’m supposed to be graying (silvering, really). Dyeing makes it look unnatural and like I’m trying too hard. So many women tell me everyday that I’m “brave” for making this choice, which I find very telling and quite sad. Acceptance of oneself is the most sexy and freeing thing one could possibly do: it frees you from societal pressures to be a certain way. I’m too old to care, and too young to waste my time. How punk is that?! As to Keanu and his gorgeous lady friend: he damn well deserves happiness! Quite possibly he has decided that he needs to have someone his age, so they can talk about mutual interests. I love him all the more for being a real, always cool man.

  66. @Suzanne I'm 67 and also have had women tell me that I'm brave for not dying my gray hair. But I've gotten lots of real compliments on my hair from men!

  67. @Suzanne I agree-too much time and money to dye hair. My role models for aging are Patti Smith and Georgia O'Keeffe. Priorities change with age. I plan on using your wonderful turn of words: "I’m too old to care, and too young to waste my time" Just perfect!

  68. Everything is easier and better if you have good genes.

  69. I'm 79. When I look in the mirror I'm shocked at the wrinkles because I don't feel that old. Fortunately I'm too cheap to spend the money on cosmetic surgery and any way its risky. I'd much rather spend it on a photography workshop in an interesting place or just travel. Sometimes I'm not the oldest! And no one believes my husband is 91. We did give up skiing 5 years ago, but do still travel regularly.

  70. @Susan in NH Didn't your husband marry a woman 12 years younger? This revelation defeats the whole point of this article.

  71. Oh! Come to Waterville! Great photography. And the Irish Don’t obsess on age..... Susan Expat (Photographer) in Waterville.

  72. Great piece. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Ms. Drucker. To everything you mentioned I would like to add - the environmental cost of the beauty and cosmetics industry, the toxicity of its products to those who make and use them, in salons and at home. And, plastic surgery when people all over the planet are in need of quality health care? We know that plastic is toxic. No make up. No perfume. No nail polish or hair coloring or hair products are a small step toward healing Planet Earth.

  73. @dark brown ink "No make up. No perfume. No nail polish or hair coloring or hair products" .... No thanks!

  74. Interesting that there was no mention of the women choosing to date men older than themselves. After all Leonardo DiCaprio and others aren't forcing these younger women to go out with them. Could it be that that both parties are making mutually satisfying choices in their dates? Or don't women think that younger women are mature enough to make these choices.

  75. Interesting perspective. A few thoughts . . . She is ten years younger than he is; not exactly close in age. She looks terrific with her grey hair; kudos to her for not changing it. Unfortunately, somewhere around 50 , women become invisible to men as prospective romantic partners. Most men over 50 won't consider dating someone close in age. Most of the over-60 men that I know prefer women in their 40s (yikes!) or 50s. One actually told me that he won't date women in their 60s because they look old. I'm 62 and don't love being invisible, but it has it benefits.

  76. Women think they are fooling others with botox injections and hair coloring, but there is always something that gives them away - their age spotted hands or crepey neck. Even too much plastic surgery ends up looking artificial after a while. Better to embrace your age and not waste your time on this planet trying to look younger.

  77. @Maryann H I like your way of looking at the issue, which shouldn't be an issue. Please tell other women that they have nothing to do to be desired. The one thing which will make you most desirable to anyone is... to be happy by yourself, but so far you cannot by happiness

  78. @Maryann H So ONLY women have this problem? Men look old, too. Most older men out there are NOT George Clooney-like silver foxes. They are paunchy and balding and wrinkly, just like older women. And they aren't fooling anyone with their hair transplants either.

  79. Partners with a short shelf life -- isn't that just a hallmark of someone who doesn't want to grow up...

  80. "It says you can be both desirable and look exactly your age." Well, yeah.

  81. Just one more reason to heart Keanu. Nothing hotter than a cerebral man.

  82. @Pdxgrl I am a man with a Ph.D in philosophy. You're vastly overestimating the hotness of being cerebral.

  83. The author is not being honest. This woman doesn't look 46--she looks 64. THAT is what shocked people about seeing her with Mr. Reeves. She looks OLDER than him, and it's unusual for male movie stars to go that route--publicly. Also, can we put an end to this PC, "everyone looks great" thing? Not everyone is physically beautiful. There are people with inner beauty, and they shine. Why can't we just let that be instead of pretending everyone is eye candy?

  84. @Fig : I disagree. Picture her with blonde or brown hair.

  85. @Fig I'm 64. That woman absolutely looks her age of 46, her skin is beautiful still. I'm not seeing any real wrinkles. If you are then you got a real scare coming, should you live so long.

  86. @Fig She doesn’t look 64. That is ridiculous. Look at her face not her hair. Her genuine smile that lights up her whole face is extremely attractive. She actual looks nice a quality that doesn’t come out of a cosmetic bottle or a Botox needle.

  87. Having just turned 70, it is my opinion that no one, man or woman, likes starting a new decade. Once you’re in it for a while you get used to it and it feels OK. I figure you have around 8 or 9 years to adapt to it until you are close to the next new decade. Then you start getting depressed again. That is the real circle of life.

  88. @Queenie -- I'd always "practice" for the next age up; saying I was 60 at 55, for example. Once I got there, I was ready to embrace it! I'm practicing for 70 these days.

  89. No laws are being broken, why is this subject still an issue with some people?

  90. @TY : because well off men don't seem to even know that women can be over 30 and still offer anything to them. There is a entire list, and the article mentions just a few. Di Caprio, age 44, has reportedly never dated anyone above age 25 for one example. No, not "illegal" or even "immoral" just sad.

  91. "Age appropriate" says who? The U.S. of A has a special relationship with the topic of older-men-younger-women and vice versa, as opposed to other nations--continents!--which easily accept the notion of men and significantly younger women. Of COURSE there's something inherently attractive about youth, regardless of gender,yet it seems there's no male equivalent to the flattering "cougar" appellation women covet. Women can be tremendously attractive at any age, which is not intended to sound condescending. The final unflattering truth is that life is not fair. Some men and women simply have great genes. The equalizer is that, if one has something to work with, make that 'something' the best it can be. Oh. A terrific, caring personality coupled with intelligence, wit and self confidence can offset what some might consider physical liabilities.

