Flowing raven hair. To check. Lithe, olive-colored skin. To check. Rosebud mouth. To check.
If Catherine Zeta-Jones ever wants a flashback to her younger days, look no further than her 17-year-old daughter Carys.
Portrayed by her mother wearing a cream slip dress in the family home garden last week, aspiring actress Carys was Catherine’s doppelganger when she was a star on the TV series The Darling Buds Of May 30.
But then maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised – because in Hollywood it is no longer the case that when a daughter’s looks bloom, her mom has to fade.
She’s a mini-me: Tanith Carey, 50 (left), and her 18-year-old daughter Lily. As a mother, I look fascinated at these mirror images because people often tell me that my 18 year old Lily is my double
Catherine, 50, is from a generation of women who have fought to make sure they never look older than 35. And with today’s young girls looking so grown up, it’s no wonder they start meeting their daughters in the middle.
The result is a creepy club of celebrity moms who look less like their child’s parent – and more like their sister.
And there are lucrative tradeoffs in both directions – the emerging daughter gets a leg in the limelight, while her mother can bask in the reflected glory of her fantastic gene pool.
It’s also wonderfully nostalgic to see supermodel Cindy Crawford’s 18-year-old daughter Kaia step into her shoes on the runway without missing a pass.
But while she’s clearly proud of her gorgeous girl, even Cindy, now 54, the most celebrated supermodel of her time, finds it difficult.
Darling buds: Catherine Zeta-Jones (right) and her doppelganger daughter Carys, 17
Hollywood Dynasty: Hollywood Dynasty: Julianne Moore, 59 (left) and Liv, 18, who have already starred in a movie
Model appearance: Cindy Crawford, 54 (left), was followed on the catwalk by Kaia, 18
The uptown girls: Christie Brinkley, 66 (right), and daughter Sailor, 22
She says, “I wish I could say I could get old easily. I always tease my daughter and say, “You have my old hair – I want it back. Or you have my old legs. I want them back. ”
As a mother, I look fascinated at these mirror images because people often tell me that my 18-year-old Lily is my doppelganger.
I don’t want to compete with Lily’s looks – as a 50-year-old, I know that all the money in the world can’t restore the honeyed glow and firm flesh of youth. But while I don’t envy Lily’s beauty, I miss the ease of it.
Today, people of my age are increasingly expected to pedal furiously away from the middle-aged abyss, with endless rounds of gym sessions and tweakments. Frankly, it’s tiring.
Mommy’s eyeball: Gwyneth Paltrow, 47 (right), and her 16-year-old daughter with Chris Martin are seen on the left. Reese Witherspoon, 44 (right) and Ava, 20, a student at Berkeley in California, are seen on the right
Striking: Sadie Frost, 55 (right), and her girl Iris, 19 – a sought after model
For Lily, those limbs and smooth complexion are still effortless.
Psychotherapist Phillip Hodson says having a pretty mini-me can be a bittersweet blessing, bringing up complex feelings for a mom.
“You look in the mirror of a time traveler because you are no longer that old and see something you no longer have.”
This can be even more difficult for women in the spotlight.
“If you’re sitting in the dressing table to begin with, it can be particularly annoying, because the comparison between you and your daughter can all be seen in public,” Phillip adds.
But let’s also remember that these superficial similarities mask the fact that these mothers and daughters are females at very different times in their lives.
The women you see here – Cindy, Catherine, Amanda Holden, Christie Brinkley and Julianne Moore – have fought long and hard to be at the top of their profession to pay their respects. The youth and beauty of their beautiful daughters is beautiful to see, but they are not really achievements.
Mothers of beautiful daughters know that their children were lucky when the pack of DNA cards was shaken.
But it is still up to us, as parents, to create drive and self-esteem so that our girls out there can make something of themselves.
Holdens’ got talent: TV star Amanda, 49 (right), and her lookalike 14-year-old schoolgirl Alexa