American culture may tell us it’s all downhill after 18, but our own eyes tell us that while a woman can’t be forever young, she can be perceived as forever beautiful. Especially if she lives in France. Or India. Or Ghana. Or a surprising number of other places where one’s value doesn’t diminish after adolescence. And though there’s no denying the worldwide creep of America’s fondness for the under-30 set (China, known for its veneration of parents and grandparents, now has the second-highest face-lift rate in the world), not every country buys into that concept. Read on for locales where age brings rewards.
In Romania, embracing your sensuality—something most women get better at with age—is central to being beautiful.
Who she is A world-renowned soprano, Gheorghiu has performed in virtually every major opera house in the world, beginning with her 1992 international debut in La Bohème at the Royal Opera House in London. Reviewers have called her glamorous and sensual.
Romanian beauty defined “We are a Latin people surrounded by Slavic countries, and it is the mix of these two heritages that gives us such exquisite looks,” says Gheorghiu. “We have that combination of classic beauty and modern sexiness. It is hard to beat!”
Why aging is attractive “As a child, all the time my mother would tell me, ‘Be proud of your body. Be proud of who you are.’ This gave me strength,” she says. “Today I can honestly say I was attractive in my twenties but I am even better now! Romanian women are beautiful at every age, and we know it.”
Understatement is out “Don’t listen to a Romanian man who says he prefers a ‘natural’ woman,” says Gheorghiu. “He might think he likes a woman without any makeup, but what does he know? With a little mascara and red lipstick, trust me, he will like you even more!”
The Romanian beauty regimen In cities like Bucharest, spas and health clubs are popular, and Gheorghiu hits the gym or pool for most of her exercise. “Of course,” she adds, “the best exercise of all, at every age, is to make love!”
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