Lovely Lines

Jane Fonda insists on keeping her wrinkles in the photos and images of herself in ads and TV commercials. I really appreciate that.

Not just because it’s ‘real’, but when you look at these photos of Jane you can’t help but see life, wisdom, laughter… what’s unattractive about that?

To say such things doesn’t mean that young Jane wasn’t attractive, or that youth itself is not beautiful, but it’s not the only kind of beauty there is. Youth is itself attractive in part because it is fleeting. It’s coveted because it’s the one thing we cannot hold forever. Neither can we hold forever our naivete, our inexperience. Nor would we wish to.

How many times have we heard people say or ourselves said, “I wouldn’t go back again,” and yet here we are obsessing on bodies we cannot hold onto — either our own or the bodies of others.

Esther Williams, in her autobiography, commented that the worse thing a beauty queen or film star can do is to age. People forever love those who die young simply because they will forever be young in our memories, but those who live are condemned for ruining our memories of them and of ourselves.

Our aging seems to imply loss rather than gains. To remind others that youth is temporary is rude. But it shouldn’t be so.

Wouldn’t it be cool if I could meet Jane and tell her how beautiful I think her laugh-lines are — how I hope I have a life so full of laughter that it shows upon my face, lines as the whispering echos of giggles.

The poster of young Jane and other Jane Fonda posters from AllPosters.

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