Emmylou Harris and the beauty industry

I got a few e-mails for my March 16 column on the beauty of older women in Hollywood, pointing out the inconsistencies of an entertainment industry that spins the canard that older women are hot, while having no plans to stop peddling the younger variety. Some felt I had no right to broach the subject solely because of my gender, a “woman’s issue” should only be addressed by a woman.

I love the fact that older women are beginning to be seen as desirable, I just doubt its sincerity, considering that women are often shunted aside as they age in a way that men simply aren’t.

My favorite older beauty is the sublime Emmylou Harris, because she’s first of all a woman of substance, but I also love how she’s practically staging a one-woman battle to redeem gray hair. Of course, along with facial wrinkles, gray hair has been the element that an entire industry has built to destroy, and Ms. Emmylou seems to be proof that going gray is great, a revolutionary thing in this looks-obsessed culture.

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