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Have you grown into your looks/style?

(33 Posts)
MagicalHamSandwich Tue 16-Feb-16 16:03:28

New hairdresser today (lovely woman with brilliant style and very welcome feminist views, btw) upon learning that I'm actually from London said 'oh, that makes sense, I thought your face looked familiar! You're a model, aren't you?'

Now, I've obviously never done any modeling. I'm absolutely not photogenic, two inches too short, not sufficiently underweight and nowhere near pretty enough for that - but it did make me think about how, in my thirties, I seem to have finally grown into my looks/style.

I was an ugly teenager (not horrendously ugly but nowhere even near attractive) and a Plain Jane in my twenties. For the last two or three years, though, I've had people tell me I'm gorgeous for the first time in my life. And, no, these are not men interested in me or friends but co-workers, acquaintances and my ex husband's new wife (who hates it). I'm putting this down to a) finally having a bit more confidence b) figuring out what works for me and c) plain old money: I'm in a well-paying career and hence own quite a few naice clothes/cosmetics/accessories etc.

Has anyone else had this happen to them? Do you look better now than your younger self?

After being an ugly duckling for decades I'm still having issues seeing myself as good looking - but I'd have to be lying to say I wasn't chuffed that others apparently do. What the hell has changed?

PollyPerky Tue 16-Feb-16 16:21:19

I suppose it's all relative.

In my early teens I looked awful- fat and with a terrible hairstyle.

I managed to get my act together in my 20s and at a reunion when I was 40 for old school friends, everyone was very complimentary about how I looked and had notaged.

I had a bit of a relapse in the 30s due to DCs in quick succession and no real sense of who I was anymore but once I started working again I seemed to get my eye in as to what suited me.

MagicalHamSandwich Tue 16-Feb-16 16:43:46

Not sure it's entirely relative, TBH - I'm not talking about myself so much here as about people I've known since they were much younger.

The former 'hot boy' at my middle school, for instance, has aged absolutely horribly. He's nearing the end of his thirties (he's a few years older than me) but could easily be mistaken for 55. Of the two queen bees/school beauties I've run into over the last few months one is still attractive (not traffic stopping level but very pretty) but the other one is now rather plain (not noticeably ugly but definitely not particularly attractive - the kind of woman you'd pass on the street and never notice - she was drop dead gorgeous as a teen).

MitzyLeFrouf Tue 16-Feb-16 16:50:04

There's an undeniable link between youth and beauty but I do think that different people peak at different points in their life. It certainly isn't aged 21 for everyone.

Take Gary Barlow and Mark Owen as an example. In the 90s Mark Owen was the member of Take That that all the girls adored while poor Gary Barlow languished nearly completely unfancied. Now Mark Owen looks a bit like a gnome and Gary Barlow is the good looking one.

HeyYouGetOffMyCloud Tue 16-Feb-16 16:50:30

Yes me. I feel a bit embarrassed saying this but now in my late thirties I've had three or four people tell me I'm beautiful whereas I too was a plain Jane although dh always said I was beautiful. Even he said I've improved with age!!

I think for me it's having my chubby cheeks melt away a little to show I actually have cheek bones. And like you say, a bit more slap and more interest in how I dress.

Probably cutting down on my pork life (in the form of beer) has played a part too!

MitzyLeFrouf Tue 16-Feb-16 16:51:55

And I know she's had a bit of work done but Helen Mirren looks so much better now than she did in her Prime Suspect days.

MNetter15 Tue 16-Feb-16 16:55:55

Yes definitely but in my case it's due to the fact that I started taking care of myself and my appearance when I turned 30; lost a lot of weight, but nice clothes, hair & make up done etc. I bitterly regret spending my 20's overweight and unkept.

MNetter15 Tue 16-Feb-16 16:57:22

I saw an article on Kate Winslet in the Dailymail today and she looks better and better as the years go by. I don't think she has any work done either.

hollieberrie Tue 16-Feb-16 17:37:40

Yes Kate has aged so much better than Leo! He was so hot when he was younger but not great now, whereas she was always sweet looking but is really gorgeous now. Imo anyway.

Iliveinalighthousewiththeghost Tue 16-Feb-16 18:01:36

I guess I'm the petfect example of the ugly duckling.
I was as repulsive as sin as a teen. Dressed dowdy beyond my years. Had no idea about putting colours together.
Then gradually my genes must have switched for the better, and I just developed this knowledge of fashion and colours ect. I am completely unrecognisable from my teenage years but with my friends who were stunning as teens are now dowdy and haggard looking. I guess we all have a ugly stage in our lives.

MadisonMontgomery Tue 16-Feb-16 18:09:34

I don't think I'm much different - more comfortable with myself more, better hair/makeup etc. But some people from school have really changed - I used to be considered better looking than my teenage ex, but I saw some photos of him on Facebook and I don't think he'd give me the time of day now!

amarmai Tue 16-Feb-16 18:30:50

Several of my dd's friends have put a lot of time and effort into making them selves look their best=very impressive.

toffeeboffin Tue 16-Feb-16 19:02:03

I think I have really. I was attractive as a teenager but not comfortable in myself.

For example, I always had a heavy fringe as I thought I had a huge forehead, I've realized that I can have a looser/more natural hairstyle and still look nice even if my forehead is on show!