  92. Huh? This was my first thought. I am a man. I have been in two long term relationships: first with a woman who was 7 years older than me and another who is 7 years younger than me. Both are very good looking - stunning. I know this because I could see other men looking. I left because they couldn’t see I was with them (mostly) because of who they were and not how they looked. When I left the lady who was older than me couldn’t believe what happened and kept showing up at my workplace for months afterwards. Nobody cares what you look like. In the end they care about what YOU really look like inside.

  93. Meh. When I was 60, a 97-year-old neighbor told my daughter he thought I was "an attractive woman." (He'd outlived three wives at that point.) Now that I'm 72, I really don't care if I'm considered "desirable." Being older and invisible has its advantages.

  94. @TexasBee There is a certain pleasure of no longer wanting to be desired, chased, conquered, or left for a younger woman. My ex ran off with someone half his age and while we are the same age he now has little kids. You can't outrun death; yet one can live in beauty, by choice, and on purpose. At 77 I cherish being single and certainly not with a man who dreams that I was his daughter's age. Feh.

  95. @TexasBee Hah -- if a 97 year old man hit on me, I would throw up. Speaking of ageism, I'm a hot 69, and I won't look twice at men over 65. They are mostly over the hill and have nothing to offer.

  96. @TexasBee the best thing that ever happened to me was becoming invisible. I love it. I hated being gawked at and I am not beauty but I am chesty and it plagued me for years. I could not have been happier when the harassment stopped and now I am left alone.

  97. "...the world tends to view and treat middle-aged women — as past their prime, as desperate cougars trying too hard, or worse, as invisible." Oh, honey, invisible is amazing. After decades of having to negotiate unwanted attention on line at the store, in parking lots, walking to the train, out jogging-- you name it -- I can now observe the world and move through it as if no one sees me. It is blissful to be able to engage the world on my terms. It is a far more interesting place when you can observe it uninterrupted.

  98. @Alison I think it is Bliss as well. I remember years ago, walking alone visiting the Smithsonian museums in DC, how uncomfortable it was to walk outside; at literally every corner there was a man catcalling and demanding attention. It tainted the entire experience.

  99. @Alison I'm here to tell you that for many of us it never stops, not even in our seventies. The only difference is that the offenders are now gray or bald. Apparently, they still think they're god's gift-- not.

  100. @Alison Here's one time where some male attention would be welcome: when a fairly small woman has to get her luggage from the overhead bin. I have had to travel for decades for my job. When I was young and cute (and very fit, in no need of someone grabbing my luggage) men jumped up en masse after the flight to help me. Now that I'm older - and more in need of help - they ignore me.

  101. When I read that this author feels afraid of looking older, I was overcome by pessimism. No wonder patriarchy never dies. I'm grateful to be raised by a mother who thought that traditional femininity was a trap for women. She never bothered with makeup, jewelry, or fancy clothes. As a professor (a position she struggled hard to attain in the early 70s), she mentored generations of young women, urging them to pursue education and careers in defiance of cultural & familial pressures to marry and have children. How sad that forty years later we're still hung up on the same old trash feminists tried to burn up two generations ago in that infamous can.

  102. I would have loved to have met your mother. .

  103. If we are all being completely honest, she looks older than 46. But, whatever, that's ok! Keanu looks younger than 55. So can we all just get over the whole "age-appropriate" thing? They are just two people who have been long-time friends and collaborators, who may, or may not, be dating, having a good time out at an event. Who cares about their respective ages? Good for them!

  104. @KarenEP Agree, and it's largely because she's prematurely grey (as am I). Nothing wrong with it, but it's odd how people seem to think women look geriatric north of 35. Kathryn Hahn is perfect example of a woman in her forties who looks her age and she looks great.

  105. @KarenEP She does not look older than 46. You can tell from her very attractive face. Biased perhaps because my wife is only 43 has her hair, except that's she (my wife) has had that naturally platinum grey hair since she was in her late 30s. And it is very hot!

  106. @KarenEP Re: she "looks" older than 46. Well, that is in part because we are used to seeing heavily photoshopped women in the media, and have a very warped view of what 46 looks like. Further, even if she did look older than 46, we have to stop the implication that being an older woman is somehow undesirable. She looks exactly like what nature gave her. And that is beautiful.

  107. It's heartening to see people inspired by others, particularly to give up the fears that may hold them back. Thank you for being open, so we can all do so. I confess, though, to a knowing inward smile. Getting old is about losing you wits. Losing hope. Confronting consequences of your actions that you'll never undo. Realizing that nothing - not your lover or your friends or your retirement or your practice or the government - is going to save you. It's being glad to be alive, and terrified, and overcome by beauty.

  108. I have to say I am disappointed that a woman entering her 30s (the author of this piece) is shopping around for an MD who can give her the best Botox experience, and that apparently this is the norm of the author's peers. I am 66 and middle class and I do not know anyone in my age group who has Botox injections or any other supposed age-defying procedures. Interesting that our age group seems more comfortable with our looks reflecting our age than younger generations do. Actually, interesting is not the right word. Disturbing is a better one. If the younger generations perpetuate these age-denying behaviors, then women like the author should not complain that "society is making them do it." They are choosing to do it. And, BTW, I take good care of myself, not overweight, well-groomed. I am divorced and if men my age reject me because I am, and look, the same age as they, then I am certainly not interested in pursuing a relationship with someone of those values anyway.

  109. @susan You may think you don't know anyone that 's had Botox or other cosmetic procedures, but think again. A hallmark of a well-done procedure is that the recipient looks refreshed and rested, but not "done". Some people will be very upfront about their work, others keep it to themselves.

  110. I am sad to say that I know many, many women who routinely have Botox. I am 45 and work with women in their 30s who has Botox injections every 6 weeks and women in their 50s who think it is almost a crime to have a wrinkly between their eyes or graying hair. I am pretty vain and would likely consider these procedures, but since I have two daughters, I think it is more important for them to see what "natural" aging actually looks like. And I want them to see that you can be happy and successful and healthy while still going gray and having wrinkles.

