You may have missed this article in the New York Times. I was so inspired when I read it that it propelled me to jump-start New Wrinkle. Here is an excerpt from actress Frances McDormand on becoming an older woman in our society:
I have not mutated myself in any way,” she said. “Joel (her husband) and I have this conversation a lot. He literally has to stop me physically from saying something to people — to friends who’ve had work. I’m so full of fear and rage about what they’ve done.”
Looking old, she said, should be a boast about experiences accrued and insights acquired, a triumphant signal “that you are someone who, beneath that white hair, has a card catalog of valuable information.” The words tumbled out of her rapidly and bluntly. She had points she wanted to make and made them in an open, down-to-earth manner with an occasional edge to it, a bit of a prickle.
The actress learned at the start of her career not to care too much about appearances. “I was often told that I wasn’t a thing,” she said. “ ‘She’s not pretty enough, she’s not tall enough, she’s not thin enough, she’s not fat enough.’ I thought, ‘O.K., someday you’re going to be looking for someone not, not, not, not, and there I’ll be.”
How many girls and women have undergone the same kind of treatment? I know I did: too chubby, too thin, too short. These days it’s: Have you lost weight? You look young for your age. Unfortunately many women cling to these remarks and want to try even harder to resist the signs of aging. That’s because we feel we will no longer be valued by our culture.
But, like McDormand, we don’t have to take it – she is a testament to the fact that you can be a mature woman, thriving in a career, yet still be authentic and productive. It takes courage, and I for one thank this woman for speaking out about this issue as it impacts all girls and women in our society.