Monday, February 22, 2010

Venus Girls, Fleeting Beauty

© 2010 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

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.

Drive-By Cute-ing

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 …
This is a “think post.” No answers, just questions to ask yourself.

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
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
chronologically caged

~ 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.


Photo Credit: Venus deMilo Statue, VENUS OF MILO © Eishier

*Enjoy this link to David Engel's moving performance of "I Am What I Am" from the Broadway musical, La Cage Aux Folles.  The movie The Birdcage was based on it.

Poet Karen Lyons Kalmenson is hovering ever closer to sixty and is proud of it. I have managed to incorporate my eternal 60's nation spirit with the high tech 21st century world. I am a "wanting to be paid for my writing" writer, who dabbles in rhyme, and, sometimes, reason.

My passions are my husband, who is truly the wind that ruffles my sails, animal rights, baking, yoga, the beach, waking up in the morning. I find inspiration in too many things to list, and far too many more to remember. From living with a chronic illness, I have learned the beauty of each day, and treat each as another sun salutation, and another chance.  If you are interested, or even if you are not, here’s my blog, My Heart—Musings and Confusings.

COMMENT CONTEST!  Don't forget to comment this week, Feb. 22-28, the final week of the Valentine's month comment contest.  The final  prize is a mini reading with Joyce by e-mail. Comments on any post qualify according to the guidelines in the announcement. Need a how-to on commenting? Click on The Cosmos Comments.

Winner of the Week #3 Comment Contest is Pop Art Diva.  Pop Art commented on the post, Marquee de God. She has won a copy of  Chiron and Wholeness: A Primer.


LB said...

Hi Joyce -- I'm also a "Venus Girl", (Sun/Venus/North Node in Libra and all part of my larger 2nd house stellium), so I can relate to what you're saying. I always got more than my fair share of attention, and I always knew that it was superficial -- just as I knew for certain that someday it would end. At this point in my life (early 50's), I never know quite how to respond when someone comments on my physical appearance. It almost scares me, as if I don't want the pressure of holding onto something so fleeting.

So I'm trying to redefine my idea of beauty. Unlike the Hollywood crowd who nips and tucks, I want to age naturally, yet maintain my sense of style and grace well into old age. I feel inspired now when I see women in their 70's and 80's who have this quality; I'd like to be 90 and have people notice that certain something that shines from within -- I'm reminded of the grown-up, aged heroine in the movie "Titanic". Great jewelry doesn't hurt either.

As far as hair coloring goes, I feel your pain. I was happily relieved when I finally found a less toxic, no-odor hair coloring alternative. Light gray is not a good color for me.

Thanks for the good post.

Thanks Joyce, for the good post.

Joyce Mason said...

Thanks, LB! I love hearing how others handle being a Venus Girl of a certain age. Sounds like you've got a good Libran balance on the issue.

BTW, don't know if you noticed at the bottom of the prior post, but you won the Week 2 comment contest draw. If you'd like to have your free copy of by e-book on Chiron, please send an e-mail address where I can forward it ( Your address will not be shared.

LB said...

Yea!!! I had a feeling I might win (transiting Jupiter is trine my Jupiter). And thanks for letting me know, as I was not aware.


JuliaAna said...

Hi Joyce, I'll be 59 in a couple of weeks! I agree with everything LB said too! And I hope I am always intrested in others and intresting to others. I just dont want to disconnect from the joy of life ever...thats when it's over! When it quits being beautiful to live on Mother Earth.

I saw Mrs Billy Graham last year in NC in a little cafe on her Bday! Her kids wheeled her in in a wheel chair. I could not take my eyes off her;- She is still a beautiful, elegant, gentle, kind and carasmatic lady! Her lipstick was perfect for her outfit, which was perfect for her skin tone, her jewelry was eligently understated; she was just a total class act! Her spitit radiated from her eyes compassion, kindness and wisdom. I think she was 90. All of her light still shines thru as well as the love in her heart! She was so beautiful I wish I could show you what I saw! If I can be half as together at 60 as she is at 90, I will feel like I AM Royalty!
I vote for her for the most beautiful person I have seen in years!

I am looking for my great love of my life @ 60 and if I find that I feel like that will be my best beauty aid! That and some good Henna should do it!

Joyce, thanks for another good article. Your the best! That picture of you in the rocking chair says it all...look at the confidence and maturity in that little girl! That little girl was ready to grow up and be an adult! Do you have Cap rising?

Blessings, JuliaAna

Joyce Mason said...

Hi, JuliaAna--Taurus Rising, but Capricorn Moon. (Folks who don't know her reference, JuliaAna is talking about the pic of me as a little girl that's part of the masthead for my other blog, Hot Flashbacks, Cool Insights.) I LOVE what you said about Mrs. Graham! I think that's part of what I was getting at in this post. There's nothing wrong with beauty and wanting to be beautiful, but we have to understand that there's beauty in every phase of life. Mrs. G. not only gets it; she lives it. Those who won't let their beauty mature with them end up looking like caricatures--the grandma in a mini-skirt that doesn't have the figure to go with it or the old lady who tries so hard with too much make-up, she ends up looking like a clown. I'm glad to know you think I was always mature for my age, LOL! As with all things in life, healthy balance--and a little taste!--really go far.

As ever, thank you for a thoughtful and spirited contribution!

Susannah said...

Hi Joyce, I enjoyed this post and can so identify with its sentiments. :-)

My Mother (who was a startlingly beautiful woman when she was younger) found the aging process very difficult, as so much of what she was about had been based on her looks and attractiveness, she went through a stage of hating what she saw in the mirror.

My advice is something that I am now taking on board myself - To not judge yourself on what 'used to be' but to make the most of what is, you can wear beautiful colours, wonderful accessories and jewelry and most of all do your best to feel good about yourself! as that counts so much more than an unlined face!

She came through the crisis and now still turns heads when she wants to. :-)

She is absolutely stunning with her once dark hair now almost platinum and her full make up and big smile - wow!

I too took a step recently and had some light streaks put into my hair as I 'may' let my grey hair grow through - I think with a good cut and a big smile it can look wonderful. . . we'll see.

Here's to venus!

Sandra Mosley said...

Aloha Joyce,

I too have Taurus rising and 3 planets (if you count Chiron) in Libra. Maybe it's my Venus conjunct Pluto or my Moon conjunct Saturn (or both), but I'm fascinated by how willing we are to waste precious time denying our age. Myself included as I've certainly had my issues with the physical aspect of it, vanity included. After all I do have Venus in Leo. :-)

You got to the core of the issue in the paragraph titled "More Fundamental Questions."

Anyway, I found today's post on my other favorite blog "Time Goes By". To be a perfect response to your "Venus Girls, Fleeting Beauty".

Joyce Mason said...

Sandra, thanks for taking time to comment, but most of all, for sharing that wonderful blog post on "As Time Goes By." I heartily recommend that readers take a moment to cut-and-paste the link from Sandra's comment into your browser. I agree heartily with two of its key points. We are an ageist society. (We need to get over it.) And so far, my 60's have been my prime.