  111. @susan Ok, boomer.

  112. When I was around 52 or thereabouts, I began to notice that there were things other than love, sex and how I looked that made life worth living. I began to notice the beauty of nature and art and to spend a lot more time reading quality literature and spiritual books. I also noticed that the vanity things that previously had taken up so much of my attention didn't much matter any more. I stopped wearing contact lenses and went to my glasses. So now I look like the nerd that I am. And let me tell you, that is real freedom. I'm not going to tell you that I don't sometimes get a jolt when I see a picture of myself now, age 77, and spend a few minutes longing for my younger face. But the point I'm trying to make is that I think if a woman has gotten her needs met appropriately during her younger years, she no longer cares so much about the physical vanities of this world and is free from those worries.

  113. Please also recognized the great Jane Fonda, who although she has admittedly "had work done", was arrested for protesting against global warming and the dreadful Trump administration's environmental "rollbacks" at the age of 80! Right on, Jane! As we used to say, "Power to the people!"

  114. Interesting article, and even more interesting reader responses, this is a beautiful woman. However, why aren’t we discussing what she has done in life? Perhaps there is a really interesting person there too, not just a woman being comfortable in her own skin. As has been said in a different context, what matters is the content of one’s character, not the physical appearance. Let’s allow ourselves to appreciate beauty alongside other worthwhile qualities like intelligence, kindness, dedication, among others....

  115. It seems to me the main argument of this piece is that the cardinal value of a woman is her desirability. For this writer, a woman who is not sexy is invisible; she’d adopted the idea that we our value is dependent on the pleasure and approval of the heterosexual male gaze. She makes me sad. I feel truly sorry for her and anyone else who is worrying about what “dermatologists, hair colorists and targeted ads on Instagram have long told [them] to change, cover up or prevent.” Is this what passes for feminism these days? The mind boggles.

  116. @basiunka It’s actually the opposite of feminism. And it is very sad.

  117. Oh please, there are plenty of smart, successful women who are incredibly healthy, fit, proud of their wrinkles and white hair. They are scientists, and mothers and spouses (if they want to), economists (Christine Lagarde anyone?), lawyers, medical doctors, etc...etc... Build a meaningful life and you will not need to worry about the outward signs of ageing. Really: who cares? As long as you are healthy, productive, and live purposefully, ageing is wonderful. From a 58 years old woman I can assure you this is the best part of my life. No need for Botox, or plastic surgery, or dyeing hair. Go for a hike in the mountains or a swim instead: best way to stay young.

  118. I usually find Hollywood stars pretty vapid and neurotic. But the more I get to know Keanu Reeves the more I like him. He could have 20 year old super models hanging off of his arm, but he chose a real woman who he apparently has a real relationship with. He's down to earth.

  119. Regardless of their chronological ages, I agree that Ms. Grant appears to be about Mr. Reeves' age -- and I must say that on a photo/first-impression basis, they seem well-matched. Part of the reason that's striking is, of course, down to Hollywood's anathema for older women. (Hollywood's definition of 'older' being, not obviously young.) But another reason, perhaps more influential, is that we're deluged with marketing messages that prioritize youth and associate maturity with the inability to use a mobile phone, and a reliance on drugs for everything from arthritis to restless leg syndrome. It's not necessarily marketers' fault that we've symptomatized being over 50 for men and about 40 for women. After spending decades in the ad business, I blame that industry's own culture of ageism. Walk through any ad agency's creative department. I promise you that you will find no one with hands-on creative role who's over 40. Most writers and art directors are under 30. No wonder we're deluged with messages that glamorize youth and stigmatize seniors. Want to know why ads for ED meds are so cringeworthy? Because they're written and produced by kids who think the idea of their parents still enjoying sex is gross.

  120. What I keep reading here (and elsewhere in articles on similar topics) are comments from women who are glad to be "invisible" now that they are over 40 (or whatever is considered old for a woman). As one of those older women, I do NOT want to be invisible in any way. I want to be noticed by men, women, children, etc. as a smart, compassionate and yes, beautiful woman (whatever that means to everyone). Being 'invisible' is not part of my game plan. Why should anyone want that?

  121. I think what we mean by "invisible", is not subject to incessant, unwanted attention and unsolicited interactions based on our looks. I think we would all like to be seen for our intellect, abilities, sense of humor, character etc. Now we finally have that chance. We have an opportunity to really be seen, finally, now that beauty is out of the way

  122. @Alexa I think some women "doth protest" a bit too much in their claims that they love being invisible now, etc. For one, are so many of us really dealing with CONSTANT attention from men everywhere we go even when we are young? No, we aren't -- only the most beautiful of women really puts up with that on a constant basis. Most of us are pretty average looking even at 25. I DO think it's hard for women, particularly women who WERE extremely pretty and traded on that their whole lives, when they stop being noticed by other people, either men or women, and I think a lot of them just don't want to admit it.

  123. @L I could not agree more.

  124. As an older women (59) with silver skunk stripes, wrinkles, laugh lines and 10 extra pounds, I am just fine with most of what I present to the world. ( time to lose the acne!). Happy that my lover agrees. I don’t give a damn about the rest of the world.

  125. Stop it! This is creepy! Stop commenting on this woman’s looks! Don’t buy into it. This article is embarrassing. The author is in her 30’s. She knows nothing about aging! Stay healthy in body and mind. Love yourself and move on!

  126. @Barbara Fox Exactly! This 30-something author says: "I’m not afraid of getting older. I’m afraid of looking older." GIve me a break. At that point in life, one can't even imagine what "older" is.

  127. @Barbara I was about to write the same when I found your comment. Looking for this beautiful women's crow feet and taking solace in that! Knowing fully well that saying Ms. Grant looks older than age is not right and going ahead and saying that! Really?

  128. @Barbara Fox Agreed. This piece is incredibly rude and essentially a giant back-handed compliment. Not everything you think needs to be said. I wish more writers on the internet knew that.

