Do you feel Absolutely Fabulous?: MARCELLE d'ARGY SMITH, editor

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Indy Lifestyle Online
I WAS never wonderful-looking, never sighed over, so people have never said to me: 'Oh, you were so beautiful when you were young,' which must be awful. But sometimes in my twenties, on odd evenings, I thought I was hot shit. I don't feel like that now, but I think I'm an all-round better deal.

I'm less comfortable with my looks, but more comfortable with myself: I wouldn't give that up for a smaller waist. There's less competition: you no longer care because your friend's got some dress; you have a clearer sense of what the real life stakes are. One of the best things about getting past 40 is realising that whether, like me, you've been single, or you've been married, or had children, or divorced, it all comes to the same thing. There's a camaraderie.

I've always wanted thicker hair, and I'd prefer to have fewer lines around my eyes - although I'm wearing glasses now, which is great, because I can't see them. If they were bags I'd probably whack in there and have them removed. I'd consider a facelift if someone could convince me I wouldn't look horribly stretched. I wouldn't mind looking 27, but I'd hate to be it.

I think what's really attractive about Joanna Lumley is that she's intelligent, funny, confident and in charge. But magazines and newspapers are one-dimensional, so they can't get those things on the page; they have to focus on looks. Friends of mine often look at Cosmopolitan and say, 'The fashion pages are terrible', and I say, 'Well, that's fashion for someone of 26 and you're 44 and a half.' It's not so much that magazines encourage older women to look girlish as that there are no magazines for grown-up women.

(Photographs omitted)

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