This post is sponsored by RoC
Yay for Ellen Degeneres! When she brought up actress Helen Mirren’s age during an interview earlier this year (Helen will be 73 in July, and doesn’t hesitate to say it), Ellen gushed to Helen, “You look GREAT!”
Ellen left off three little words from her statement to Helen, that too many of us would fail to omit if we were lucky enough to have a conversation with the great actress. Those three words are: “…for your age.” Undoubtedly, Helen, like countless other women, has gotten the backhanded compliment, “You look great for your age,” countless times over the years. I sure have!
Now in her 50s, Ellen well might have paid close attention to an exceptional consciousness-raising campaign by RoC Skincare, called #ForYourAge, that aims to get us all to think twice before ever again using the expression with a compliment. As women age, this seeming praise can have a far greater impact on a woman’s self image and how she defines her beauty than can be seen on the surface.
A whopping 82 percent of women aged 40+ have been told they look great “for their age” in the last year, according to the nationwide RoC #ForYourAge survey. In fact, women received this backhanded compliment an average of every six weeks in the past year, the survey revealed.
A majority of women surveyed said they’d rather not get a compliment at all than hear one paired with the three little words “for your age”; nearly one in four women feel it would be worse to admit their age to everyone they know than their salary, and 87 percent of women agree that society expects women to act their age, but look younger.
Thandie Newton, the award-winning British actress and RoC campaign ambassador, reported she’s heard “for your age” many times as she’s been getting older, and she’s almost three decades younger than Helen. “It’s made me feel disappointed and I hate it,” said Thandie, who appears in Westworld, the popular science fiction series. “When you say ‘you look good for your age,’ you’re immediately boxing someone in. We should instead be liberating each other. Let’s give a compliment fully,” Thandie stressed.
I encourage you to watch Thandie’s short, inspirational video for RoC, and to join the #ForYourAge movement by vowing to think twice before using the expression again. Also, make sure to gently tell anyone who uses it with you that you’d prefer they didn’t!