  129. I am in my forties. My partner is a decade older than me. I can’t imagine my life without her. I don’t mean to diss younger women, but I generally find them boring. I like sharing the same cultural knowledge and experience.

  130. @Andrew M. My wife of 25 years is 18 years older than me. Even closing in 72, she's the most beautiful, sexy, wonderful woman on earth.

  131. There is another good reason to rethink the so-called need to dye one’s hair to cover gray: the earth and our fellow inhabitants, namely all other beings besides humans. Hair dye and the act of coloring uses chemicals and processes that are toxic to the environment. Hair color is unnecessary to live. Laughter, good food, clean water and air, and love make all living beings beautiful.

  132. Keanu was in a romantic comedy with Winona Ryder playing his love-interest (their third film together, I think) who is 48, as opposed to casting say, a Rachel McAdams or an Ilsa Fisher. So, he also has a track record of embracing his contemporary Gen-X women on screen as well, which is just as cool.

  133. @Dale What makes you think he has anything to do with the casting? That's a decision producers make and they take into account what will be popular with audiences.

  134. @Dale Check out the movie Something's Gotta Give. Keanu falls for Diane Keaton.

  135. I think grey hair is a wonderful asset that is so un appreciated. Out here in the country, most women let their beautiful grey hair grow and it is like a beacon of light.

  136. Heterosexual male sexual attraction is something men are born with. It is not learned, nor the result of culture or education. How men look at 40-year-olds vs. how they look at 20-year-olds will not change, no matter what level of enlightenment we achieve. If women wish to retain the attention of the male gaze, they will continue to try to look like 20-year-olds. Men can't change what they want; it is a subconscious phenomenon; their bodies are telling them to impregnate fertile (young) women; end of story. I hope Keanu and his friend have a great relationship, but he doesn't look at her like he does at 20-year-olds. It's not his fault; we are all the result of evolutionary biology.

  137. Perhaps, but what we are saying is, isn't great when we reach a place of development where what 50 year old men (or any men) want no longer drives us and no longer infringes on our lives with it's constant unsolicited attentions and intrusions? It is not the loss men and young women expect that it is. it is a gift, and a blast - a lark! I think a lot of women are celebrating her, recognizing her here.

  138. @Tom Meadowcroft What utter and complete garbage! We're attracted to what we're attracted to, yes. If - for you - that is some specific dewy-eyed media-created fictionalized moment in the life of young women, that is your business. But to claim that all men have the same desires is ridiculous. I mean, that's as likely as all men agreeing they like the same flavor of ice cream. People come in a glorious range of sizes, shapes and their personalities - and desires! - even more so.

  139. @Alexa Why celebrating? Because she bagged an actor worth half a billion dollars? Other than that, she's dating a man 9 years older than she is. Most women consider that relatively common. What makes her relationship a "triumph" is his wealth.

  140. In my 60's now, I have to say that I just LOVE being somewhat invisible! I know so many other healthy, fit and active women in my age bracket who feel the same way---- a new phase of life ripe with possibilities!

  141. To quote the late Pierre Elliot Trudeau: "The Universe is unfolding as it should" and our society is progressing. Feels great!

  142. Alexandra has a beautiful smile. That makes anyone look appealing and younger too. Love the dress too!

  143. And here I was getting all excited about my prospects encouraged by Dennis Quaid recent wife being 50 years younger than him. Thanks NY Times!

  144. Until we stop using and accepting "younger" as a compliment to the way we look, society will stay ageist. Of course, this is complicated by the male hormonal imperative (as are so many aspects of life). But some of the desirability factors are societally built--the ones that make men feel reflected status when others observe them with a younger companion. Interestingly, one of Ivanka Trump's husband qualifications was somebody who wouldn't ditch her when she got a wrinkle--as she's said, unlike her father.

  145. I confess that when I tell people that I got a grandson for my 80th birthday, I love it when they say, "you're kidding". You're not 80." My theory is that coming from a long line of generation skippers is responsible. My dad was 39, I was 41, my mom's mom was 40, and so on.

  146. At my high school 50th reunion three years ago, I brought my wife, two years younger than me. I told people I was dating a sophomore. She's beautiful!

  147. Reeves has always been just a step outside the entertainment industry norm. Not long ago he said that "not touching women in photos (in ways men wouldnt touch other men) is a thing" He is aware of respecting people. In other words he does not respect women as women but as people. Tho many have looked askance at him because is doesn't appear the typical entertainment figure. Others look at him with admiration for the exact same reason He doesn't make a "statement" his actions do

  148. For goodness sakes, that a picture of an incredibly beautiful woman. Enough said. It is only Americans who think like this.

  149. Touché...

  150. @Concerned Mother Brava! And her dress is GLORIOUS!!

  151. First, the assumption the article and many of the comments implicitly make is that only women care about their looks. This is simply not true. Most men care about their appearance as well. It is true that men and women are held to wildly different standards, and without question that is sexist and unfair. Second, it does not make you a bad person to care about your physical appearance, and it does not make you a bad person to appreciate beauty, including the beauty of human beings. The suggestion in many of the comments that you are shallow or vain if you care about these things is judgmental and narrow minded. And, frankly, usually dishonest, since the people who claim not to care at all about their physical appearance are probably being less than completely truthful. Everyone would benefit from being a little less judgmental and a little more open-minded. Have a wide appreciation for human beauty, which takes many forms, but also allow others have their preferences as well. Last, Ms. Drucker made me laugh out loud when she expressed worry about getting old as she enters her 30s. You have a long ways to go before you reach old age, my friend. Enjoy your 30s while they last.

  152. "I’m not afraid of getting older. I’m afraid of looking older." I might have felt that way in my thirties. I don't anymore. Thanks to genetics and sunscreen I don't look like I'm north of 45. But. I now need glasses to thread a needle, am experiencing problems with my joints, have a much harder time maintaining my weight, don't feel as mentally agile as I did ten years ago, need a week to recover from one all-nighter, and the list goes on. I would gladly take crow's feet and gray hair if it meant *feeling* 30 again.

