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Charm, confidence, a sense of humor that comes with experience, that sexy aura. Haven’t people always said these things about older men? Yes, they have. And now they’re being said about older women.

Finally.

But let’s show our age in a positive way.

Twenty years ago, I saw elegant, beautiful women with silver hair all over Germany: they looked wonderful. Now, in France — especially in Paris — more and more women are, proudly, letting their natural hair color and their age show. How nice. But what do 75% of all American women do? They use hair dye. And, according to Nielsen, they spent $1.3 billion to cover their gray hair last year.

Come on, ladies. Let’s accept ourselves. No matter what all those commercials (and your children) tell you, silver hair is beautiful. Wrinkles are fine. Stop using hair dye: believe me, that stuff is dangerous (look up the National Cancer Institute reports) and hair dyes are constantly — and horribly — tested on innocent animals. Stop pumping in products like Botox, another health risk, one that equally creates terrible animal suffering.

Take a deep breath; make the decision to treat yourself well, respect your body regardless of age. Instead of being a consumer victim who uses dangerous products in the hope of being appealing, become a rebel! Refuse. Use your talent, the talent that comes after a certain age: the ability to walk into a room with grace, to draw people out, to charm, to amuse, to titillate.

Like fine wine that’s been well treated, when we respect ourselves, we improve with age.

As far as lovers go, we can pick, choose and appreciate those in a greater age range. And when the zing of passion does come flying in, it’s more intense, more fun, more intelligent — more mysterious somehow — when you’re older. These things are pretty important if you’re a writer of romances with heroes and heroines over 40.

Here’s something else: take a look at divorce statistics. According to Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri, almost fifty percent of first marriages, and 67% of second will end in divorce. What does that mean? It means that half of those lovely, romantic, young love relationships in a romance novel will come to a nasty end.

And what about third marriages? Well … 74% of those will also end in divorce. But doesn’t that open the door to more highly interesting, romance stories?

Take my word for it! I’m perfectly convinced there’s nothing quite so appealing, quite so much fun, as having gray hair, wrinkles and being sixty-seven years old.

So you see why the heroes and heroines in my books will always be over 40?

 

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