Growing old Gracelessly!

It was actually my mother who reminded my daughter about the Oscars on Sunday and she in turn reminded me that I love keeping up with the fashion. This is true and since we missed the “pre-show” we watched bits of the awards ceremony itself. Judging from the stats, millions of other viewers had the same idea or, they were actually looking to be entertained by some of the greatest entertainers in Hollywood. And entertained we certainly were though not all of it pleasantly! For all the planning and effort, not to mention money expended, the Oscar crew must be quite frustrated that the next day the big news is Angelina Jolie’s repeated leg flashing and J Lo’s wardrobe malfunction!

Yes many in Hollywood dressed elegantly and beautifully for the occasion and then there were those who wanted to make an impression even if were an unflattering one – to say the least! Jennifer Lopez is an extremely physically beautiful woman who would look good in sack cloth. It is unfortunate that she chose a dress that had people holding their breath on her behalf, waiting for the malfunction moment. Mind you, Cameron Diaz’s dress though not transparent or trying to slip off, did lack a good lining or built in undergarments which would have left some parts of her anatomy undisclosed. Angelina Jolie chose to make herself the laughing stock both at the awards itself and also in the news this week.

I tried to logically understand why someone who has much to lose, would take a huge risk like the possibility of your dress falling off or unceremoniously sticking a pale, bare leg out of your dress where you risk being the object of ridicule. Not being in that kind of limelight myself, I can only imagine that it must be devastating getting old in an industry that values and sells youthful physical beauty. Growing old gracefully is not easy for most anyone, judging from the billions spent on cosmetic surgery and potions touting the fountain of youth! It must be extremely difficult to watch the contents of your basket dwindle down to nothing before your very eyes because the eggs in there were only youth and physical beauty.  I read a headline in the last couple of days where Sarah Jessica Parker was being replaced by a “younger” actress to play the character of Carrie Bradshaw. (I don’t know the details of why and I don’t really want to know so please do not feel compelled to educate me.) I conclude this vain (pun intended) attempt to desperately hold on to the attention at any cost is what causes one to act gracelessly; thereby further precipitating the eventual “end”.

I admired Audrey Hepburn – an actress who won much praise and acclaim (yes, including Oscars) for her physical beauty and her acting capabilities but an actress who didn’t seek cosmetic surgery to prolong her youth nor tawdry gestures and clothes to keep the attention. She used her fame to call attention to suffering children and conducted herself as a “Fair Lady”. I guess she didn’t see her value as fading since she had more than physical beauty to offer the world and to quench her own need for self fulfillment. Now, there’s a Hollywood representative who exemplified growing old Gracefully!

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Marisa Pereira is a mother, fashion designer, currently runs a Design and Image Consulting business in Atlanta, GA, is a freelance writer and volunteers at her church and in the community. She holds a BA in Fashion Design and a BA in French with a minor in Psychology and has worked in the Fashion Industry for over twenty years. Frustrated at her inability to find appropriate church clothes for her 14 year old daughter, she heeded God’s call, and created the stylish but modest, Michaela-Noel clothing collection, now available on-line. Having lived in multiple countries, she is acutely aware of the emphasis cultures place on visual appeal. She analyzes the importance of presenting the best image of ourselves and passionately insists that it starts within. She regularly addresses adult and youth audiences – encouraging and teaching them to make a memorable first impact but more importantly - to create a lasting impression. Her websites are: and

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