Jennifer Aniston's sagging bristols

A National Review columnist weighs in on when a woman is most attractive. Hint: It's when she's under 20.

By Rebecca Traister

Published December 5, 2005 12:30PM (EST)

In the National Review last week, columnist John Derbyshire wrote the following:

"Did I buy, or browse, a copy of the November 17 GQ, in order to get a look at Jennifer Aniston's bristols? [Cockney slang for breasts] No, I didn't. While I have no doubt that Ms. Aniston is a paragon of charm, wit, and intelligence, she is also 36 years old. Even with the strenuous body-hardening exercise routines now compulsory for movie stars, at age 36 the forces of nature have won out over the view-worthiness of the unsupported female bust.

"It is, in fact, a sad truth about human life that beyond our salad days, very few of us are interesting to look at in the buff. Added to that sadness is the very unfair truth that a woman's salad days are shorter than a man's  really, in this precise context, only from about 15 to 20. The Nautilus and the treadmill can add a half decade or so, but by 36 the bloom is definitely off the rose."

I don't really know how to respond to this, except to let Mr. Derbyshire know that he is not alone in his dismay over the damage inflicted on a woman's body by the passage of time. As another great man once said: "Women have an expiration date. Men don't."

Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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