Ageing is a concern for many Americans, particularly its
impact on health, but men seem to have an easier time dealing with the
hallmarks of passing years than women, according to a new survey.
The national poll of 2 000 US adults found that nearly 90% of
people think women are under more pressure to look younger than men are. Men
are also considered old about five years later than women, and sexier at an
While gray hair was thought to make men look distinguished,
on women it was associated with being old. And the age when women were thought to
be the most attractive was 30, compared with 34 for men.
"The survey definitely shows that ageing, when we are
talking about appearance, is a real emotional touch point for both men and
women, no matter whether they are 20, 40, 60," said Kristin Perrotta, the
executive editor of Allure magazine, which commissioned the poll."People
overwhelmingly said they were concerned about the effects of ageing.
They were concerned about how it would affect their
attractiveness to the opposite sex and particularly with women, how ageing would
affect their career."Forty-two percent of women aged 50-59 years old said
they felt they needed to look young to be successful at work, nearly double the
number of men, but overall men and women thought that gender played a larger
role in workplace discrimination than age.
Although aging is a concern for both sexes, about 60% of men
and women said they thought they looked younger than other people their own
age, and a similar number of both sexes said sex gets better with age.
Nearly 70% of African American women said they are not
concerned about the signs of ageing at all, more than any other
race."People did overwhelmingly have a much more positive view towards ageing
and toward themselves and their look as they grew older," Perrotta
When asked to name celebrities who have aged well, actor
George Clooney was by far the top choice among both sexes and all ethnic
groups, ahead of Sean Connery, former US President Bill Clinton and actors Brad
Pitt and Richard Gere.
The top choice among women was less clear cut, but actresses
Meryl Streep, Jamie Lee Curtis and Julia Roberts all ranked high."Leading
men in Hollywood, they are portrayed as sex symbols well into their 70s.
Sean Connery is a perfect example," said Perrotta.
"Unfortunately, although we do have many female stars who are continuing
to grab major roles as they get older, they are less likely to be portrayed as
a sex symbol."
People who had
Five percent of people questioned in the poll said they have
had plastic surgery or injections such as Botox to fight the signs of aging.
Forty-two percent of women and 18% of men said they would consider it in the
future. One in three people who have had injections or plastic surgery have
kept it a secret.
"As public as plastic surgery has become in our culture,
it is still on a personal level, still private," said Perrotta."Most
people who did have Botox or plastic surgery said they were least likely to
tell their spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend or best friend."The online survey
by Penn Schoen Berland has a margin of error of plus or minus three percent.