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1950s Charm School: Fountain of Eternal Charm

Image of an older woman enjoying a cello concert

Since a woman is the sum total of her experience, every year of her life can add to her charm and beauty.  If a woman is constantly striving toward successful self-expression, each year adds to the luster and glow…Your beauty and charm is what you make it.  There may be no fountain of eternal youth–but there is a fountain of eternal charm and it is available to any woman who takes the trouble to drink from it.

~ John Robert Powers Secrets of Poise, Personality, and Model Beauty

Dear Friends,

Our mid-century mentor, Mr. Powers, calls the years from 35 on as “The Age of Realization.”  He says that the golden, joyous years of a woman’s life should begin at 35.  Okay, I’m going to be honest here and say that I do not consider “35” to be the golden years.  Heck, in today’s modern world, 50 isn’t even considered “golden” anymore! When I hear “golden,” I think “retirement age.” But let’s not quibble about numbers and instead focus on the heart of what he is trying to say about aging gracefully:

  • Physical beauty is a state of health.  Take care of your body and watch your health!  What you put into your body really impacts whether you look like you have a healthy glow or a pasty shine.  Exercising and eating right is a prescription for beauty that doesn’t require a trip to the cosmetics counter.
  • Age is a state of mind.  I know some perfectly healthy women who are ready for the deathbed at 65 years old and other women who are so full of life at 80 that I get the impression that they will live forever.  The “fountain of youth” that allows us to age gracefully is found by having an active and open mind, trying out new things, and staying out of a rut.
  • Charm is a state of spirit. Charm springs from the heart and soul.  Is she feminine, considerate, compassionate, understanding, and kind?  A charming spirit moves with grace, glows with good will, shines with her sparkle, and endures with her loyalty.

Those of us “of a certain age” have time and experience on our side.  We have been able to outgrow most of the angst of our youth because we have more successes under our belt that enable us to have a bit more confidence.  But we have to make sure that we don’t hold onto anger and/or judgment over unwise choices or devastating situations because the ugliness of those feelings shows on the outside, too.  With age comes the wisdom needed (we hope) to regroup and move on with a joy filled life.

Mr. Powers reminds us that it is never too late to be beautiful because charm is the most important beauty asset of all for aging gracefully and has no age limit...”if a woman nurtures it!”

Are you a “woman of a certain age” with a secret for aging gracefully?

To Your Fabulous Technicolor Life!


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  1. I love this post, and heartily agree with Mr. Powers though I may quibble at the age he describes as “golden years”. I was raised in the South by Southern mama and aunties and those women exuded beauty and charm even into their later years. They imparted those qualities of poise, graciousness, hospitality, manners and resiliency and strength to us. As we say in the South, “I am doin’ my mama proud.”

  2. Great article, but one thing stuck out to me, and that was about women starting their golden years so late in life. Why cant a womans golden years start at 35? This idea that we cant needs to stop because too many women have burned out on life by 40. I was married young and had my children young. At 39, my children are well adjusted teenagers. Ive been married to the love of my life for a very long time. My house and cars are paid off, and my husband has 17 years in his career at the age of 35. Because of his extensive experience in aviation and his certifications, he has been able to now work from home making very good money. I get to be a homemaker now, so we get a lot of time to spend together. We get to go out for coffee and chocolate croissants just because its Tuesday morning. I would say ive started my golden years, and i love it. Other men and women dont get to be like me and my husband, and i think thats a tragedy. I feel the reason why people cant start their golden years younger is because they are focused on the hustle instead of focusing on actually starting their life. I have my degree in science (which i found out after i paid for my degree, is a field that pays horribly), and i was also in the military in my youth (also pays horribly), but if i had continued to pursue these things and put off marriage and family to do it, i wouldnt be where i am in life right now. I would probably still have a mortgage (and probably a very high one given current rates), and toddlers instead of independent teenagers, and i wouldnt have my long standing, rock solid marriage. If my husband hadnt gotten to work on his life at 18, he wouldnt be the higly respected 35 year old pro with so much experience that he is today. I got the hard stuff out of the way when i was young while my girlfriends were at the club, and now im happily settled in life drinking coffee in my solarium watching the sun rise with my favorite person, while those same old girlfriends still havent been able to achieve adulthood and they are very lonely, bitter people in their late 30s and early 40s. Golden doesnt mean old, it means the best. You can start your golden years in your 30s or 40s, but you have to start your adulthood early.

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