Tuesday, January 15, 2008

You're Not As Young As You Think

Sometimes, I stand looking in the mirror and using one index finger, pull back at the corners of my eyes. Yes, I daydream, I could look like I once did. I imagine acquaintances who might have said “boy, she is looking old” will instead think “wow, she sure looks good for her age”. I smile smugly in the mirror with my slanted eyes. I turn sideways. I’ll have to have the “girls” lifted back to their previous glory to match. I could look younger. Never young, just younger.

It’s interesting that I do this, because I become ENRAGED to hear Rush Limbaugh saying that America won’t elect Hillary because we don’t want to see a woman age before our eyes. (This is not a political endorsement of Hillary, just an examination of this particular attack on her (and American women) by Limbaugh.

He says:
But men aging makes them look more authoritative, accomplished, distinguished. Sadly, it's not that way for women, and they will tell you. … I'm just giving an honest assessment here of American culture. Look at all of the evidence. I mean, I've just barely scratched the surface with some of the evidence, and so: Will Americans want to watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis? And that woman, by the way, is not going to want to look like she's getting older, because it will impact poll numbers. It will impact perceptions.

Perhaps he’s right. Perhaps Americans are shallow enough that appearances are more important than anything. But I look at this unflattering photo of Hillary, and I think of all the more recent unflattering photos of myself. I’m getting older - right along with her. I am that woman, the one with the wrinkles, the one aging before your eyes. I am the one that you might not want to look at everyday on the TV. Women close to me are wrinkling, aging, getting older. And, they are becoming more dear to me every day.

Sometimes, I read the obituaries. Morbid, I know. I read about how these people were loved, how they made a difference in their life and in the lives of others, and then, I look closely at their photograph. Usually, it isn’t one from their 20s, but one from their late years. A photograph taken when they were surrounded by people that cared about them, and knew them as wrinkled, gray-haired and balding. And I see the beauty in those faces.

Where do we get these twisted values that only youth is beautiful? Do wrinkled men look more distinguished as they age? Perhaps women do, too, if you look closely enough in the mirror.

Thanks to Tex's Missus for the writing prompt, and I guess, in retrospect, my answer would have to be "no".


DH said...

Perhaps Mr Limbaugh has not considered the contributions of other women who have served at high offices - ever hear of these Rush?

Margaret Thatcher - what a babe
Indira Ghandi - heart stopper
Angela Merckel - a real centerfold

Kristina said...

Interestingly enough, I agree with Rush. Many people in our culture are very shallow. Not everyone, but many. I think that was his point. And, as we all know, most women do think that men look better as they age, whereas we all think we look worse as we age.

Being president is rough on your body. Women age differently than men do.

And just for information, Rush has repeatedly said that if Margaret Thatcher was running for president, he would vote for her. But, Hillary is no Margeret Thatcher.


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