happy lines winifred burkeman garance dore photos

9 years ago by

When people think about lines, they usually think about wrinkles. But I want to talk about laugh lines.

They are so special and ought to be celebrated!!

I can’t pretend that I’m my grandmother, who has lived many more lifetimes than me (and laughed for so many more years), but I think she is beautiful. But she is objectively beautiful when her deep lines crack with a smile. I don’t want to get too corny now, but I will: her happy lines speak for the long, loving days she has lived.

And that’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently.

Those physical indicators, how we should be excited for them to develop and deepen over time. Talking to everyone at the Studio (I work with cool people whose opinions I value, so we talk a lot about things), there was a general consensus: this is one physical aspect we all can’t wait to embrace. Sure, we* might do the Karlie Kloss butt workout to avoid our behinds heading south (hahaha), but the signs of laughter? They’re cool and elegant, a testament to the good things that have come to pass.

I spoke to Beth Bongar, who teaches laughter yoga** here in New York. She shows people how to be joyful through laughter, and she told me how, when you laugh, you naturally take in more oxygen. This encourages the flow of circulation, which is important internally – it boosts the immune system and improves complexion! Even if laughing every day (and Beth recommends at least 30 times a day!) means plenty of lines later on, your skin will overall look more youthful. If only that woman who hasn’t smiled for 40 years knew that…

And Wini, who is pictured above, is a friend of the blog who is in her fifties and has the most genuine laugh. I wanted to show you how amazing her skin looks, even with the happy lines – and she hasn’t worn makeup since the 90s! (I’m not kidding, it’s kind of the philosophy for her skincare line McBride Beauty – that you don’t need makeup.)

Maybe it’s from where I stand right now, but I can’t wait for my happy lines to be visible from a mile away! And you, do you love happy lines? Do you think, like me, that they make people even more beautiful?

* By ‘we’, I mean Brie. But I have been saying I will try it really soon for weeks now!
**Seriously, it’s a thing. And it’s super cool, but a kind of crazy job, right?


Add yours
  • Elle dégage une sérénité et une douceur incroyable.
    Moi, ce qui me chagrine, c’est qu’on ne voit des femmes de 50 ans que très rarement sur ce blog; et en plus, c’est pour parler rides et vieillesse. Je m’attendais à lire un parcours, un style, bref, autre chose que femme de 50 ans => on parle rides. C’est très réducteur.

    J’ai 36 ans, blanche, ni grosse, ni maigre…. et pourtant je trouve ça tellement ennuyeux et lassant de ne voir que des filles toujours sur le même modèle (grande, mince, blanche, jeune…). Ca ne représente en rien la vraie vie. Où sont les autres??
    Surprise et heureuse de voir un peu de ‘diversité’, de changement, j’étais toute guillerette, alors je voulais partager ma déception en voyant que la photo de cette magnifique femme illustre un article…ride. Elle aurait probablement des millions d’autres choses à nous raconter et partager, et béh non….on ne s’attarde que sur sa caractéristique ‘âge’. Dommage.

  • MissPimpin February, 26 2015, 9:19 / Reply

    Complètement flippante cette femme qui ne rit pas pour ne pas avoir de rides !!
    Bon, moi, 42 ans, j’essaie encore de m’habituer à avoir l’air de sourire alors que j’ai arrêté
    Je sais pas trop si c’est bien ou pas
    Et je rêve du jour où je vais avoir le courage d’arrêter le maquillage; j’en mets déjà de moins en moins …
    Vieillir n’a rien de facile; merci au blog de faire croire le contraire :-) !!

  • Salut Garance,
    Lorsque j’avais 40 ans, je trouvais mes “futures rides de sourires” qui disparaissaient lorsque je ne souriais pas … tu suis … mignonnes, maintenant, j’ai 50 ans et je les aime toujours autant, en ce qui concerne mes yeux. Ce que j’aime moins, c’est mon cou, ma bouche qui changent. Moi, aussi, je “yoguise” et lorsque j’en sors (de mon cours) je souris. Mes enfants (2 fils) m’aiment comme je suis. Moi, parfois, pas trop … alors je souris et je positive !!!

  • Agree, agree! Such a refreshing perspective! Bravo to you for pointing out how happiness makes us more beautiful! It is enriching and so positive, makes my day. My mother always makes me laugh so hard – I’m 30 but I like to think I’ll have as many laugh lines as her because she’s the funniest person I know. So special. (And she taught me that women who mess with their face are fighting a losing battle. I’ll hopefully never be tempted to get rid of mine.)

