Beauty at any age: Charlotte Rampling

— by Alyson Walsh

Photo: Getty

This was going to be called ‘Not Invisible.’ Or given Charlotte Rampling’s honorary French status, ‘Pas Invisible’. My attempt to challenge the idea that women beyond the age of 46 (on this side of the Channel, at least) disappear from view. Arguably, there are fewer older women in the public eye. Fewer older women in ad campaigns, in parliament, on TV, in films. And the pressure to stay young-looking is immense, but ageing shouldn’t affect our standing in the world or our self-esteem. I may not be as energetic as I once was and I don’t have the bone structure of a movie star, but I certainly don’t feel invisible. Just because I’m getting on a bit, doesn’t mean I’m fading from view – surely the abundancy of blogs featuring women of a certain age has put paid to this old-fashioned notion? That’s Not My Age will continue to celebrate older women by making this a regular feature, starring female role models who feel the same. First up is 66-year-old Charlotte Rampling, who told The Times earlier this year:

‘We live in a sexist society, we live in an ageist society. So when we start looking a bit tired and old, we’re put out to grass. I can fight it more because I’m not in the system.’

Photos: Greta Illieva.

The Essex-born, Parisian-based star refuses to indulge in Botox and fillers and says of the obsession with plastic surgery, ‘They’ve all gone to the same surgeon so they’ve all got the same faces. But I’ve got a good face…’ Adding, ‘They need older women in films, and Hollywood is having a lot of difficulty finding people who look that age. So don’t change your face, and you can get really interesting parts. And not just granny parts – you can get sexy parts too.’ And she’s not wrong. Rampling is currently playing a femme fatale in her latest film I, Anna.

Photo: Harper’s Bazaar.

“If you focus on it , it becomes alarming, but you can just… dance with it and really not worry about it.’

 Photo: Helmut Newton.

Famous for getting her kit off in The Night Porter and for Helmut Newton in this 1974 Vogue shoot, age hasn’t deterred her. Rampling posed nearly-naked for a 2003 Marc Jacob’s advert, shot by Juergen Teller.

From the same Juergen Teller shoot.

And again for Teller in 2005 when their creative partnership resulted in the book Louis XV.

As Charlotte Rampling proves, attractiveness is related to
confidence and the way you feel about yourself. What are your thoughts on the Invisible Years?

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Photo: Getty This was going to be called ‘Not Invisible.’ Or given Charlotte Rampling’s honorary French status, ‘Pas Invisible’.