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Archive for the month “July, 2012”

Sharing our Fears

So many women in our culture feel a bit panicked when they reach middle age.  Of course biology is part of the equation, but so too are the messages of our society.  For example, older workers have a harder time getting a job or finding love.  We might feel good about our talents, skills and experience yet there’s this nagging feeling that we’re losing our value and becoming invisible.  This is a scary and painful time for many mid-lifers.  It’s especially daunting when we sit with these thoughts in isolation.

That’s what inspired me to connect with other women, to hear their thoughts and concerns about growing older.  My purpose is to create a dialogue around this issue so we know we are not alone.

Let’s hear from Michelle Schmidt Nirenstein who has mixed feelings about being an older woman seeking employment.  I would also love to hear your story so we can support and inspire each other as a community.

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Barbie Doll Obsession

I’m guilty of watching one of those dreaded reality TV shows.  I guess It’s a morbid fascination I have when fabulous guy meets really cool, smart interesting girl.  Ok, if you haven’t figured it out…it’s the Bachelorette. Only this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Emily Maynard is a 26 year old southern belle who says “awesome” one too many times.  I’ve watched the whole season and I’m still not sure if she has any interests (besides wanting more children), talents, skills or education.  I remember playing with Barbie dolls when I was a girl. One doll I called Scarlett would be wined, dined and and admired by all.  All she had to do was wear a stunning outfit with accessories and shoes to match, do a little twirl, smile, and her whole life was perfection. Emily is a walking, talking live version of Scarlett. She is sweet — flawless in her features and has a body that women envy and men want to marry.

The reason I bring this up is not to pick on a pretty girl with no talent, but rather to point out that other young girls and women are watching this show and getting the idea that she is loved only for her beauty.  I realize she is on network TV and beauty sells, but why not pick a woman who has more going on than just her looks?  Why does she have to be so outwardly perfect? Just like the magazines where models are air-brushed and PhotoShopped, Emily’s image is also manufactured.

Despite her young age, she gets regular injections of Botox and fillers. In addition, she got a nose and boob job before the start of the show.  And that winning smile came at a hefty price with veneers at $4,000 a tooth.

Is this the person we want our young women to identify with?  If so, they are in for a bottomless pit of discontent.  None of us are perfect, not even Emily.  And if they attach much of their value to their outward appearance, they will be in for a big crisis as they age.  Since Americans are living longer lives, It’s best our youth understand this and develop their passions, talents, skills, interests and intellect.  In other words, the more they investment in their soul now, the more joy and fulfillment they will have when the wrinkles kick in.

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