'Please wait until you get to 40 before you start telling women in their 40s how they should look.'

In the latest 'news' about women's faces after 40, candid backstage photos of Kim Kardashian at a fashion show went viral because her photos from the same event looked different. 

It all began when Kim K shared some on-brand curated images from a Dolce and Gabbana event looking flawless, beautiful, and ageless. 

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In comparison, the unedited and 'shocking' backstage photos from the same event show that while Kim is still beautiful, she is also a 42-year-old woman who clearly uses injectables and other treatments. 

I doubt it will surprise anyone that Kim K manipulates her personal images in order to present her best self. I also doubt that it will surprise anyone that Kim continues to have work done to her face.

What has changed however is that Kim is now over 40 and the little tweaks she once had here and there are becoming more visible. 

Because like us other mere mortals, whatever she does to change her face, she is still ageing.


And people have opinions.

What irks me about this latest round of critiquing a famous woman's face for daring to age however, is that a lot of the commentary I have seen on Kim's face is from content creators in their 20s. 

One such TikTok creator is Gracie Jones, whose video on Kim's 'real face' has been viewed four million times.

Gracie says that she believes Kim and the Kardashian family's slide from popularity is because they try too hard to stay looking youthful.

"If she did not photoshop her photos so hardcore [sic] for the past five years, and aged gracefully, it would not have been as big a shock to the public or even a topic of conversation, if she showed the slightest bit of realness," Gracie said in the clip.

"In fact, I think people would applaud her for it. But instead they get a glimpse behind the curtain and realise it is all a façade and that not even she looks like this anymore."

@thoughtswgracie #kimkardashian #alabamabarker #travisbarker #kourtneykardashian #thekardashians #kardashians #karjenner #robkardashian #skims #tiktokanalysis #karjenner #hulu #landonbarker #fyp #foryoupage #khloekardashian #kyliejenner #gaymanwithaspraytan #popculture #popculturenews #popcultureanalysis #popculturenews #media #influencerdrama #northwest #kanyewest #kendalljenner #jenner #greenscreen ♬ original sound - kerusso

The clip is of a fresh-faced Gracie talking over close-up images of Kim K's face in order to illustrate how she is not ageing gracefully. That Kim is presenting a 'façade' on her Instagram (shock horror!) that only now as she settles into her early 40s can we see what she really looks like. 

And while I don't entirely disagree with Gracie regarding the Kardashian brand's relevance with the youth market, I am so, so tired of women talking about and judging older women's faces.  


At 43, I'm a year older than Kim and I find it patronising when women decades younger than me provide 'helpful' commentary on how my face should or should not age. Or how I should or should not be presenting my face online and IRL.

But I remember what it was like to be young and full of similar opinions.

At 25, I thought some moisturiser and neck cream would be all I would ever want to put on or in my face. I remember watching reality shows that included clips of rich American housewives having 'Botox parties' and I thought, 'Oh, how sad.'

I remember smugly talking to friends about how I would never go down the injectables path because I would 'age naturally'.

In my early to mid-30s, I began spending more money on serums and eye creams. Then I turned 35 and a few friends began admitting to using injectables. I became curious and my morally superior beliefs faded. 

At age 38 and shortly after I stopped breastfeeding my second son, I did a full 180 and decided I wanted to give injectables a go. The exhausted, angry-looking woman I saw in the mirror no longer felt like me. I was also privileged enough to have a wage that allowed me to put aside some money to try.

Five years later and when I have saved up enough cash, I still dabble in injectables, and I'm okay with this decision because I believe it is my face, my choice. 


Yes, I have undoubtedly been conditioned by the patriarchy to believe ageing as a woman is inherently bad, but being a human is hard and if getting an occasional round of Botox makes me feel more like myself, then why is it anyone else's concern?

I also don't care if that means I am ageing 'unnaturally' to a 25-year-old on TikTok. 

Or anyone actually.

Perhaps the younger generation with these strong opinions should reserve their judgement until they are the same age as Kim and see how they feel then?


Because even if Kim did as Gracie and the other commentators suggest and stopped photoshopping or getting injectables then she would just be subject to comments from another corner of the internet. There would be countless TikToks dedicated to zooming in on her wrinkles or sagging jawline to offer 'thoughtful' witticisms on how she had 'let herself go'.

Injectables or not, the commentary and online dissection dedicated to this warped game of 'spot the difference' on how Kim and other famous women's faces have aged (or not aged) needs to stop.

While I'm sure billionaire Kim doesn't care what the internet has to say about her face, the rest of us just might.  

So let's cease to criticise and make fun of women's individual choices for simply living and presenting in the world past 40.  

Ageing is a privilege - and how we choose to do it - is a choice.

Laura Jackel is Mamamia's Family Writer. For links to her articles and to see photos of her outfits and kids, follow her on Instagram and TikTok.

Feature Image: Getty.

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