Yup, after getting fat, it seems the next deadliest sin for women is getting older. Unlike so many societies in the world that revere and honor people as we get older, our American culture (and much of the westernized world) worships youth. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Los Angeles where I currently reside. I can’t tell you how often I’ve met a successful male producer or director or actor who is toting around wife “version 3.0” who is 20 or 30 years younger than him and caring for a few new young kids. In Hollywood, the young, hot wife with cute little kids is the accessory of choice for successful men. A lot of men go through a midlife crisis. Some buy a Porsche. In Hollywood, men buy new families.
So it’s no wonder that I see so many women around me trying so hard to appear so young. Aside from the strict controls they seek to place on their weight, these women spend thousands of dollars on special cremes and potions to reduce wrinkles and fine lines, remove “age spots”, lift sagging breast tissue, tighten tummies and more. And if the topical application doesn’t work, many of these women get poison injected into their skin, or have plastic surgery or liposuction. I have a friend who nearly lost her house because she paid for a face lift she really couldn’t afford.
What a sad thing. We should be honoring women as they get older. We should learn from their wisdom. We should laugh with them as they recount some of their foibles. We should be offering each other strength and helping each other to relax rather than sharing the phone numbers for Botox clinics. We are privileged to live in a time when many of us live long enough to get old. Maybe we should be counting our blessings rather than counting our wrinkles or getting hair plugs.
Now look. In the name of full disclosure, I do color my hair. And I do wear sunscreen. I don’t object to taking a few steps to help you feel good about yourself. But I DO object to the notion that once your appearance marks you as beyond a certain age, you are no longer relevant to society. I object to the idea that women over 40 should find it harder to find work, or that women of any age should be part of a “discarded family” because they don’t match the upholstery of a sports car or rate high as red carpet arm candy. I object to spending a large part of your life trying to fight the inevitable effects of becoming an older person.
So my little chicklettes, if you are young, seek the councel of women who are older and more experienced. And if you are older, why not get together with other women to laugh and support one another? Why not celebrate your mature status? You could come out and join one of our upcoming Hot Flash Mobs. Or you could just get together at somebody’s house and drink some wine and eat something absolutely fabulous. Host a lingerie party. Put on some sparkly clothes and head out to a club. Take just a little time to celebrate your privilege in growing older and still being able to walk around and enjoy this universe of ours.
The Fat Chick