I was blown away by this photograph of Lauren Bacall, taken when she was 88, one year before her death last week.
It’s the most honest portrait of ageing I’ve ever seen from a Hollywood star, and also a little uncomfortable.
Lauren Bacall was one of the most beautiful women of her generation,and yet here she is, facing her advancing years head on.
She’s steadfast, brave, and unflinching.
Much like the Hobbits in the Lord of the Ring: Return of the King, when the Orcs march on Minas Tirith (yes, I’m comparing age to an Orc but bear with me on this), age advances relentlessly.
Nothing you can do – not even Botox – will stop your face from falling apart over time, because (unlike the Orcs), age always wins.
But I think Lauren Bacall is the winner this time around.
Look at that face. Really look. There’s fire in those eyes and a life writ large.
Yes, her old lady face terrifies me but I also love it. I want that face, and I want that confidence.
She’s a woman who knows her power, and yet there’s a resignation too. A tiny recognition of where her amazing life journey has lead her. It’s a fighting stare but one that emanates inner peace.
So RIP Ma’am, and the next time I need to find the strength within to not despise my face for casually shedding its youthful glow, I’ll whistle. I may not be able to come to terms with getting older but I sure know how to whistle.
Love this photo-shoot in this month’s Empire magazine, celebrating ten years since the first Lord of the Rings movie was unleashed on the global shire.
The four actors here, who all played hobbits, look like mini Reservoir Dogs. Cute!