Don’t think of it as getting old. Think of it as continuing to LIVE! Over coffee the other morning my 50-something friend and 50-something me were bemoaning the cosmetic surgery travesties of women like Meg Ryan and Cher. (The Vanity Fair cover was staring us in the face from the magazine rack.) We loved them! We still love them. We simply wish they didn’t apparently feel compelled – by Hollywood and our society – to chase faux youth. (I once had some kind of allergic reaction and woke up with trout lips…and I looked totally weird, not young.)
I think it’s a personal choice what to do (or not) – botox until you can’t wriggle your eyebrows if it makes you happy. But, here’s the really sad thing about Cher – she’s on record as saying aging sucks. This from a woman who can still strut on stage and blow ’em out of the balconies with her voice and verve, at 64. Like I said, sad. Of course, this is easy for me to say – I’m not a fashion/beauty/pop culture icon.
My jaw line is starting to resemble that of a basset hound (a happy basset hound, but still…) I’m also a bit prejudiced since, back in college, people used to say I looked like Cher (blonde version). The long, long hair (flip, flip), the nose, the hips. (Ah, those long-buried hips…but I digress.) However, it was something of a relief to outlive my babe-hood. Less sexism, more credibility. Our society has made a lot of progress…but…the only reason Sarah Palin became SUCH a big deal is her looks. A sexy babe politician? Be still our collective hearts! It’ll be interesting to watch as her looks start to go (And, sorry Ms. Palin – no matter your money or effort – after 50, things start going. Talk to my hips…and serving a half-term does not make you a governor in perpetuity.) Oops, there I go again.
Back to Cher and aging. I remembered the coffee talk last night when watching I Could Never Be Your Woman, with Michelle Pfieffer as a 40-year-old woman involved with a 29-year-old man (Paul Rudd.) The leads are too old for their parts (even with soft focus), Rudd’s character could use some work and the plot needs tightening…but I loved it because…the older woman stayed with the younger guy at the end. Hey, it may last, it may not. Happy live-in-the-moment ending.
My big peeve with Something’s Gotta Give is that Diane Keaton’s character left her besotted, loyal, totally committed young doctor, played by Keanu Reeves, for Jack Nicholson. (Oh sure, age appropriate, but in real life the odds of it working with leering womanizer Jack are about a million to one.) One of the great scenes in ICNBYW is when Michelle is sitting next to a couple of movie types, who are trashing a long list of actresses as too old, too much plastic surgery, hags, etc. She finally has enough and tells the guy “You’re not good enough to kiss Cher’s tattooed ass!” Yea.
You go, babe! So, here’s a Friday cocktail toast to to all of us lucky enough to not live in the media’s merciless glare. To our middle-aged asses (tattooed, saggy, whatever), long-lost hips (hey, they’re still in there somewhere), baggy basset jowls…and LIVING! And, to get us in the mood – here’s Cher in all her ’70s glory, singing one of my all-time favs (which she still belts out on her tours.) Cher Babe, you’ve still got me. (I just wish you could have a lip reversal). Young or old, you’re still great.
Guest Post By Mary Schmidt, Marketing Troubleshooter