During the Christmas holiday, I was talking to my mom about me. I had come across a picture of me in college. I looked at that woman and realized I was beautiful. While you may be thinking – good for you, the sad part was I never felt beautiful. I’d have moments but for the most part, I felt ugly.
My mom told me that she completely understood – she had never felt beautiful either.
I look at the young women that I think are so beautiful and I wonder – what do they know? Do they know they are beautiful?
Last week, I thought I’d kill some time watching movie trailers on imdb. Honestly, I don’t get having commercials to watch movie ads because aren’t the trailers commercials? But I digress. What was really irritating was that for the first twenty trailers I watched there was the same ad – Age Defying! It was something like I don’t want age defying, I want to look younger now! Over and over again. I will tell you that I have no desire to ever buy their product.
I’ve struggled – I have never been thin. I have never been, what I thought was, beautiful. However, I have never been afraid of aging. Perhaps that’s because I always felt that somehow when I got “old” I’d be perfect. I could be soft around the edges. My wrinkles would hide my imperfections. Even now, I find that the grey hairs actually make my hair interesting. Having that mousey brown hair for so long, I now have depth in what little hair I have.
The other thing I have noticed is that what appeals to me has changed. Over this past weekend, we watched your typical horror/slasher film. The main group consisted of three girls and three boys who are hunted by the slasher (in this case, a group of slashers). Only one of the men had any sense and none of the women. The women were raped, their breasts hanging out as they ran panting and screaming from the villains.
When it was all said and done I found myself just not overly impressed. To be honest, that’s been my feeling for a while now. I’m really struggling finding something to watch whether it be TV or movie.
Then I read this article and I finally started to see why. I’m an aging woman. I have the same tastes, sort of, but I want a more mature version. I’m tired of weak women portrayed in movies. Not that they all are but I find, as I think about it, I’m drawn to stronger female characters. The shows that I’m finding I just can’t watch without really knowing why are shows that have women who just aren’t great examples. Sounds funny but it’s true.
I spent the weekend gushing over the movie Move Over Darling – which is a Doris Day movie. Why – because while it was a comedy and very 60’s, Doris Day is still the sort of woman I can admire. What I loved best is that out of the three movies we watched, it’s also the one my son seemed to latch on to. He knows how to identify with a strong woman (or maybe just great comedy – not sure yet).
So, what’s my point? I don’t know if I have one – do I really ever have one? I think it’s time that Hollywood sees that times have changed. Women are taking charge. They are strong and they are beautiful. It’s time we start letting women be real. No more stupid reality TV – does any of them show women in a positive light? I wouldn’t know, if I am so bored that I need to watch someone else live their life then I better be on my deathbed. There is just no real reason for that.
In the end, I have worked hard to get to the point I am. I may still worry about my weight but I don’t let it stop me from being the woman I want to be. I can be strong and sometimes, just for the sake of it, I can pretend to be a “girl” and be weak (how else will the men in my life feel like they are doing things for me if I don’t let them).
This year, I’m turning 40 – not 39 again, not 39 and a half or any other ridiculous concept to hide that I am an aging woman. I have been on this earth for 40 years. I have had 40 years of experience – love, heartbreak, happiness, sadness and so much more. Why would I ever want to diminish it? Why would I ever want to deny the life I have lived? Just because some woman on a commercial wants to look younger – no thank you. I’ll save my money and buy something that really matters (like a new crafting toy or art supplies).
Gloria Steinem had a quote that I have adapted as my own. I don’t know how accurate it is but I know it as “I can’t wait to look my age.” After a life time of rarely looking my age, it appeals to me. I have earned each and every aspect of my aging. Yes, I miss the perkiness of my younger body but I never appreciated it when I had it so what’s the point of trying to get it back. I have so much more now than I did then – why on earth would I want to go back?