If a man looks above average, doesn't gain too many pounds and manages to keep most of his hair, people will think he's increasingly distinguished-looking after age 40, in a Paul Newmanish kind of way. Wrinkles won't change that image, nor will reading glasses. In fact, if he wears glasses and puts on a sport coat, he will look distinguished AND intellectual.
I am not saying that men age better than women.
I am complaining that our culture views older men as better-looking than older women. We have been taught to view aging differently in men than in women.
This makes me more uneasy with each birthday I reach. My husband looks increasingly like Al Pacino to the rest of the world. But I am increasingly invisible. No one looks at me any more. I'm pretty sure I disappeared at age 30. If this continues, I'll be able to get into movie theaters for free. But how will I be able to stop the other theater-goers from sitting on me? Get off me! Go sit on somebody who's had botox!
I want this to change. C'mon. I'm getting older. My husband is getting older. We are ALL getting older. And I am not wrong or unimportant or sexless. I shouldn't be invisible. I refuse to be apologetic. I also won't divulge my age until you people get it right. Nyah!
Life's an Expedition