I think as you age you know what suits you, what to wear etc. And confidence makes a big difference too.

Lifestyle and diet are also big factors. Some girls who I was at school with who were gorgeous have aged terribly - you can see it on their faces, drink, smoking, bad diet. It doesn't show when you are a teen.

Money and time makes a difference too, as they always do.

toffeeboffin Tue 16-Feb-16 19:04:12

Leo DC was stunning as a young man, he hasn't aged well.

Kate looks incredible.

I sort of know what u mean! I posted a pic on fb and people were like oh my god you look much younger than you are where I sometimes think I look older. Wish I had the confidence to post it here. I am not enjoying the changes ie wrinkles/ grey hair ( which I had really really young due to such dark hair ) and the lure of creams that promise miracles but do sod all. I do think I look better than I did at say 18, I was a mess sad

Puppymouse Tue 16-Feb-16 19:10:58

Definitely have here. Half my head was fringe until 14ish and then I had no sense of style, my mum's advice was appalling and I just needed to experiment with what suited me. Which I did constantly once I was earning.

I was always one of those kids who was more comfy around adults and the older I get, the younger people seem to think I am as my "mental age" has stayed the same and I don't have wrinkles really. I think some people just suit being older?

CreviceImp Tue 16-Feb-16 19:44:20

All the women in my family are in the fine wine category too. My mum is stunning in her seventies but was much plainer when younger.

I am getting better looking the older I get and look exactly like my mum did in her mid twenties now I am forty. Found a pic and it was uncanny. Never saw the resemblance before but it looked as if I had dressed up in retro clothes. Weird.

I am looking forward to getting older. It suits some people's genes 🙂 Esp as I can see where I am headed. It looks as if we grow norks in our Fifties too in my family.

ijustwannadance Tue 16-Feb-16 19:56:14

I was a greasy faced minger in my teens.
By late 20's I had definately become more attractive but that was because I finally had the confidence to be myself rather than my looks.

BlairWaldorfLovesShopping Tue 16-Feb-16 20:47:53

I have found this. I was a really awkward looking child/teenager - can't put my finger on why, but it's obvious in photos. I'm now about to hit 30. The last few years I have felt as though my face has sort of "evened out" and I've settled into my looks. I do think everyone has a "peak" at which they look their best. I like my face when I look in the mirror now grin

It is partly confidence/knowing my style/being able to apply makeup better, but there is definitely something else too.

Bananajam Tue 16-Feb-16 20:48:26

I looked okay in my 20's - tallish, very slim and feel amazing now in my mid 40's - not so slim, still tallish! My 30's passed by in a blur of living with teenagers, dealing with their issues, not spending on myself, either time or money. Youth helps but confidence definitely shows and that is any age.

Yes, I think we can grow in to our style and looks but sometimes it's just being happy in your own skin.

MissAlabamaWhitman Tue 16-Feb-16 21:05:04

I had puppy fat as a teen and was nowhere near as beautiful as the tall blonde sporty queen bees at my private girls school.

Now we're early thirties and I see them on Facebook and they look like dowdy housewives. Two stone heavier (at least) dressed in Laura Ashley.

I passed for twenty five this weekend. I'm a size ten and five feet eight even after four children and I'm frequently told I'm beautiful.

I'm so glad I didn't peak in high school. I don't know how I did it though ;)

TimeToMuskUp Tue 16-Feb-16 21:11:23

I think for me it's been a confidence thing. I was a pretty enough teen, good skin, big boobs, slim body from swimming and running daily, but I had zero self esteem, lusted after complete shitheads and made my own life harder by being so down on myself.

I'm a stone heavier now after 10 years and 2 children, but have more confidence and a definite sense of style. I'm never going to be Claudia Schiffer in the attractive stakes, but with a bit of money, a bit of age and a bit of wine, I'm pretty happy with the way I look.

Havalina1 Tue 16-Feb-16 21:44:53

I know what you mean OP. I came into my own in my 30s, I'm very tall and slim, a size 10 and 5.11. I finally got the confidence to 'walk tall', I grew into my looks and I started to get a very different reaction. I have lots of memories of shop assistants cooing over clothes I'd try on saying "so that's what they are supposed to look like". I'm lucky in that I can wear almost anything easily (I feel like a dick saying that!). I was even stopped in my thirties by a model scout!

I'm 41 now and had two babies at 39 and 41 and I feel wrecked again smile

Floisme Wed 17-Feb-16 09:22:42

I don't know about growing into my looks but I'm much more confident and, if I do say so myself, stylish now I'm pushing 60. I was very insecure about how I looked when I was young although now when I see photos, I wonder what the hell I was worried about.

It's true what they say about becoming invisible with age but what they don't tell you is that it's very liberating. Knowing that people are unlikely to look at me twice releases me to take more risks and getting dressed is far more fun nowadays.

Doingmyheadin2016 Wed 17-Feb-16 09:28:21

Definitely happened for me (aged 50.) I can't quite believe it but I get more attention and second looks and compliments now than I ever did when I was younger.

I went through a frumpy stage in my 30s when life was settled and my appearance wasn't my priority when I had small children. I have smartened up my act post-divorce, grown my hair longer and I am sure that's why.

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