"One day I said to myself: ‘I’m forty!’ By the time I recovered from the shock of that discovery I had reached fifty. The stupor that seized me then has not left me yet… To convince myself [of my coming old age], I have but to stand and face my mirror. I thought, one day, when I was forty: ‘Deep in that looking glass, old age is watching and waiting for me; and it’s inevitable, one day it’ll get me.’ It’s got me now. I often stop, flabbergasted, at the sight of this incredible thing that serves me as a face… I loathe my appearance now: the eyebrows slipping down towards the eyes, the bags underneath, the excessive fullness of the cheeks, and that air of sadness around the mouth that wrinkles always bring."
Simone de Beauvoir - Force of Circumstance, p. 672.
After writing that, Simone shocked her readers of the time (1963), because she spoke so clearly and realistically about getting old. And that is why she wrote a book about old age, La Vieillesse. In this video she talks about it.
"Why does the responsibility for child and other care fall disproportionately to women, such that it is experienced as a burden? Why are women still paid less for doing the same work as men? Why is male on female rape still so prevalent, taking new, chemically facilitated forms? Why are little girls still encouraged to dream of marrying a prince? Why are puerile, sexist magazines so popular among men? Why do women consent to appear on them? Why do women’s magazines presume that heterosexual partnering is the first priority for all women? Why do so many girls and women hate and harm their healthy bodies? Why is ageing still seen as such a catastrophe for so many women? Until we no longer need to ask these questions, we would be well advised not to presume that Beauvoir does not have anything relevant to say about men and women’s existences today."
— Stella Sandford - How to Read Beauvoir
"Tout ce qu’elle fait, tout ce qu’elle vit, c’est dans un combat permanent. Contre le temps, contre la contingeance, contre soi. […] Femme d’appétits au pluriel, e femme de devoir, telle nous apparait Simone de Beauvoir : mais ses appétits sont aussi impérieux qu’une mission."
— Danielle Sallenave — Castor de Guerre, p. 12.