Agns Poirier: Youth is a state of mind, not body

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The Independent Online

We like them to wash and, at least occasionally, to smell nice. We like them to shave closely so their cheeks feel like silk when we kiss them. We like them not to cut their beautiful hair when they're fortunate enough still to have it. We want them to use a napkin and not wipe their greasy paws on our cashmere jumper in a deceiving hug after dinner. Finally, we want them to suck mints as often as possible in expectation of our tête-à-têtes. And that's about it for male grooming.

What we definitely don't want is to find out that they've secretly gone for a nip and a tuck, or even had Botox, laser hair removal or lip implants. A confident woman could not possibly be attracted to, let alone be seduced by, a fool in dire denial who thinks he can reverse the course of time without anybody noticing.

Unless, that is, she likes the Simon Cowell type: 'vieux beaux' deluding themselves they are still 25 when they clearly look too tanned to be trusted, and, in Cowell's case, too nasty to be tasty.

Youth is a transient stage in life whose beauty lies precisely in its ephemeral nature. You're either young or you're not. Nothing can bring it back once it has left you. The good news is that youth is also a state of mind, the only kind that stays with you all your life. However, it's a gift and not everybody has it. Some people are born old, others die at 90, still young at heart; it's not a question of years. We want men to cultivate their inner youth, not turn into egocentric divas.