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Beauty Knows No Age

Beauty Knows No Age
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BY KITT WALSH

Let me introduce you to a woman you don’t have to hate because she is beautiful. True, she is a supermodel and better looking on her worst day than you may be on your best, but I guarantee—spend a few minutes listening to her and you will fall in love. She is pulling for us…the older women.

You will recognize her face. She is that 65-year-old model who graces magazine covers from Glamour to Marie Claire and her face has launched beauty campaigns for everyone from Aveda to Olay. She is Cindy Joseph and she has become the figurehead of beauty for us Baby Boomers.

She was discovered in NYC at the age of 49.

“I was just hanging out with my girlfriend in the East Village when a young woman approached me,” she says. “She said she was looking for models. I thought she must be kidding as I was too short, too fat and most of all, too old.”

Cindy was recruited as a model for Dolce and Gabbana. Though her first agent was more used to booking 15 or 16 years olds, Cindy launched a long career as a Ford model.

Recently, Cindy is spearheading the Pro-Age Revolution. She believes that every cosmetic company advocates anti-age, anti-wrinkle and, ultimately, anti-us, and that we buy into it.
“Trying to hide our age only makes us look desperate. We have all seen make-up that accentuates wrinkles in an attempt to hide them. Or a woman wearing clothes to try and look younger than she is. They are not fooling anyone,” she says.

She asks who decided wrinkles were a bad thing anyway? Joseph would prefer we wear our age proudly and provide a good example for younger women showing them that beauty is about having a positive, happy and healthy attitude towards ourselves and aging.

We should she believes, let the beauty we have gained over the years shine through.

“For many women, as soon as the first grey hair appears or wrinkle becomes noticeable, the battle against time begins. We use all the cosmetics that claim to wipe away our age. The money spent on Botox, collagen injections, and hair dye keeps the beauty product companies thriving. I believe it is a waste of time and money and in many cases, health,” says Joseph. “Don’t get me wrong. I understand why women do this. I have empathy for the desire to look younger. I am a woman living in this society. I am all too familiar with what it feels like. I want attention too. I want to be valued as well. However, I do not believe the way to get that is to try and hide my age, nor do I want attention simply for the way I look. How about taking these points of view into our own hands by firstly, changing our own minds about beauty and age?”

To this end, Joseph is a sought-after speaker and writer on age and beauty and has, along with some beekeeper friends in Hawaii, created a line of skincare products known as Boom.

With ingredients like castor and canola oils, cornstarch and shea butter, the line is all about enhancing your natural beauty. There are, at present, only 8 products. ($21-$58). Boomstick Color is so sheer, it allows your natural color to come through making each stick customized to the wearer. Joseph advocates putting it wherever your capillaries are close to your skin: cheeks, brow bone, top of forehead, down the sides of your neck to give yourself a healthy glow. (One Maine customers says because of this product she looked less like a plucked chicken this winter.) There is Boomstick Glimmer, which adds a little radiance anywhere. Joseph calls it bling for the body. There is Boomstick Glo, a moisturizing stick you can throw in your bag, Boomstick Silk, the same thing in a jar, and Boomstick Cotton is if you want less shine.

As Joseph will tell you in her demonstration videos for the products, your skin is the same from the top of your head to the tip of your toes and the formulas use the same ingredients with one exception: the Boomstick Touch personal lubricant to ease post-menopausal dryness, contains no honey as that could create yeast infections in women prone to them. Rounding out the line is Boom Mask, which uses pink French clay for the gentle exfoliation more mature skin needs. The products contain no perfumes, no emulsifiers and have no color added.

The object lesson here is that less is more.

“You have lived a long and rich life. Your face tells a wonderful story. Why hide it?” ask Josephs, who even recently took our her famous silver hair extensions to reveal her own thin, wispy but lovely white hair.

“We are told that only youth is attractive. We are led to believe that as we age we lose value. Negative concepts of aging are make-believe, man-made and invented. We make them true by believing them. I am interested in creating a new truth,” she says, “I believe all women are attractive. The texture of our skin, our hair color, our clothes don’t make us attractive. How we feel about ourselves and how much we are enjoying ourselves is what makes us truly attractive. When we embrace ourselves and life with joy, we become beautiful.”

The fashion and beauty industry perpetuates the belief that aging is bad to continue selling products, Joseph believes, and women will buy products or worse, submit themselves to surgery (often with devastating results) in the name of looking younger.

Joseph believes this exposes a sad truth, “Many women feel they are not enough, not right, just as they are.”

Joseph wants to change that belief.

“In my experience, I have been getting better as I get older. I have more of all things I value. Health, love, tolerance, pleasure, compassion, self-esteem, control, discipline, education, knowledge–in a nutshell, life experience and wisdom,” she says. “I am not interested in looking younger. I want to look like me.”

She has faith that women’s perspectives about themselves are finally changing.

As her activism indicates, Joseph believes, “It is time to look deeper than the façade.”

Her video blog, Saturdays with Cindy, may be seen at: http://blogs.experiencelifemag.com/just-cindy/.

The Boom by Cindy Joseph product line is available online at boombycindyjoseph.com.

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