The term ‘beauty’ I so largely employed even though everyone perceives the beauty differently! What is beautiful in one’s eyes depends much on cultural background, experience, projection (do I find what I usually consider beautiful) and even chemicals in the brain. When it comes to faces, there are as many preferences as there are people. However, some general tendencies to prefer symmetry, a friendly look and fresh appearance pertain to all.
How often have you heard the elderly saying things were wonderful when they were young? They are not missing the historical point. What they miss is the youthful appearance and the vigour. As a matter of fact, they would not mind to have the older age and the wisdom that comes with it provided that they could preserve their looks!
Apparently, there are some communities that have discovered (non-intentionally) the secret of staying young and living longer. For example, the isle Okinawa in Japan. They boast with hundreds of inhabitants that have reached and surpassed the age of 100.
Tibetans have been asked about the secret of their youthful looks. It is much due to their tendency to lead a calm meditative life, but they had something more to share. Besides that, there’s often a reference to the beauty of the French women in the articles about fashion and beauty. So I decided to research on the habits of the good-looking and long-living people.
The most reliable source is the first source, so here are the recipes from people who have lived over 100 years:
Jeanne Calmet (lived 122 years) – said she used olive oil to massage her skin and consumed red wine and dark chocolate. I’d say she looked better when she was 60 than when she was 20. It is important to mention that she aged without memory or health problems.
Bel Kaufman (lived 101 years) – believed humor kept him young and healthy. That implies interaction with other people and a positive view on life. By the way, specialists have outlined the importance of social interaction in keeping the aging brain keen.
Gardner Watts (lived to be 98, but supports the point above) – his longevity was due to a steady and successful relationship. The man said he’d spent his life with a perfect spouse and they used to do everything together.
Besse Cooper (lived until 116) – said minding one’s own business and not eating junk food was important. I can’t agree more, especially with the first part! 😀 Treating everyone the way you expect them to treat you and loving what you do was important too, she said.
According to the scientists, the communities where people live long display a series of common traits:
- Psychological wellbeing among the inhabitants (this includes both character features like calm and supportiveness but also the process of ageing keeping a healthy brain)
- Living in communion with nature
- Developed health systems
- Ageing healthy and good-looking as part of cultural specific (If your relatives looked like 30 when they were 60 it is not just the genetics that program you to follow their example, it is also a mental threshold that they set)
- People who surpass 100 recognize, when looking back, that they had a qualitative life with accomplishments and events that motivated them to keep going.
- Healthy eating habits. Okinawans say you should eat until 80% full. The amount of vegetables one consumes should be 7 times more than the amount of meat. The diet of these people is rich in fish.
- Planning – or as they call it ‘having a purpose’. I prefer to call it ‘planning’ because we don’t live with just one purpose. We want to do plenty of things in this life – to grow, travel, make friends, share knowledge, invent, create, help…
- Drinking green tea. It is rich in antioxidants and has to be consumed daily. What is the difference between black and green tea? In reality it is the same type of leaves but their processing differs. The green tea goes through less stages and is thus fresher.
- Physical exercise
- Taking part in the life of the community (getting retired late or continuing as a volunteer)
Books have been written about Tibetan secrets of staying healthy and young-looking. The 5 Tibetan Rites were the main focus. It is a short series of exercises you can perform in the morning. They don’t take much time at all, but are said to have age-reversing properties. I have found a nice video demonstration on YouTube. It is embedded below:
In the Western view, a woman’s beauty resumes a lot to attitude. Red wine, long walks, a lipstick and a smile is what makes a woman beautiful. Skin care is given a lot of importance. The facial masks and creams are not a whim – they are investments. ‘Avoir un je ne sais quoi’ – literally translates as ‘to have I don’t know what’ but is often used in the context of describing beauty. Sometimes, beauty is atypical and you can’t point at what exactly attracts you.