Will it never end?
It’s bad enough that women are valued for their looks more than anything else. (Don’t believe me? I have two words for you: Megan Fox. Even if she won a Nobel Prize, you think anyone would ever mention it?) And if it’s not true, why do all the female police detectives on television walk around with their shirts open to your imagination? And why do we never see male “beauty pageants”?
But at least it used to be that once we hit the ripe old age of 30 we could put all that behind us because we were old and over the hill (unlike men, who improve with age, we just age). And then 30 became the new 20 and we had to put up with the nonsense for another decade before, with a blessed sigh of relief, we could blow out 40 candles, stop sucking in our gut and hang up our stilettos.
And then it got worse. Forty became the new 30. Then 50 became the new 40. And all of this kept happening as I reached each of the milestones so I’ve never caught a break and fear that soon 60 will be the new 50.
It’s not fair. Not just because maybe it should be about our talent and abilities and accomplishments or being judged on one’s character instead of outer appearance, but because real women who aren’t genetic freaks of nature actually look their age. Gravity and time take a certain toll. And it’s even worse if you’ve had children.
Raising children ages parents several decades. Bearing children converts a firm, shapely female form into a deflated sack of sagging cellulite. Think of a new balloon. Fresh from the bag, it’s smooth and taut. Blow it up once. Let the air out. It begins to show sign of use. Blow it up again. Let the air out. And perhaps again. And dear sweet mother of god that’s exactly what happens to a woman’s body parts and exactly what those body parts look like after repeated cycles of inflation and deflation. And no amount of crunches or push-ups or squats is ever going to put it back the way it was.
“But what about all those images of sexy Hollywood mommas?” you may ask. “What about all those ‘People’ magazine covers showing all those ‘rockin’ post-baby bikini bods?”
I have three answers: 1) genetic freak; 2) unlimited funds; and 3) Photo Shop.
If one is not #1, one can use #2 to try to look like #1. Enter the personal trainer, personal chef and personal cosmetic surgeon (the last of which might not be such a good idea).
But those tools can only do so much. Without the help of #3, even Julia Roberts doesn’t really look like Julia Roberts. And if she doesn’t, what chance do the rest of us have?
I’ll tell you: none.
And if you weren’t already depressed enough by that, along come multiple media efforts conspiring to remind you that for a woman, it’s all about how she looks, no matter what her age. It started with More, the magazine targeting the over 40 woman, which launched a “40+Model Search” which became the “More Beauty Search” in 2010. By odd coincidence, the winners are all beautiful, thin, youthful looking women. And in case I was too obtuse to understand the importance of those qualities, the many stimulating articles offered in the magazine should enlighten me as to where my priorities should lie:
Forever Young: Expert Tips for Aging Gracefully
Key Pieces to Dress Younger
Keeping Victoria‘s Secret: My Life in Catalogs
Chris Benz’s Tips for Dressing Younger
27+ Anti-Aging Superfoods
Editors’ Picks: 12 Activities That Keep Us Young
And if these intellectually challenging pieces by the brightest minds of our era don’t convince you, along comes a website called “fab over fifty.” That’s right, at www.faboverfifty.com you can learn the importance of being young and beautiful for at least another decade, if not longer. Offering in-depth cutting edge stories like “Does your belly fat make you crazy?” and “Affordable Anti-Agers That Really Work”, the website allows you the freedom to focus on the really important things: trying to stay young and beautiful.
Of course that requires the right products. For example, “the new BMR Beauty Series System for Faboverfifty. This patented device uses medical-grade technology to firm and lift the muscles in your upper arms, tummy and tush.” Yes, you, too, can enter to be one of 20 testers of products which look remarkably like products in a fetish catalogue.
But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s not all as shallow and sexist and controlling as it seems. Maybe there is no conspiracy. After all, More is “for women of style & substance” and Fab Over Fifty is “where women of substance share their style.”
Wait a minute …