When Desperate Housewives was in its first few years of popularity, Nicolette Sheridan, Terri Hatcher and I were all in our early forties. Nicolette and I have near identical birthdays. When pictures of the cast were dominating magazine covers with “can you believe how beautiful they are at their age” I thought it a terrible thing for so much focus to be on their looks vs their age. It was sending a message to all us regular Jill’s out here that looking thirty two at forty four is a) something we should aspire to and b) possible if you try hard enough.
Of course it was only terrible for middle aged women. A group not a lot of people care about. Except for advertisers. They at least are enthralled by our buying power. Especially advertisers of beauty products like: Botox, Restylane, Latisse and of course boobs. I bet Desperate Housewives increased the sale of these products by a large percentage. If anyone who can study that reads this, please do.
The women of Wisteria Lane made me uncomfortable. They made me think I was slacking. It’s not something I knew consciously, it was subconscious. I’d see a picture of Nicolette in a bikini with six pack abs and think that the grueling workouts I was doing obviously weren’t enough. If I just worked a little harder I could look “like that”. Maybe I shouldn’t eat that cookie, or have a glass of wine, or red meat, or a handful of tortilla chips EVER.
I’m pretty disciplined. We’ve established in prior posts that I exercise regularly. And fairly intensely. I worked out this morning with fit women half my age who couldn’t keep up. I’m not an uber “clean eater” because it’s not fun. But I’m height and weight appropriate. I eat lots of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and lean meat. I don’t smoke, do drugs or drink to excess. If I don’t look like Nicolette Sheridan or Terri Hatcher at our age who the hell can? If I don’t have a set of six pack abs, the skin on my hands is aged, and I’m starting to see a little bit of old lady knee, what real woman does look like one of the Desperate Housewives?
I’m on a rampage lately over what’s happening to women my age. The surgeries, the billions of dollars we could be saving for retirement spent on injections and creams. Some of them safe, some of them not. Surgeries are never just safe. And I’m blaming Desperate Housewives.
And Christie Brinkley
And People Magazine
This cover made me almost apocalyptic. Does anyone reading this know anyone that looks like this at 60!? Okay even if you do. That's not the point. The point is, does anyone want to focus on looking like this at 60!? Shouldn’t we be focusing on things that are actually important? Things like authenticity, curiosity, joy and health. Or living the last couple decades of our life with more freedom than the first six of them?
Apparently People Magazine, many more magazines of course, as well as any number of internet sites believe the most important thing about women at any age is how they look. Oh, and having three kids like Christie, four husbands and a tough divorce is no excuse for slacking ladies! You must have golden flowing locks, the body of a 35 year old and beautiful skin!
Somewhere there are plastic surgeons in a room with this cover of People plastered on the walls doing a happy dance and drinking champagne while counting money.