I enjoyed the carry‑on between Brazil’s Trumpian President Jair Bolsonaro and France’s posturing President Macron over derisory remarks (they were actually rather mild) about Macron’s elderly wife Brigette.
Brigette was a school‑teacher, married with 3 children when she met the 25 years younger Macron, then one of her pupils.
Years later after her marriage ended she married Macron which obviously, given the age gap, aroused attention. Prominent English novelist Julian Barnes’s, excellent latest work “The Only Story”, revolves around such a love affair between a 19 year old student and a 48 year old spirited housewife. Such things happen.
Brigette is blessed being (on my estimation) one of about 20% of females born slim‑hipped. The great advantage they enjoy is never getting hippy fat, thus in their 60s and onwards, always having a natural elegance and generally belying their years. But, and there certainly is a but, they make damn fools of themselves if they then try and emulate teenagers in their dress.
The cold hard fact is Brigette looks ridiculous solely because of her young girl’s totally unsuitable, wig-like hair-style. Thus she deservedly cops the stock cliché ridicule, specially in France, of mutton dressed as lamb. It’s self‑inflicted damage.
There are many aspects of this. For example, South East Asian women epitomise in both figure and face, the western ideal of feminine beauty. More to the point they retain a youthful beauty a couple of decades longer than western women; ergo they can get away with the sexiest and simplest of female hairstyles, namely ponytails, into their fifties. Unless they have very youthful features, most western woman over 30 with a ponytail would look ridiculous.
This is not just a female issue. There’s no sillier sight than a middle‑age and sometimes older male, dressed like a teenager and wearing a ponytail or hair bun. They’re the epitome of wetness.
Growing old gracefully is a desirable trait, which is not to say one can’t still be at “it”, play sport, albeit not as well as in earlier years, and so on.
Were Brigette to pull her hair back from her face, or if she is wearing a wig, wear a more suitable one, the scorn she cops in France and elsewhere would cease. She may well owe Bolsonaro thanks for his dig, that’s if she acts on it.