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Inner Beauty and Aging Gracefully: A Letter from Oleda

Inner Beauty and Aging Gracefully: A Letter from Oleda

Posted on December 13 2017

Dear Friends,

Recently I received a Facebook post from a lovely lady who couldn’t believe that, at 82, I could look the way I do. She mentioned that my photos must have been retouched and that it was OK to show one’s age, wrinkles and all, adding that the heart and character of a person is what counts most.

I’d like to share with all of you what I responded to her…

My goodness, yes it is certainly OK to age . . . and show it if that is your choice. And I also agree that character counts most. 

Years ago, after retiring as a Wilhelmina model in New York City, I thought perhaps I could help guide people who wanted to look and feel more youthful than their age dictated.  We are living longer than ever and in better health than ever – and changes in lifestyle and nutrition can help dramatically in the way we look and feel. . . for those who want to.

Yes, I’ve been a double-process, bleached blonde for 60 years; and I do it myself at home. I’ve never weighed more than 120 Lbs. in my life except when pregnant.  

Do genes play a part in my appearance? Sure, to a degree, but, as has been proven in extensive scientific studies, lifestyle and environment are three times more important in the aging process. 

So far, I take no age-related medication but – and this is most important (for me) — I have been on hormone replacement therapy, monitored regularly by my trusted gynecologist, since age 50. I have religiously stayed out of the killer sun, follow a well-balanced diet and eat less than most people do. I also take nutritional supplements.

I keep very, very active mentally, physically and socially. I believe this is a big contributing factor to the way I look and want to look.

In the photo you commented on, one that was taken during a modeling photo session, I had body makeup on, as all models do for a “shoot,” the angle was set and the most flattering light (time of day and flash) was used for obvious reasons.

But my photos are not allowed to be retouched or photo-shopped — they never were and never will be.

Of course I have some wrinkles but not what one would expect for someone my age.

The beauty is that, today, in many cases, it can be possible to live life looking and feeling more the way we wish (with effort). That’s my message for which I try to set an example, hoping to inspire people to try.

I loved reading your comments and the opportunity to give this clarification because I know you’re not alone in your thinking. Such disbelief is only natural. I get it in person all the time. 

I wish for you a long, healthy and happy life, however you desire to live it. 

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