// Like it or not, when it comes to age, men are held to a much different standard than women. For example, Pierce Brosnan was 48 when People magazine named him the “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2001. Richard Gere was 50 when he won the title, Harrison Ford was 56, and Sean Connery was just shy of 60. By contrast, the average age of Esquire magazine’s “Sexiest Woman Alive” is thirty. Can it be that men get better with age?
Despite this fact, some startling numbers remain. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, almost 1.5 million cosmetic procedures were performed on men last year. This includes 11,000 hair transplants, 55,000 nose jobs, 1,000 pectoral implants, 4,500 tummy tucks, 98,000 chemical peels, and more than 400,000 Botox injections. These numbers should make one thing quite clear: many men are having a hard time aging gracefully.
Some say age is just a number. They’re right—it’s the number that indicates how old you are. But many men of a certain age go to great lengths to try to discredit this number. None so much as the man going through the dreaded “mid-life crisis.” This man will do anything to recapture his youth, but usually ends up going with the same tried- and-failed, three-part recipe: fast car, young woman, new wardrobe. But this man isn’t fooling anyone but himself. Worse yet, he’s missing the joys of mid-life and beyond. He’s trying to relive the first drop of the roller coaster while the rest of the ride is still stretched out in front of him.
On the other hand, the man who ages gracefully embraces his age rather than tries to defy it. He is proud of his years. He graciously accepts the inevitabilities of age: the thinning hair, the deepening wrinkles, the softening jawline. He knows these are the marks of maturity, the patina of sophistication.
The man who ages gracefully doesn’t let his age define him. He settles into his years with the knowledge that the best is still yet to come. He doesn’t obsess over his appearance, yet he understands that a good tailor, a good barber, and a good attitude can do more for his looks than even the most talented plastic surgeon.
Above all, the man who ages gracefully is a gentleman. He is a man committed to injecting elegance and thoughtfulness into everything he does. He’s the man that all those men desperately trying
to recapture their youth will never understand. He’s the man who acts his age, because he doesn’t give a damn how old he is.