  • She is so beautiful ! Shiny face ! :)


  • Jane with the noisy terrier February, 26 2015, 10:08 / Reply

    I’m 56 (there, I said it!) and I don’t regret those crinkly lines at the corners of my eyes for a minute. They are hard-earned from laughing until I’ve cried, smiling, giggling, chuckling and yes, even crying well-deserved tears. I read somewhere that only 5% of your face gets wrinkles and yet that’s what we get obsessed with, rather than taking care of the other 95%. By the way, the noisy terrier is 12 years old today and he has only ever worn makeup when I’ve left a lipstick kiss on top of his scruffy head!

  • You have such a wonderful way of looking at the world. The experiences we have in our lives are held in our body and the shapes, lines, creases all tell a story of the life that was and is being lived. There is so much fear and anxiety about aging when it fact its inevitable. Aging is not combated by creams and treatments, A recent article in the Wall Street Journal about aging and the brain tells us that exercise, keeping your mind active with new learning and making sure you keep having new and stimulating experiences is what mitigates the progression of aging on our brains. Positive energy, belief you can learn and grow until the day you die, and of course, laughter joy and love will do more than any product money can buy.

    Accidental Icon

  • I’ve been so very happy to see the growing acceptance of older women on the runways and in advertising. It has emboldened me, a woman of a certain age. We suffer from pretty serious “ageism” in our society. When in Europe, I’m always pleased and surprised by the difference. It is not unusual to see a young man “flirting” with an older woman in Italy, or France. It’s so refreshing! Is this a temporary thing, a trend? I hope not. Older women are beautiful. We must look for the woman, the beautiful woman, in women of all ages. Cherchez la femme!


  • No make-up, laughter and happy lines. Sign me up!

  • i heartily agree. i am 53 and keep wondering if my opinion will change as i grow older. so far so good. thanks for sharing such a healthy outlook !

  • Wonderful face! You can tell she enjoys laughter and it’s wonderful to see a real face, unretouched…


  • Love the picture, this lady looks like a beauty, especialy when she smiles :)


  • What an enviably beautiful woman. I love that she looks like herself, only older: this is very very rare these days. I mean, Rene Zellweger got so happy all the darling wrinkles and lines that made her *her* disappeared, leaving an alien.
    I am 46 and those lines are not far off for me. I shall not hesitate to botox away a frown line should I get one, but laughter lines? I agree with you; signs of a life well lived, signs of a person still alive, not some embalmed mummy.

  • Elle ressemble à ma mère, qui est un peu plus âgée ! Lorsque je la compare à une autre femme de son âge d’un naturel nettement moins bienveillant qu’elle et de plus accro au soleil, je me dis que le “karma” (appelons ça comme pour faire court) finit toujours par nous rattraper.
    On a toujours dit à ma mère lorsqu’elle travaillait qu’au téléphone on entendait son sourire ! J’ai toujours trouvé cela merveilleux.

  • Life is about living not being perfect…and lot’s of time we forget that..i am for improvement and taking care..but the opposite of too much injection ..isn’t great
    love yourself!!
    Yael Guetta


  • Kinfolk tried to get this same message across in its aging issue. But you guys did it way better.

    Beautifully written.

    And she is beautiful. Didnt even think of lines when i saw her. I think most of these “imperfections” are in our own head.

  • Quel joli texte ! Et cette femme si belle, si sereine ! Un hymne à la vie ! Je crois que Diane Von Furstenberg a dit un jour, en reponse a une question sur la chirurgie esthétique : “a une rose en plastique je préfère une rose fanée”. Les rides temoignent la carte émotionnelle de notre vie”. J’ai toujours conserve en tete ses propos. J’ai 56 ans et je continue ma vie joyeusement, sereinement car etre aimée est la plus belle des chirurgie de l’âme. Bonne journee au studio.

  • Search “Frances McDormand on Aging” and watch the 3 minute interview she has with Katie Couric. Frances is one of my favorites, she’s wonderful.

  • Jennymarie February, 26 2015, 11:47 / Reply

    Yes lets embrace our aging, and especially the face and body of the woman as she ages. I love your blog, its wonderful and when you bring your attention to those of of us past 50 I get even more excited as once we turn 50 we often become invisible. But thats another issue. I am 54, I take care of my skin, I exercise and I love the lines next to my eyes that suggest I have laughed for hours….but here is what I don’t love. I don’t love that line between my eyes. It makes me look grumpy even when I am not….so, I invested in a good pair of sunglasses and then, for the first time, after years of saying: not me, never, I tried a little botox, just there on my forehead to soften, not obliterate, the crevice up there on my forehead . I grew up in sunny southern California, I started squinting early on, but now that line is almost invisible and its lovely. I did not want a placid look, I don’t need to be smoothed out, I wanted to look refreshed, and I believe I do with a little extra attention to my skin which now includes a small amount of botox.

    Garance, your perspective on being a woman in the world today is refreshing and relevant not matter what age. And like I said earlier, the attention you pay to the choices women make as they age, the better!

