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Christie Brinkley

Fifty is the New Fantastic for These Stars

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By Brian Hurwitz

For decades, men have been afforded the privilege of aging with grace and dignity while women have been scorned and censured for having the indignity to age at all. Historically, men that sported signs of Father Time, such as silver/white hair and wrinkles, are often labeled "sexy" or "mature." Whereas women were not merely encouraged to conceal such manifestations, they're expected to do so or risk being characterized as "old" or "past their prime." Today, however, the tables are beginning to shift as celebrity women flaunt their maturity.

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Elizabeth Hurley

Elizabeth Hurley
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Rather than hide her advancing years, model and actress Elizabeth Hurley celebrates it. At 54, she regularly posts photos of herself in string bikinis and slinky dresses to flaunt her undeniable outer beauty as a reflection of her inner beauty. She is one of many women leading the charge to reshape the way our society and culture perceive of a certain age. Although most of the praise she receives is often qualified with a reference to her age, Hurley is undoubtedly helping to change the narrative.

Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon
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For years it was unthinkable that the press might dub a woman over fifty as anything but "past their prime," while men over sixty were routinely deemed "timeless." Not long ago it seemed the highest compliment paid to septuagenarians like Helen Mirren and Susan Sarandon or sexagenarians such as Jane Seymour and Kim Basinger was that they were "mature." Today, however, they're just as likely to be referred to as "elegant" or "graceful" despite streaks of gray or crow's feet.

Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan
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Owing to provincial conventions and prejudices, many women in the public eye have felt compelled to seek out the services of a plastic surgeon to preserve their careers as well as their pride. And should they even show the slightest signs of artificial enhancement, decrying their "maturity" takes a backseat to criticizing their vanity. Meg Ryan and Nicole Kidman both went under the knife and were then judged by many to have marred their beauty. When others, like Meryl Streep or Salma Hayek, refuse to avail themselves of such surgery, their commitment to their careers and sense of self-preservation are often called into question.

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren
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The celebrities of yesterday were led to believe that, as they age, men get better and women get older. Today, that stereotype is being shattered by ladies who are as proud of their wrinkles as they are of their resumes. It's not that the canon of beauty is steadily being rewritten to conform with social movements. Instead, such movements have given women a long-overdue platform on which to stand and embrace that which they are as opposed to that which society wants them to be.

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