What People Really Think About Age and Aging

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What People Really Think About Age and Aging

WE WANT TO BE 31

On average, if our respondents could pick an age to be, it would be 31. We also asked when a woman is most beautiful: Men believe female beauty peaks at 29, while women give themselves a few more years, answering, on average, 31. When are women most sexy? According to our respondents (male and female), women are most seductive at 30.

CERTAIN CELEBRITIES ARE AGING REALLY WELL

Our favorite role models for aging gracefully are an elegant, talented woman and a graying, charming man. Incidentally, Meryl Streep, 63, is 12 years older than George Clooney, 51.

Our favorite role models for aging gracefully are an elegant, talented woman and a graying, charming man. Incidentally, Meryl Streep, 63, is 12 years older than George Clooney, 51.

WE'RE HARDER ON WOMEN WHO GO GRAY

We asked what words respondents associate with gray hair: When it's on women, the top answer was "old." (Answers two and three were more uplifting, though: "wise" and "confident.") When it's on men, the top answer was "distinguished."

ACTUALLY, WE'RE HARDER ON WOMEN IN GENERAL

There is one thing everyone agrees on: 84 percent of men and 91 percent of women say that women are under more pressure to look young than men. And, perhaps logically, while 56 percent of women are worried about the physical signs of aging, only 34 percent of men are.

SEX GETS BETTER

Sex improves as you get older, according to 57 percent of the men and women we polled. The only problem? If you're a woman, there may be fewer people to have it with. Asked if they were attracted to women their own age, only a third of male baby boomers say yes.

AND WOMEN FEEL SEXIER

Women in their 60s are less likely to say that they don't like to show their bodies in sexual situations because of the signs of aging than women in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are. And here's something that may help explain the attraction between Jennifer Lopez, 43, and her 25-year-old boyfriend, Casper Smart: 36 percent of millennial guys (men ages 18 to 29) agree that "cougars are hot."

AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN WORRY LESS ABOUT SIGNS OF AGING

A full 64 percent of African-American women say they aren't worried about the physical signs of aging; 81 percent think they look younger than other woman their age; and 65 percent have no intention of considering anti-aging treatments or procedures in the future (versus 58 percent of white women and 46 percent of Hispanic women). African-American women also think a woman stops looking sexy around age 64—about 10 years past the sexy expiration date given by the rest of the respondents.

WOMEN ARE MORE LIKELY TO CONSIDER ANTI-AGING PROCEDURES

Forty-two percent of women would consider anti-aging injections or plastic surgery. Only 18 percent of men would.

MILLENIALS ARE THE MOST JUDGMENTAL

Respondents ages 18 to 29 are overwhelmingly the most likely to have a negative opinion about a celebrity or politician who'd had injections or plastic surgery to look younger. They're also the most likely to think that person should have to reveal what they had done.

THERE'S GOOD NEWS FOR EVERYONE!

We all wise up, eventually: Asked what they fear more about aging—dying or looking old—the largest number of respondents, especially the older ones, say they fear neither.

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The topic of aging-getting older and looking younger-is more and more pervasive in our society's collective consciousness.

To find out exactly how women and men across the country feel about their own changing looks, the effects of plastic surgery, and whether sex gets better with age, Allure conducted their first-ever survey on aging.

Allure partnered with Penn Schoen Berland to poll 2,000 people nationwide-and here are some of the most fascinating results.

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