In this case I'm talking about the generalised view that women in their 50s (I'm almost there) are only acceptable if they turn to botox and tummy tucks and even then, there's a sense of "death becomes her" - as in the film The Laws of Attraction, which I watched on cable for the first time last night (a bit lame all around, but Pierce Brosnan is always worth a look). I was struck by the scene where the mother of Julianne Moore's character meets Brosnan for the first time. He says he's read about her in the social columns and asks if she's really 54 - she replies "Parts of me are," with a sly smile. There's something wrong there - I can't put my finger on it. It seems that women aren't allowed to age gracefully, but if we turn to plastic surgery we are considered brides of Frankenstein and go gently into the "night of the living dead." (That's more than enough film connections for one post.)
But the real reason for this rant is Charles and Camilla. Excuse me if this is a belaboured subject, but I hope to present it from a different angle: is the only acceptable wife a charismatic, young and beautiful woman? Even a deeply troubled, manipulative woman who has a deep need for love because she was abandoned by her mother? When she discovered her marriage was a sham (if she'd taken her History A-levels, she'd have known more about the prospects for a royal wife) she turned to the public for love - and since you can fool most people all of the time, she got it.
In the meantime, there are Charles and Camilla. They have loved each other for 30 years. They deserve a chance to be happy. I wish them well and send my sympathies to the media - they'll have to look for another iconic royal to smother with their cupboard love. There's always William: good luck to him.