  • Laura Lord Belle February, 26 2015, 11:49 / Reply

    A woman without wrinkles is a woman who has not had orgasms!!!!

  • Hahaha! Hadn’t thought about that, but I guess you’re right!

  • Completely agree. I’ve just written a book on embracing age and style (called Style Forever) and would love to send you a copy!

  • She’s beautiful! And I’m telling for years: Embrace your lines :)

  • Aaah les rides … Toute une vie de galères et de joies. Avant tout c’est une philosophie, être bien avec, accepter de mûrir, vieillir, pas facile. Il y a les rides d’expressions, de soleil, de peaux fines, les génétiques etc … Je pense qu’on les accepte mieux car on en parle, on les montre, on les photographie, en ce moment en tout cas. Donc on se sent valorisée, à nouveau aimée. Elles sont belles et pas belles à la fois ; belles car elles parlent de nous, de nos histoires. Pas belles parce que les fards à paupières irisés, nacrés sont désormais bannis, parce que l’application du blush en souriant nous fait frémir à l’idée d’avoir les joues rayées façon zèbre ! Moi, je m’aime bien, MAINTENANT, avec mes rides. Elles sont joyeuses, elles m’émeuvent. Les femmes sont belles avec leurs rides, tout comme les hommes.

  • They do make people even more beautiful!

  • Orangeufunny February, 26 2015, 3:02 / Reply

    Wrinkle free people do not often have wrinkle free lives.

  • Mais alors? Il serait peut-être temps de prévenir les mannequins en défilé à propos de cette histoire de sourire?!!

  • Just as your personal Style is an outward projection of your personality, your face (and its lines, happy or sad) becomes a projection of your attitude, and of your life story as you age. I hope my ‘story’ is a good one!

  • She looks naturally beautiful. I’m happy that more and more natural skincare lines are on the market – it’s about time!
    Here is another one your readers might like to know about. It’s called “Skin so Divine” with four amazing oil based products. I just blogged about the travel set I was using while in Palm Springs.
    from the blog: .http://girlwhowouldbeking.com/2015/02/26/have-beauty-will-travel/

    website: http://skinsodivine.com

  • I’m sorry but I just cannot agree. I myself have quite a lot of wrinkles (I’m almost 40 and spent way too much time in the sun when I was growing up with NO sunscreen and in fact my mother encouraged me to slather on baby oil). I have many friends who are my age and have clear, beautiful, line-free skin. I would take their skin over mine in a heartbeat!

  • melissaleehealing February, 26 2015, 5:29 / Reply

    I am 48 and have many lines, including a deep brow line.
    It is a shock at first, especially if you are a women of beauty, much harder to deal with if that is the case..
    I also, worked for a plastic surgeon in my early 40’s, many women became very depressed after surgery, as they thought that a lot of their discontent was from the wrinkles on their face, and these were some intelligent women.
    I think if you can get pass the initial shock, and you are working deeply on issues from your past, then you can grow beyond this transition into real wisdom and peace.


  • Thank you for this, Melissa. I think I am definitely in the “initial shock” stage. It’s a tough pill to swallow, especially if you tie up a lot (or all) of your self-worth in appearances and looking beautiful. You suddenly realize you can no longer get by on that; it’s not a sustainable way to live. I have not figured out how to move on yet and feel stuck. This post clearly struck a nerve. Your comment gives me hope, though. Thank you!

  • Beautiful!

  • Wonderfully written ! Beautiful photo….Wini looks lit from within ,peaceful and content! AND natural!!! It’s refreshing to see and struck me when I was in Paris recently and noticed many attractive women of all ages who look like they take good care of themselves, their skin, and age gracefully and naturally. I’ll take that over the frozen look that has become the “norm” in the US. A smile can warm a persons heart and laughter is contagious and feels great- if that gives me lines,it’s well worth it. Feeling good from within makes a person beautiful.

  • I live in Hollywood where looking young and staying fit are a top priority for most people. But I grew up between New England and Italy and so embrace the natural process of aging. Some friends my age and older (I’m 44) have decided to remove lines from their faces with fillers and botox. I respect their decision, though it’s not one that I would choose to make for my self. It seems to me there’s a privilege and a power in aging gracefully. I always think of someone like Charlotte Rampling who has forgone altering her face and believes it has brought her more work now that she is in her sixties. I’ve learned from her that being okay with imperfection takes great self-awareness and not a small amount of chutzpah. As we become more confident in who we are and in what we have to offer to society, I believe we grow more at ease with ourselves and with imperfection, turning it on its head into a kind of allure.