  153. When I got married to a woman six years older than me I was advised by many, including a surprising number of women, that while it was great now, I’d be sorry down the road. Thirty two years later we are the happiest couple we know. Her hair is a lovely shimmering silver, and I cannot remember the last time she wore makeup. But she is extraordinarily fit, healthy, energetic, and upbeat. A really good marriage will do that.

  154. Looking forward to the day when there is NO commentary re how old (or young) someone does or doesn’t look, or dress, or act. That factoid is so seldom relevant.

  155. I simply can't believe this is a valid topic of conversation. Didn't we get past these issues 40 years ago? Why do I feel that my daughters' generation took 10 giant steps BACK from the sane cultural norms women established in the 1970's and 80s? None of my women friends wore make-up, worried about aging, or worked hard to 'look young'. Neither were we hippies. We just, blessedly, lived our lives.

  156. I feel like I woke up from working and child rearing in the early oughts to discover that my idea of style - well cut hair (not dyed), good shoes/accessories and mildly stylish casual clothes suited to my figure - was dead. I was supposed to be erasing wrinkles and spots, stockpiling potions and lotions, coloring my hair, investing in statement jewels, vacuuming off my fat, having LASIK, killing myself at the gym and spending a lot on trendy clothes. The only thing I did was add exercise to my life. I never rate my appearance. And, child of the early 70s, I still hate makeup.

  157. @Julie You forgot that we're all supposed to wear Spanx! (shudder) We're about the same age, it seems and I have always hated makeup, too. What a colossal waste of time and money.

  158. Oh my, you just said it wonderfully!

  159. Vanity. I am over it. It's all about being kind and being happy outside and inside for me now. I am 57, fluffy with wrinkles and twinkling grey roots. Alas, I work at a tech company full of young folks. As long as I am smiling, no one cares. It's attitude plain and simple. They aren't looking to date me as I am happily married. I don't care if I am not their "equal" I know that I am older than their parents. I also have stories that they could never tell. I have seen sights that they will never see. So - I keep smiling!

  160. Ali Drucker, just do it. Or rather, don't. Don't do Botox, don't colour your hair, don't fret about your neck. The moment you stop allowing the various branches of the appearance industry to dictate how you should feel about yourself is a moment of liberation. Looking your age doesn't mean looking unkempt or inelegant. And while nobody likes to get old, we should always think of the alternative. It comes soon enough anyway.

  161. I'm a 71 year old old goat. I look my age and don't feel a need to hide it or lie about it. I couldn't imagine dating a woman half my age. What would we have in common and how could I possibly keep up with her energy level and stamina.

  162. In a bubble where marriages are measured in "dog years" (1 year of a celebrity marriage is like 10 of the rest of us) it is rare that sometimes someone famous just wants to be with someone, well. you know, mostly normal. My grandmother was 8 years older than my grandfather, they adored each other, she outlived him by nearly 3 decades, and in her senile dementia still called for him. Many years ago, several years before I met my wife, I went on a date with a woman who said "Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes to the bone!" Ironically, she could have been describing herself and the date wasn't repeated. But she was correct in that. Whenever my beautiful, brilliant, wonderful wife bemoans that she's getting old (we're both in our 60's) I remind her that true love IS about growing old together and that's the way things are supposed to be. The only thing wrong with growing older and old is obvious: The parts start wearing out!

  163. There are many things about being human animals that are ‘natural,’ but we don’t necessarily celebrate them. I don’t embrace aging. If I could afford it, I’d be a plastic surgery addict. Alas, I’ll have to make do with good skin genes, hair color, and eyelash extensions. I want to look as good as Gloria Steinem when I’m old. She’s 85 and looks 60. There’s no virtue in grey hair.

  164. If I may politely point out that nonetheless Gloria Steinem who you use as your example (85 looking 60) doesn’t look 15, 25, 35 or even 45. She looks like someone in your own estimation who has aged to 60. Aging isn’t a big deal - only in one’s mind. Every wrinkle and gray hair is a witness to being a survivor in this thing called life. Many others haven’t been as fortunate- just drive past a cemetery.

  165. @Gabrielle Rose That's interesting. I've never met anyone who ever said she wanted to look as good as Gloria Steinem. On top of that, I've never heard a man say he thought Gloria Steinem was hot.

  166. @Gabrielle Rose i believe gs would say: this is what 85 looks like

  167. I'm a female Family Physician. When I was 50 yrs old, I had a similarly aged male patient going on and on about his spouse, who he proudly told me he had a "23 yr age difference with". We concluded his Social History and I remarked how progressive it was that he could see the beauty and wonder of a 73 year old wife at his age. He looked perplexed and crestfallen, as he protested that his wife was 27 yrs old.

  168. @Nancy Manahan Great zinger! Several older boomer men of my acquaintance have considerably younger wives and they love to work that into their conversations. I think it makes them appear foolish, and I wonder if the wives were attracted by the real estate, the retirement plan or just the opportunity to share living expenses.

  169. @Nancy Manahan Brava to you, Doctor. Did the numscull ever get the joke?

  170. @Nancy Manahan That must have been fun. Poor guy -- maybe he laughed later.

  171. To me this isn’t about looking old vs. looking young. It is about aging naturally vs. aging fashionably. I think most women in their 40’s or 50’s who dye their hair, use fillers, botox, surgery, etc actually still look like women in their 40’s or 50’s. In these times, they just look more fashionable than someone who embraces a more natural style such as Ms. Grant. I truly hope one day people look back at our current culture and say some things like, “can you believe what was in style back then? Erasing expressions? Covering those beautiful silver locks? Why did they think that looked good?”

  172. I'm happy just so I outlive the age I look. My mother liked to repeat a quote that went something like this: "My face, I don't mind it. You see, I'm behind it. 'Tis the fellow out front gets the jolt."

  173. Age is only a number, it boils down to personality, kindness, and maturity. Keanu is a role model of positive energy whether he wants to be or not. I am so happy for him and always rooting for him.

