“Being hot in your twenties is the fucking trenches, and I’m not going back there,” eyebrowless muse Julia Fox, 32, declared in an urgent whisper on TikTok over the weekend. The sentiment was the final stake she hammered in her anti-anti-aging rant. “Aging is fully in,” she said, and “if I see another product that says anti-aging on the label, I’m suing. I’m going to sue.”
Her string of TikTok rants about the pressures on women aging simultaneously made me furrow my brow (bad! glabellar lines!) at the excessive admiration they’re getting, and smile (also bad! nasolabial folds!) that another dissident voice has been added to the chorus. On the one hand, I doubt this discussion would be in the news cycle as long as it’s been (one full week!) had a fully-clothed woman over 150 lbs said these same things. The astronomical orbit with which I rolled my eyes after reading a headline calling Fox’s comments “powerful,” as if no one has ever dared suggest before that it’s OK to get older, is being studied by NASA. Still, I appreciate her confrontation of these systems making us (particularly women and femmes) feel awful for just…continuing to exist in our bodies over a period of time.
Fox’s aesthetic has become increasingly hot-girl-goth-grotesque since her rise to fame as Julia De Fiore in 2019’s Uncut Gems. Her style consists of bleached eyebrows, cavernous raccoon eye makeup, and more and more elaborate outfit cutouts. At last week’s CFDA awards she wore her hair slicked back and painted gray and sported a turtleneck dress by Italian label Valerievi. The dress was more “an idea of a dress” than an actual garment, as it was entirely M.I.A. between her upper chest and lower thigh. It’s the kind of look a very famous, very conventionally beautiful, and very thin woman can get away with. Sure, plenty of outlets mocked the look, but for the most part, the public doesn’t protest seeing a thin, famous woman’s almost-naked body. That look, she told Vogue, is “a love letter to getting older.”
Honestly, though, how risky is it actually for an attractive bombshell to bleach her eyebrows and speak out against beauty standards? It’s hard to not angrily snap back, “OK, but what’s at stake for you if we suddenly all shunned anti-aging products?”
At the same time—admittedly moreso—I’m here for Fox being refreshingly honest about the pressures of aging in Hollywood. Famous women and plebes alike are burdened by the relentless expectations to simultaneously look like we’re 24 and not look like we’re trying too hard to look 24. Just having a prominent person vocalize that opens an escape door from the madhouse. In one of her many TikToks, Fox recalls being unable to get out of bed on her 27th birthday because she was so upset she could no longer identify as being in her mid-twenties. She says she yelled at her friends who gathered to celebrate her and told none of them to post about or bring attention to her age. But Fox says one of her friends, Harmony, who was at that birthday gathering five years ago, has since passed away. Aging, she reminds us, is a privilege that not everyone gets to partake in. “We deny ourselves these milestones, for what?” Fox asks, with the slightest hint of a quiver in her voice.
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Ultimately, Fox reminds us being anti-anti-aging (pro-aging?) isn’t just about embracing beauty at older age, but about simply just making it to an older age. I’m glad Julia Fox is yelling about it, even from her place of relative privilege, and I’ll gladly risk more nasolabial folds to yell along with her.