The true beauty of middle age

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The true beauty of middle age


The trend of the so-called “beautiful middle-aged man” is in full swing these days thanks to corporate marketing. Plastic surgery leads the trend. Getting Botoxed is the best method for getting rid of the wrinkles at the corners of eyes. Effective facial filler is used to enhance and restore volume to facial areas like the cheeks, while lipolysis is effective in tightening abdominal muscles or removing excess fat from the stomach region.

Sorry, but this is just wrong. Beauty in middle age cannot be attained by resorting to the techniques of modern medicine. Being obsessed with healthy-looking skin and conforming to trend-setting fashion is far from the definition of beautiful middle age.

This group has come to be characterized as “Nomu,” a weird Konglish acronym for “No More Uncle.” Nomu is much closer to the result of a corporate marketing campaign to milk middle-aged males for a new source of revenue.

Netizens insist that the secret to being beautiful in middle age lies in one’s past and how they’ve lived their lives. Wrinkles should be admired. Even in middle age one can have gorgeous-looking wrinkles. A big belly and short legs are all right so long as the middle-aged man appears dignified. Elegant warmth and antiauthoritarian cuteness are essential elements. If equipped with a sense of humor: even better.

Among Korean celebrities, Ahn Sung-ki, Choi Min-sik, Jo Jae-hyeon and Kim Myung-min are prime examples. Foreign actors such as Sean Connery, Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, George Clooney, Tony Leung, Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt also fit the perfect mold of beautiful middle-aged men.

It is the charisma of these men that holds even women in their 20s spellbound. Accordingly, there is no guarantee that a handsome young man will become a gorgeous middle-aged male. It is imperative to grow old in a beautiful manner, having a beautiful way of life carved in body, face and mind.

These days, the term “beautiful old age” is also going around. A gorgeous-looking elderly gent received a standing ovation at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival. He is Johnny Hallyday, a 62-year-old French rock star and actor. Parisians couldn’t take their eyes off his charismatic face full of wrinkles in his film poster.

In order for men to age gracefully, it’s best to look at which behaviors, mostly related to manners, should be avoided. These include the backbiting of one’s wife, treating doorkeepers and cleaners badly, repeating the same tired old stories, sitting with one’s legs wide open and sponging free dinners from business acquaintances.

An antonym for beautiful middle age may be the Korean word ggondae, referring to a narrow-minded man.

The writer is a deputy economic news editor of the JoongAng Ilbo.

By Lee Na-ri []
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