  174. Ms. Grant and Mr. Reeves look happy and that's what matters.

  175. As someone who fell hopelessly in love with a woman nine years older than me, I can attest: older women rock! Oh, by the way, when we met she tried to warn me, "Don't you know I'm 42?" She just turned 77, and after 35 years together, I still just adore her.

  176. @Gramps May you share many more years of love, happiness, and good health.

  177. I feel so free since I am not into dating these days. And yes I have plenty of men interested—even at my age —just why bother. The energy people put into being attractive to others to "date" -- and as women caring to be attractive to me and that attendant energy -- I wish I arrived at this non-interest sooner to use that energy for other things (and friends) I enjoy.

  178. A good way to avoid this type of annoyance is by watching European TV and movies. Between MHz and the Criterion Channel I have my choice of shows and movies featuring women making an effort to look their best, and their age, and the men who find them attractive. It's painful to watch American TV and see a good actress who's probably counting down the days until some slob in a Hugo Boss suit decides that she's no longer attractive--or 30, whichever comes first.

  179. She is very attractive for any age. I've seen thirteen year old girls with their hair dyed that color, and seen it occur naturally on women of many ages. What makes her most attractive is that she looks glad to be where she is, doing what she is doing, and being with her date. I am glad to see so many women owning their age -- Meryl Streep, Maggie Smith and Helen Mirren are prime examples -- and that many men are moving away from the trophy wife, Barbie Doll ideal. I wish we lived in a world where we could all age gracefully, and we still respected maturity and experience.

  180. It was nice to see this story, as I have long found men chasing after ridiculously younger women, well, ridiculous. I’m 62 and dating an older woman- six weeks older. One advantage is in sharing the exact same perspective, I can’t imagine what it must be to explain why the Beatles were a thing, or why I didn’t remember... um? Never mind. In any relationship of any quality, one accepts those less-than-perfect qualities: it’s part of the fun, part of the responsibility of love. You learn to love your love’s flaws, and hope they learn to love ours. Especially the flaws that come with “experience “. Bravo.

  181. @seth "part of the responsibility of love." brilliant & wise!!!

  182. I'm 73. My wife of 23 years is a decade younger. I can only tell you that she looks more beautiful to me now than ever, and has never been near a needle of Botox. I don't what else to tell you. She'll never see or read this comment, but every word is true and my eyesight is just fine. I'm sure Mr. Reeves doesn't see any lines either.

  183. This story has virtually no substance to it; that said, Mr. Reeves is by all measures and accounts a fantastic person.

  184. This is one of the reasons, among so many, that people (me included) love Keanu. Here it is, a guy who is not moved by all the trappings from fame and fortune he gets from Hollywood. He's still as down-to-earth as your next door neighbors. He's not afraid to show the grey hair in his hair and beard. And he's not seeking a 20-something arm-candy to rejuvenate his receding youthful years. The fact that this guy not only acts his age, but he embraces women of his age, is totally awesome. My respect of him has gone up another notch. Way to go, Keanu.

  185. After a lot of turmoil over deciding not to dye my hair to cover grays anymore, I finally stopped a couple months ago. The grays have been coming in. I felt kind of absurd to be in turmoil about it and then felt bad for feeling absurd. Such is the amount I have internalized the message that no matter what I do as a woman, it will be the wrong thing and I will be judged negatively. Thanks for this positive piece.

  186. I look 10-12 years younger than I am on a good night's sleep. It's mostly genes. I'm good-looking according to social standards (modeled/acted a bit) but I've spent my life thinking less about how I look and more about how I feel and what met and stimulated my mental and emotional needs, privoting to intellectually interesting study in STEM areas and indulging a lifelong interest in music, literature and the arts. I do the basics: no smoking, good diet, sunscreen, water. I could use more time at the gym but I walk and garden, lift and do cardio lightly. My mother aged this way. Do I think I am a dupe for a 25 year old? No. Do I care? No. What I want from life never had anything much to do with my own looks. I'm just me through and through. I want to understand what that means from the inside out, not the reverse. There's nothing worse than spending time with the ladies who had looks as young women and are later quietly crazed with trying to hold onto some simulacrum via laser procedures, botox etc, hair color, catapillar eyelash extensions (don't they know how cartoonish those look outside of a 'zine?) and exhaustive fitness and dieting. We think of anorexia/ bulemia as young person's illness, but menopausal women are at great risk of eating disorders. I don't look to actors for anything other than the product of their labor onscreen so the premise of this article bothers me even as Drucker acknowledges her unease. But they both look relaxed, content. Well wishes to them.

  187. Yes, let's by all means celebrate the comeback of fur coats. Nothing like talking up the skinning of animals to make a point about a beautiful 50-year-old.

  188. They both look like middle-aged people. Take their fancy, non-gala clothes away and put them in jeans and casual clothing. They could be a couple dropping of their child at college. Not sure it's worthy of much more than that.

  189. I have some advice for all the married people of America. The most beautiful person in the world is your partner. If two people are in love, their looks may change, but their hearts need not. Try it sometime. It is the best part of life itself.

  190. @USNA73 And what about the single not-by-choice people? Not so easy to "try it some time" when you're a single 60 yo woman.

  191. @USNA73 What a beautiful and succinct sentiment. Thank you.

  192. @tinabess " Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself."

  193. Ask anyone about what he feels about his/her age and everyone (unless illness has betrayed them) will tell you that they are surprised that they are as old as their age indicates. What a person feels like often, if not always, has nothing to do with his/her age. It is this discrepancy, between feeling and time that drives people to attempt to present physically what they feel psychologically. Doing their best to maintain the balance between these disparate realities is not to be criticized, unless, of course one resorts to heroic means which often fail in there purpose.

  194. "I’m not afraid of getting older. I’m afraid of looking older." TRUST ME. That's a waste of time.

  195. Silver hair is quite stylish now so maybe you should catch up - I see girls in the early 20's with that look. Maybe you no longer know what an age should look like- it's been decades since any of us didn't slather cream on day and night. And more important is there a SHOULD for any age?

