Body image

Our obsession with youth: Martha Stewart hits Sports Illustrated’s cover at 81

By Danielle Jarvis
woman looking out

It’s official: the world is obsessed with looking younger, as Sports Illustrated magazine has just featured 81 year-old Martha Stewart on the cover.

Martha looks fantastic for her age, and while she may have had a bit of work done along the way, she may well deserve her spot on the once-esteemed sports magazine’s cover.

However, Martha is not my subject matter here. Our obsession with youth is. We live in a world that is now obsessed with looking younger. Plastic surgery and Botox used to be reserved for those who lived in Los Angeles, and in particular Hollywood, but now, the entire world has caught on.


Everyone wants to look – and act – younger than they are.

Jane Fonda, in her latest character in the 80 For Brady movie, still looks like she could be the next celebrity on the cover. She too is in her eighties.

Elle Macpherson celebrated her 59th birthday recently by donning her trademark string bikini for social media. To put that into perspective, next year ‘The Body’ will be entitled to a Senior’s Card. Elizabeth Hurley regularly posts in her string bikini and she is well into her fifties.

Madonna is turning 65 and and about to embark on a global tour.

It seems nobody wants to actually look their age anymore. And while that is a good thing in that people are taking care of themselves, ageing (gracefully) is one of the pleasures of life. You’ve stopped comparing yourself to other women as much as used to, you have time on your hands again, now your children have grown up, and you have the benefit of wisdom, which comes with age.

So it’s awesome to see older celebrities retracting from the garden, or the knitting needles and a warm cup of tea, but at the same time, let’s not despise growing old.

As Christian women, if you can do it gracefully, then that’s also a great witness. The Bible tells us that grey hair is a sign of wisdom, so we must all appreciate getting older and realize that while we may not look like we did many years ago, we are wiser and calmer, and also able to help younger women navigate what is becoming an increasingly complex life.