  • Je vais bientôt fêter mes 57 ans et très franchement mes rides sont le cadet de mes soucis, peut-être aussi parce que je n’en ai pas – encore – beaucoup. Je veux bien comprendre que certain-es dépensent leur argent pour du Botox ou des liftings, pour ce qui me concerne, je préfère travailler moins ou voyager davantage.
    Je commence à avoir quelques fils argentés dans mes cheveux châtains et après mûre réflexion j’ai décidé que je ne les teindrai pas, parce que c’est une contrainte (les racines c’est moche), que les couleurs proposées vont rarement avec le teint des personnes et qu’à partir d’un certain âge c’est normal d’avoir des cheveux blancs.
    Par contre je suis plus préoccupée par le vieillissement qui ne se voit pas: mémoire, forme physique, capacité d’apprendre et d’entreprendre, curiosité, … Et c’est à ça que j’ai envie de consacrer du temps, de l’énergie et de l’argent, pas à mes rides. Ce qui bien sûr ne m’empêche pas de prendre soin de ma peau, de me maquiller plutôt discrètement.
    C’est juste pour les fringues que parfois je peux être un peu déjantée: je ne suis pas spécialement maigre, mais une jupe un peu courte, cloutée, avec des speakers ne me fait pas peur, histoire de se venger de frustrations d’adolescente où ma mère me forçait à m’habiller comme une nonne.
    Sweet dreams

  • Clotilde March, 1 2015, 7:59

    Facile de se moquer de ses quelques fils argentés dans les cheveux lorsqu’on a 57 ans. Mais quand on en a beaucoup depuis ses 30 ans, il faut comprendre que c’est beaucoup plus dur à accepter, et que ça vieillit, qu’on le veuille ou non. Les crinières poivre et sel sur des femmes jeunes normales, non anciennes mannequins ou non-éditrices de mode, c’est juste moche la plupart du temps.

  • Je t’embrasse pour ton post de ce jour. Je suis moi-même du coté de celles “avec des rides” et j’ai bien l’attention de les assumer. Je me rappelle toujours l’actrice Katherine Hepburn, mon idole quand j’étais jeune et qui, déjà à cette époque, portait ses rides avec style.

  • My husband has happy lines since he’s in primary school and that hasn’t stopped me from loving him! <3

  • Don’t rush ’em…as a 54 year old – I have very mixed feelings…but this woman is quite attractive. Trust me though – few and far between are the men who wouldn’t agree and would want to date a younger face.

    Better to love them though – since the alternative (that we see non-stop in Los Angeles) is a horror show…

  • Clotilde March, 1 2015, 8:04 / Reply

    Je suis d’accord sur le principe, on est bien obligé de s’accepter et d’y voir du touchant, du beau, et c’est ridicule et peine perdue que de se tourner vers le bistouri.
    Mais ce qui m’agace un peu c’est lorsqu’on simplifie toujours trop les choses. Les rides elles-même, c’est une chose, mais les signes de l’âge sont beaucoup plus nombreux que ça. Les traits s’affaissent par exemple, même si on sourit…et puis on a souvent l’air beaucoup plus fatiguée, peut-être parce que souvent, en vieillissant, on dort moins bien. En gros, ce que je veux dire, c’est qu’il ne faut pas nier qu’en vieillissant, il y a plus de jours dans l’année où on a “une sale gueule”, alors que quand on est jeune, il faut vraiment avoir bu comme un trou ou avoir fait deux nuits blanches de suite pour que ça se voit….

  • What a beautiful image! Beauty has no age and I love seeing proof of that. Thank you! Alex xx http://www.fairaporter.com

  • She’s so beautiful.

    Nothing more to say :-)

  • She looks happy, healthy and lovely – what more could you ask for!

  • Victoria June, 21 2016, 3:02 / Reply

    After I had my daughter, I went in for a cleansing facial, because I had a little acne, which I put down to hormones. As I was leaving, the aesthetician said that for next time, I should really book an anti-aging facial to tackle those lines and wrinkles, especially around my eyes. Without missing a beat, I said, “Oh, those aren’t fine lines and wrinkles. They are laugh lines. I have two children under age 3 and I spend a lot of time smiling and laughing!” I never went back.

  • melissa lee October, 10 2016, 8:58 / Reply

    Yes, I think makeup (which I use) is really a product of the culture and it is wonderful when we start to feel less, like an object and more like that inner child that we all have.

  • Verry happy lines :)

From the Archives

This or That
  • This or That
  • Holiday Gifting
  • Happy Holidays!
  • #AtelierDoreDoes
  • How To...
atelier dore this or that summer sandals chunky sandals vs. delicate sandals

This or That / Sandal Edition

This or That: American or Française?

This or That: American or Française?

atelier dore this or that lingerie lace or cotton sex month

This or That / Lingerie Edition

This or That / Blush vs. Bronzer

This or That / Blush vs. Bronzer

This or That: The Beanie

This or That: The Beanie

This or That: Nails

This or That: Nails

This or That

This or That

This Or That

This Or That

Silja Danielsen Photo

This Or That: Low Knot or Top Knot