  196. I am a 58 year old woman and I am a part of a small but growing movement among women that have stop dyeing their hair and are allowing their natural hair color to shine thru. At the start of my journey I heard all of the standard lines "you will look old, gray hair ages you", etc. Now that I am 19 months into my transition I get compliments all the time. I hope there comes a day when the NYT and others don't think this is a news worthy but until then we will continue to change people's minds one head of gray hair at a time.

  197. @LMD - :) I'm a 61 year old male and been thinking of coloring my hair again. I did it when I turned 50 and never had so many free drinks in my entire life.

  198. @tom harrison I don't recommend it! But hey a free drink isn't a bad thing!

  199. @LMD I never started dying my hair. I couldn't stand the thought of pouring chemicals on my head, worrying about roots and "touch-ups", spending all that time, etc. Blech. My grey hair is just fine with me.

  200. My wife is 15 years younger than me. So what? She matured early and I matured late. We met, fell in love, and got married 37 years ago. If people want to judge us I suppose that's ok. We're more in love today than we were in 1983. She's never hid her age, and she's the most beautiful woman I know. We do the NY Times x-word together every day and we used to hike in the mountains together with our dog. She's been fighting terminal cancer for the last 3 years, and I'm her primary caregiver. We've built a house together, cared for our aging and now dead parents, helped raise our son, and are best friends as well as companions. Age has very little to do with it.

  201. @Bob You are one of the enlightened ones, blessed by love and devotion.

  202. She's a lovely woman, with an honest, open face and a sweet smile. I can certainly see why he would be attracted to her.

  203. The first thing I did when I saw the headlines about these two was look up her art to find out what she does. It never occurred to me to make the leap to this other stuff. I'm kind of puzzled with myself.

  204. This article is very sad to me. Sad that liberal Hollywood still demands that women are under 35, or at least try to look it. Sad that it's the norm to this writer, and to "liberal" Hollywood, that older men rightly have younger partners. Sad that this writer cannot simply accept herself, but is instead conflicted as she looks to Hollywood as her example. And most of all, sad that we're still even talking about this. I'm 64, and thought that by 2019, we'd all be driving rocket sports-cars. I also thought that women would be paid equally for equal work. Be free to look like human beings, not cartoon characters or plastic bunnies. Free to age, work, date, marry--without being pushed out for their age. Boy, was I naive! Men have not reformed their power so easily. And from the look of Hollywood and the entertainment industry in general; the job market in most fields; the rates of violence against women; and young women like this writer who still believe the old tropes--we still have a long way to go, baby. No rocket sports-cars for us. We're stuck with the clunkers.

  205. I think the writer's sentiment "I'm not afraid of getting older. I'm afraid of looking older." is actually quite brave. Not thinking it, but writing it. They look happy. Really happy. He's known for being a good and very charitable person. It shows on the outside.

  206. She's got things backward. Looking older is no problem. Getting older, with its colonoscopies, aging knees, teeth that lose their enamel after 60 years of brushing, floating gut pains, veinous insufficiency, and the like, is no joke.

  207. At first glance, Alexandra Grant looks a lot older than 46. She's very pretty, I thought for a minute that she was Helen Mirren, who has similar hair and was photographed wearing a similar dress, but Mirren is 74, so that's not flattering. From photos taken up close, I can tell that Grant is not in her 70s from her skin. If she decided to dye her hair silver as an aesthetic choice, I think it was a mistake. At a certain point, some fads and trends don't look edgy, they are ageing. I saw some photos taken from above that showed her scalp. She may just have thin hair, but it read as old. The dress looks awful on her, especially the top band that goes across her chest. It looks like she's bound. How a woman ages is a very personal matter. We live in a sexist, lookist, ageist society in which women are far more harshly judged and frequently less secure in their careers and financially. For some women, it simply is not an option to go gray. It also depends on whether or not you look attractive with gray or silver hair. If you are an older woman looking for a job or hoping to keep one, looking unappealing is not a good idea. I'm a feminist, but I'm not naive.

  208. @Lifelong Reader I work in womens healthcare, I stopped dyeing my hair at age 45 and never looked back. My hair is not purely sliver, but a lovely silver streaked melange. I am complimented on it often. In my career, I am valued for my expertise and experience, and my hair has nothing to do with it. I feel saddened that women still are judged on such superficial traits...

  209. I think the fear of looking older is particularly sharp and piercing in America, which is a culture aimed at youth. Living in Japan, I see a lot of infrastructure here that is friendly to the elderly: walkable narrow streets that allow for the elderly to get around by themselves into their 90s, trains, etc. America's autocentric lifestyle glorifies the young because driving is something hard to do when people get older. The elderly and older people become invisible in America, leading everyone to dread aging.

  210. Whatever "Hollywood" youth might mean, it seems important to consider the fact that sexuality and attraction is always about nuance and the particularity of each life as it has been lived authentically. If an artist practices a craft without regard for narcissistic rituals, why would marks from a life lived authentically not be an attractive trait for anyone who also would live and search authentically for individuals that convey such experience? Beauty is nothing other than traits of authenticity that speak in ways that convey a life not filled with anxiety, remorse, or regret but clearly wear marks of a life lived without giving a second thought to an imaginary paranoia that might dampen any authentic experience. Perhaps Keanu simply loves the comfort and beauty of an artist that wears marks of a life of artistic practice because life is too short for indulging an abstract monster of Hollywood over and against authentic practice of living and the beauty that scars convey.

  211. Ms. Grant looks beautiful.

  212. It stands out that it is noteworthy to see a celebrity's date who doesn't scrupulously dye every strand of their hair to the root. Time, money, and our ecology are resources all wasted in the pursuit of youngifying our appearance. I wish the custom of dying grey hair would dwindle.

  213. Alexandra Grant's hair is beautiful, though it makes her look older than her 46 years. But who cares? She has a radiant smile, and she looks warm and intelligent; intelligence is beautiful. I am older than Grant, still prefer my hair dark and so take measures to color it, but otherwise free from vanity about my looks. I think I just want to be healthy. I am fine if this aspect of me repel certain men and women. I don't need their attention or admiration.

