My body rocks. It’s healthy and strong and, on occasion, I can still turn a few heads. Not that it’s perfect. Oh God, no. Fat that should be on my ass has instead traveled to form a stubborn “pooch” on my stomach that no amount of diet or exercise can dispel. “Smile lines” have begun to appear and, but for the good fortune of an extended period of depression back in the eighties, they would be even worse. But you know what? Fuck it. Most days I can still look in the mirror and say “Not bad for an old broad!”
Once I hit the big 4-0 birthday, I began to realize that being “hot” was a lot more than a shapely ass and smooth skin. “Hot” is how we feel about ourselves. Confidence is the gift we get with age and yet everywhere we look there is some form of media trying to kick our confidence to the curb.
I have no problem with plastic surgery. A little nip, a little tuck, in the hands of a skilled surgeon – Go for it! We’re all living a lot longer these days. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look as good as we can for as long as possible. That’s why we dye our hair. That’s why we use makeup. I don’t even put down the use of fillers. There’s a stubborn vertical line right under my nose that I’d like to pump up a bit, and maybe one day I will, but I’d still like to be recognized by my dog.
Saturday was International Women’s Day. When I think about some of the women I admire, not one of them is under 50 and they are all smart, accomplished and yes, beautiful.
Hillary Clinton will turn 67 later this year and, of the possibility of becoming president in 2016, some Republicans are already playing the age card, “She’ll be 69. Too old! Too old!” How conveniently they forget about old farts John McCain, Ronald Reagan, and Viagra spokesman, Bob Dole.
Gloria Steinem, who turns 80 this month, said “Every place I go I tell my age, because it’s a form of coming out.”
Comedian Carol Leifer has written a very funny book titled, “When We Lie About Our Age, The Terrorists Win.” I agree. My birthday is April 21st. I will be 65. I’d like to say that when I look in the mirror I wouldn’t want to change a thing, but there are days when I find myself with my index fingers strategically placed on my cheekbones and my thumbs along my jaw line doing a little self-lifting, and wondering what I can sell to raise some quick cash.
I know that there are those out there, especially in the professional world, who will learn my age and write me off. Maybe what women are really seeking when we fight to hold back time is not eternal youth, but eternal relevance in a disposable society.