Upon reading "Aging Gracefully...the French Way," all I have to say is, there is nothing particularly "French" about it. It's the same old story: sexism + ageism = hyper-regulation of female bodies. New York Times author Ann Morrison spouts the same methods we see right here in good old America:
1. French women enjoy regulating their own bodies ("Frenchwomen I know regard the pampering of the skin, hair and body as an enjoyable, gratifying ritual").
2. French women feel as though exposing "flaws" somehow lessens them sexually or as women (“I never discuss these things in front of my husband”).
3. French women internalize the pressures of weightism and restrict caloric intake...even if it means spending extra dollars on pills and procedures ("Frenchwomen won’t get fat...If Frenchwomen don’t walk enough to stay en forme, there is always a pill, a lotion, a machine or a treatment to do the trick").
4. French women seek multiple treatments and services, spending large sums of money to preserve their youth ("Frenchwomen also recommend facials, massages and spa “cures” in their campaign against wrinkles, cellulite and saggy bottoms, bellies and breasts").
5. French women finance a multi-billion dollar skin care industry ("As for makeup, Frenchwomen of almost every age (except those teenagers) regard less as best...Of course, it’s easy to look natural if your skin is great. And that may be where the French secrets really are. According to a 2008 Mintel report, Frenchwomen spend about $2.2 billion a year on facial skin car").
6. French women get plastic surgery ("The objective of plastic surgery in France, according to Dr. Michel Soussaline, a Paris surgeon with more than 30 years of experience, is “to keep the natural beauty and charm of each individual woman, not to fit some current ideal of beauty.” After all, trends change. In the United States, he says, women who spend a lot of money on face-lifts want to show off their investments...Frenchwomen prefer results that look as natural as possible").
In conclusion, the "way" of female aging is the same in France as in America: fight it at all costs.