  214. It's nice to finally see in the public eye a younger woman who doesn't dye their hair, as I'm fortunate enough to live in a region where many women don't, and personally, they look great. Maybe if the public could see more women embracing their natural hair color more often, and notice the beauty in silver/pewter hair, we'd all be healthier, both in mind and body as those dyes can be really toxic - as can the shame so many women suffer for not looking twenty anymore. Also, I may be in the minority here but so often, dyed hair actually makes a face, women or men's, look more harsh, not younger...

  215. The irony of all this plastic surgery business is that it often makes the person look *worse* in the long run. I think most people like to look good (or at least "good enough"), but that is not the same thing as looking young. I often think an older person with wrinkles and a joy-filled face looks more youthful than the soulless, smooth faces of the celebrities. Have we forgotten the saying "There's beauty in imperfection"?

  216. Go to NYC, open Tinder and it is a graveyard of feminist who've went into their late 30s chasing their careers, now want kids/husband and "I know what I deserve" and "won't settle." Now the harsh realization of time has caught up and men do not want to deal with expensive, high risk pregnancies, etc. So they get ignored and a fun 25 or 30 year old swoops in. It happens a lot. I dated 38 at 33. Never again.

  217. @Scott How is your comment relevant to the article? Do you feel better having written it? The sweeping generalization/declaration you made makes you sound far more entitled than the supposed "graveyard" full of aging, baby-wanting feminists you just described. Ridiculous.

  218. Except that with her hair down, glasses and no make-up, she looks like she is in her 20s. I think that it's best to embrace the fact that we usually look how we feel on any given day.

  219. Why is the writer holding up "celebrity values" as a model? For better or worse, celebrity lives are nothing like normal people's lives. Their experiences, problems, and concerns are radically different than those of average people. It only "matters" what Keanu Reeves does because Ms. Drucker is telling us it matters. If she and the rest of the media would focus on real people and real people's problems we could get on with the business of improving our communities.

  220. That's a whole lot of angst from someone who "entered my 30s". Seriously? This amount of virtue signaling and exposure of one's vanity (blamed on "misogyny") can be rather off-putting. Alexandra Grant looks like a real human. Good for her. And for Keanu (still the most famous actor who simply can't act).

  221. I had cancer when I was close to the author's age; I looked my two year old daughter in the face and wondered if I would be alive when she entered kindergarten. Now I am 50, and my daughter is in high school, and I've gotta tell you, I know the secret to happy aging. The secret is that you have to look at the alternative up close and personal! I don't feel 50, whatever that means. I am filled with hopes and dreams and sometimes men find me attractive. What I do know is this: no amount of Botox will ever make me feel good about myself. The answer isn't found in a syringe. My answer is found somewhere entirely different, deep within myself. I love being 50. I told my friends that I'm going to celebrate this milestone for the entire year, not just my birthday. I do meaningful work. I've made healthy changes in my life. I've got incredible friends. I am continually changing, growing, and filled with possibility. I also have a silver streak in my hair that still surprises me, but I don't mind it. I'm alive, and I'm joyful about that. Of course, I don't have Keanu Reeves, so there's that. But I'm thrilled that he and his friend are out having a lovely time, even though some people think that it's news-worthy that an attractive woman has silver hair.

  222. @Kristina Thanks for the early-morning inspiration! I turn 47 in two weeks and feel great about it, and I like your philosophy of celebrating all year. Glad you got through the cancer, Kristina. All the best to you and yours!

  223. @Kristina Beautiful, you and the hope you give, thanks!

  224. @Kristina Your daughter is lucky to have you as her role model.

  225. Keanu has always seemed like such a kind, genuine person. It’s nice to see him with someone who also comes across as kind and genuine. As for aging, I’m looking forward to getting older. It’s liberating. When I was in my 20’s, I worried about my hair and makeup and weight, and now that I’m approaching 40, these things don’t matter as much. Each year, I seem to feel less inclined to care if I see so-and-so without my makeup on. Personally, Mrs. Ouiser has always been my life goal. Maybe it’s a Southern woman thing, but I am supposed to wear ugly clothes and silly hats and grow vegetables in the dirt. And I’d rather play the matronly role than the sexpot role any day—but curmudgeon in the silly hat is the goal :)

  226. Ali Drucker - the way to get more comfortable with looking older is to stop fighting looking older. Shopping for botox injections in your 30s isn't going to make you more comfortable with yourself if your goal is to view aging gracefully as a gift of self-acceptance that will save you a lot of grief as you age. Helen Mirren (74) and Emmylou Harris (72) prove that white hair is beautiful if you carry yourself with pride & confidence. Having men look at you is not the be-all end-all of existence. It may seem that way in your 30s but millions of us in our 50s, 60s and older are delighted to be free of the judgmental "male gaze."

  227. @fast/furious Helen Mirren (74) made a living playing an a woman that made herself available. She has a talent of making you feel you need not compete with her past. Emmylou Harris (72) at one point her talked of her past as a frequenter of sex clubs. She naturally projected availability. Two women who are exceptions to the rules.

  228. Should I treat myself to a cookie for being married to a woman exactly my age (51)? I would, but my metabolism has slowed to the point of it really not being a good idea. And believe me, I need to keep fit because my dear spouse supplies me with a very telling yardstick for staying active in every department. It's me staving off the wear of age for her, not the other way around. As for Keanu, to me the better part of this story is that he's dating an intellectual, a woman respected for her contributions to the culture--not a lightweight, striking looks aside.

  229. " Middle-aged and older women, long portrayed as sexless and relegated to wise, maternal roles, are slowly but surely beginning to gain some pop culture representation that reflects the dynamic, complex and sexy figures that they are." So they act young. You're praising the fact that they look old and act young. Not just a vibrant youthfulness in thought and speech, but particularly "sexy". Everything in our society devolves to that single metric, as though that is the full measure of women/men.

  230. @They Sexy doesn't mean "acting young". What do you even mean by that? Helen Mirrin is sexy, not young, nor would anyone mistake her for anything but a mature woman.