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Archive for the month “April, 2016”

Age Equality

I had a dream last night that I was watching the TV news and instead of seeing only young, flawless fresh-faced women, included in the dialogue were older women with lined, experienced, mature faces.

At first it seemed odd as it’s something you rarely see in mainstream media – except for maybe the token “old lady” with $100,000 worth of plastic surgery. You know who I’m talking about. Mysteriously these people disappear from the screen, like yesterday’s news.

But watching the images and hearing the voices of these brilliant older ladies, I began to feel more comfortable in my own skin, not a sense of fear but a sense of hope. Perhaps I too had more to say despite my collegin-challenged skin.

You might call it age equality.

In this dream, the audience wanted to listen to these women who had been in the trenches, who had covered multiple political campaigns, wars, disasters and had the mental and physical scars to prove it. In other words, they had substance and it meant something, something more than a soft face.

This is not to take anything away from those young, ambitious reporters. I too started out as a TV journalist when I was 22. But that unspoken line drawn in the sand once you’ve reached a certain age – now that you really have something to say – you’re no longer relevant? WTF?

I think of a courageous anchorwoman, Dana King, of KPIX-TV in San Francisco, who had been to Kosovo, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Honduras, Iraq, and too many other places to mention.   But, perhaps her biggest battle since being a journalist of 24 years was to tell her boss she no longer wanted to color her hair.

King serves as an inspiration for women in all industries. By taking one simple act, she chipped away at the current paradigm. It’s something all of us can do in our own way to stand up for age equality.

 

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Strength in Authenticity

I love strong, authentic women who are no longer trying to prove how perfect and well put together they are – no signs of stretched, wrinkle-free faces with large, puckered lips. Somehow it makes me feel more free and courageous enough to withstand what the media bombards us with on a daily basis.

As a television news reporter for most of my adult life, I always tried hard to present myself as the perky, cute blonde. I knew that was what was expected of me and I played the game. So it came as no surprise, when I turned 40, I began to panic. Everything I had known had been based on my youth and looks and to be fair, some smarts were involved.

Then I found myself single in my forties and began dating. That led to this blog and the journey to make a documentary based on the stories of older women, their concerns, fears and inspirations. This is not something talked about in our culture and it’s time to change the paradigm:

San Francisco media critic Jan Wahl sums it up this way:

 

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