Beauty is like a Jupiter Transit. It’s a drive-by cute-ing. It brings great gifts but its duration feels way shorter than any of the more challenging transits from Saturn through the outer planets. How come good fortune and good looks are gone in a heartbeat while the “inner groanth” transits take forever?
Whether you’re 25 or 75, especially if you’re female – though males are not exempt! – we all have to deal, ultimately, with fading looks and how we “do Venus” over time. I don’t care if you never thought you were a glamour girl or a drop-dead handsome guy. Just take out your albums and look at your “young” pictures. Admit it. With few exceptions, you looked great then compared to now, especially if you’re past your midlife transits. It’s all relative.
The Venus Girls
I, myself, am a Venus Girl through and through – Taurus Rising, Venus-ruled chart with Sun conjunct Venus and three planets in Libra.
Two of my close friends are also Venus Girls. We share a Venus emphasis in our charts and resonate to the goddess of love, relationship, beauty, peace, and justice.
When an individual has an abundance of Taurus or Libra in his or her chart, especially in the position of Ascendant, Sun, Moon, or Venus itself, s/he, too, is influenced by Venus. This is the case for the Venus Girls Trio. When we go to lunch, you could recognize us by overhearing these kinds of conversations:
Wendy: So, would it be so awful if we had just a little work done sometime? A little nip ‘n’ tuck?
Lucy: I’d be for that. Nothing too unnatural; after all, we’re all into natural …
Me: Maybe we could get a package deal with a local plastic surgeon and do it together. Maybe he’d consider a quantity discount! Take a few crinkles from around the eyes. Nothing drastic or too artificial …
Wendy: A trio facelift! We could play soft music, have a massage therapist come, do aromatherapy, recover together …
Lucy: Yeah! Sip herb tea and hold each other’s hands.
You’re probably laughing out loud at how typically Venusian we are, creating ambience by the yard, worried about our good looks and being beautiful – so into relationship, we can’t even have our faces fixed without each other.
Whatever your astrological or bare minerals make-up, turning the corner on 40, 50 or 60 or beyond leads you smack into the issue of how you will handle aging from a cosmetic perspective. To one degree or another, we all bow – or refuse to bow – to the Goddess Venus.
Genes and self-care both play a role in how “well” we age. I’m lucky to have great skin, but my bottled auburn hair has very gray roots, nearly every one of them. I have friends my age and older without a single gray strand in their entire heads, but some of them show visible signs of aging in other ways such as wrinkles or liver spots.
How each of us handles the transition to a more seasoned look is a personal choice. I’m not willing to have my face drawn and quartered, the kind of work that ultimately looks fake and more unattractive than au naturel … but if I could afford it, I might go for a mini-lift, just because looking youngish and vital is more uplifting than my Maidenform bra. And believe me, at this stage of the game, I need all the uplift I can get!
I am in no way ready to see myself in a head full of gray hair, although I often wonder – as I risk potential brain cancer every time I use those chemicals on my head – if I don’t have a hole in it. Then there is the practical consideration. If I ever wanted to grow it out, how would I do that without looking like I took an ugly pill? A gorgeous gray highlighted wig, I’ve decided, as a transitional stage, “when the time comes.” (Around 95?) Meanwhile, Lucy told me just tonight that she knows of a holistic plastic surgeon …
Beauty is important to me. When I look as good as I can, I feel like I’m doing my part to help keep America beautiful. I don’t deny that I’m vain, but Venus types honestly resonate to beauty and harmony so much, we are miserable without it. Almost nauseous.
More Fundamental Questions
The bigger issue, of course, is our inability to see the inherent beauty in every age and stage of life. If we worship Venus, the Goddess of Beauty, it’s only because we worship Youth like a god even more. Granted, so much of our obsession with this false idol stems from advertising, Hollywood, and our belief that men are only drawn to nubile creatures. (I bet Demi is glad no one told Ashton.)
As women, we buy into these stereotypes, too, and the sexism perpetuated in aging men who have “character” while aging women “need work.” We buy into it by our desire to maintain a maiden appearance when we’re long into the crone stage of life.
Yet, as baby boomer, I’m part of the generation expected to redefine aging itself.
How Will We Do It?
It’s a big job. Appearance is just one issue. To redefine aging is more than skin deep, because our skin will again never look like the ads we see in Glamour, if it ever did.
I don’t have all the answers. I think a lot of them are individual. Just like some girls go through a tomboy stage, others, like me, never had one and preferred dresses to pants from little girlhood. Some never got out of their tomboy stage, never were much for make-up and frills or high heels. That’s who they are – as natural to them as primping, preening, and color-coordinating are to me.
Part of me thinks that looking as youthful as possible is OK, at least until we evolve more in our group-think about beauty in all stages of life. Looking young and feeling young and vital seem to be linked somehow, and no one would fault us for a second for wanting as much vitality as we can hold all the way to the finish line.
Yet, another part of me feels like a traitor. I am part of the community of boomer women and spiritual seekers. Our mindset toward aging and beauty won’t change unless or until I, too, change my mind. When many others make that same decision, it creates a divine domino effect.
beauty is as one perceives it.
if you see it in yourself
others will believe it
do not refer to me
as a woman of a certain age
i am just a woman
who will not be
~ Karen Lyons Kalmenson
Hints from a Pro on Stretching Appearance
I’m fond of the movie The Birdcage, especially its anthem of self-expression, the song I Am What I Am. In this 1996 comedy, Robin Williams stars as Armand, a gay cabaret owner. He and his drag queen companion, Albert (Nathan Lane), agree to put up a false straight front when their son wants to introduce them to his fiancé’s conservative parents. Her father is a U.S. Senator (Gene Hackman). As with all comedies, things go horribly awry. While I always thought Albert’s attempts to look womanly fell a little short, he manages to charm and convince the Senator, who is quite taken with him as “her.” But when the paparazzi threaten to storm the house conjoined to the cabaret and splash the Senator’s presence at it in the tabloids, it’s time for drastic measures. All bets are off; all secrets must be revealed. Albert rips off his wig and sings “I Am What I Am.” It’s a tune of the ultimate freedom – of self-acceptance. I hope I can sing it proudly, someday, when it comes to being what I am as a woman of a certain age.
I keep asking myself, why is the statue of Venus depicted without arms? Like Venus, many of us have no arms to wrap around true beauty just yet … and when we acquire them because of a change of heart, Beauty herself will be What She Really Is.
About the Author
Joyce Mason is a long-time writer and astrologer. Her practice, Inner Growth Work, combines astrology, tarot, dreamwork, and flower essences. The Radical Virgo, her popular astrology blog, is her meeting place for sharing insights about the stars. Joyce specializes in Chiron and “living on the upside of the zodiac.”
You can read poet Karen Lyons Kalmenson’s blog at My Heart – Musings and Confusings.
This post is republished by permission of the author and originally appeared at The Radical Virgo. Karen Lyons Kalmenson’s poem is also reprinted by permission.