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Author Topic: Famous Faces  (Read 677 times)

Rob C

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Famous Faces
« on: October 30, 2017, 04:12:38 PM »

I was flicking through a set of photographs of Michelle Pfeiffer some moments ago and it came to mind, not for the first time, that where one has the opportunity of seeing huge volumes of photos of such people all in one bite, it's then possible to arrive at a few common conclusions.

Perhaps the most striking, for me, is that women are really not at their visual best in their twenties. I look back at so many of those stars, and more often than not it seems to me that they really come into their best time during their thirties and that it can go on into their mid-fifties if they are lucky.

It makes me somewhat sorry that I lost contact with all but one of my past collaborators; it would have made for an interesting trip to shoot them at that later period of their beauty. Of course, that's not to suggest that they all had great beauty: perhaps, more, they had the ability to project something else. Which may be exactly what those big stars discover and manage to do later in life.

Just musing...

Rob

Eric Myrvaagnes

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Re: Famous Faces
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2017, 05:17:46 PM »

I wish you could have done that follow-up, Rob. I would love to see the results. I suspect you are quite right.

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes (visit my website: http://myrvaagnes.com)

Rob C

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Re: Famous Faces
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2017, 07:26:41 AM »

Yes, Eric, and I think that Sarah Moon knew this long ago because in one of her online musings she says that she feels this heavy responsibilty to catch the model's beauty now, before it's gone for ever; that she feels this terrible sense of time flying past and that what she thinks she is seeing might not really exist at all, only during part of the gifted moment as she gazes through the camera. I think she is perhaps right: physical beauty itself does change over time, never mind magical moments on-camera that nobody can create the same twice. I do recall my wife saying once that it was so unfair, that aging men could grow into a "distinguished" sort of look/style but that women just went to bits, and the more artifice they employed to disguise, the worse they made themselves look.

So, yes, surviving good looks do depend on something other than youth as time leaves the old pages turned forever, and I think that insofar as the physical bit goes, facial bonework is key. And so is whatever chemistry prevents facial fat from forming and sagging downwards and dragging the lips and cheeks with it. I suppose most men find it around the waist instead (their waist, I mean), and it gets blamed on beer or whatever.

It must be terrible to have youthful beauty, know that you do, make a fortune from it, and realise in your twenties that it's going slowly away from you and you can't stop it. Should you?

It brings to mind the positive or negative values of keeping photographs. Is it better, in your later life, to have images of yourself shot by some of the best people in the business, make-up by top artists etc. etc., even if you can admit that the image is only based on yourself (now more so than ever with digital), or does happiness and peace come from not having such reminders of other days?

Regarding the remaining model I knew from the 60s: she turned up out of the blue one day a couple of years ago as I was shooting some guys in a bar during my "musical period" (a joke - it only lasted a few months because it was ever the same old faces and one group) and I thought she looked familiar but I had no idea why. She knew me at once, despite the lack of hair, and came up to chat. Turned out she and hubby come over for a couple of months every winter to escape Scotland's worst. I asked her to do another shoot, just for old-time's sake, and she managed to avoid it ever happening. She was far more perceptive than I. And she was right: being in one's sixties defies everything, even the best bones ever.

Rob

GrahamBy

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Re: Famous Faces
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2017, 07:46:33 AM »

It may be that our male (or persons oriented towards the female sex) gaze is adjusted with our own age: most 20-something models now look disturbingly young to me, and if I can admire them rather like fine plants, there is not much hormonal interest. Whereas the mid 40-ish women who I now find devastating would have seemed completely uninteresting when I was 20.

Then again, I've a friend who in her late 50's has discovered the uncomplicated world of younger men, and she has no lack of applicants. The determination of men in their 60's to pursue young women to the detriment of their repuations is well documented... or maybe that's a function of your environment. I read Michael Douglas saying that it was completely normal that a man was in relationship with a woman 30 years younger: everyone around him was doing that.

The world is a complicated place.
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Rob C

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Re: Famous Faces
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2017, 08:44:23 AM »

It may be that our male (or persons oriented towards the female sex) gaze is adjusted with our own age: most 20-something models now look disturbingly young to me, and if I can admire them rather like fine plants, there is not much hormonal interest. Whereas the mid 40-ish women who I now find devastating would have seemed completely uninteresting when I was 20.

Then again, I've a friend who in her late 50's has discovered the uncomplicated world of younger men, and she has no lack of applicants. The determination of men in their 60's to pursue young women to the detriment of their repuations is well documented... or maybe that's a function of your environment. I read Michael Douglas saying that it was completely normal that a man was in relationship with a woman 30 years younger: everyone around him was doing that.

The world is a complicated place.


Hi Graham - One way that we differ turns out to be one's youthful appreciation (I was too young to understand lust) because I do recall, quite clearly, my fascination, at age eleven, with ladies in their twenties. Yes, they did appear much older but also totally wonderful. Maybe that's why I ended up doing what I did with my life. It all began to make sense during a year that I spent in northern Italy discovering roots, as they are called. I discovered more than I'd imagined that I might at eleven.

Regarding the young of today: I can obviously see what they've got going for them, but as I have no business now, it's really academic. I certainly find no joy in protracted conversation with the few that still spend enough time for that, and really, what is there to say that's not going to ruin their day? Even when I was in the full flush of my game, I ended up getting my wife to come along on trips both because the budgets improved, but also to save my sanity: imagine eating your meal with one or two of those kids where the only conversation is the latest mosquito bite...

Trouble with chasing younger women seems to be that unless self-deception runs deeply within one, the obvious things that stand in the way are hidden but to the wilfully blind. Think Hef, poor guy: no way could I find pleasure in such madness of beliefs. Or did he long forget and dismiss such considerations?
 
One way in which the older woman can score with the young guy is she understands much more about herself, what she wants or does not want, than does he. All he has to do is do it. Which youth usually does more dependably if rapidly.

Rob

Telecaster

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Re: Famous Faces
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2017, 08:15:07 PM »

I do think ol’ Hef lost his way, got entangled in his own mythologizing. In my observation having visible success tends to do this to you if trying to figure out who you are is a major motivator for seeking success in the first place. “Once I make it I’ll know myself!” Then you have success…but find yourself as murky inside as ever. So you latch on to the broad-outline persona you used to help achieve whatever it was you achieved, and you become it. Over time the character mutates into a caricature. In this case the “liberated young man” becomes the “compulsive old lecher.” My 101 take on it anyway.  :)

-Dave-
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