Tag Archives: Annette Bening

The Face(s) of Sixty

Multiple Choice

Pop Quiz:  What does 60 look like?

Still thinking?  Of course you are; it’s a trick question.  Nobody knows, because so few people have the chutzpah to age these days.  So who looks better–Cher, Diane Keaton or Joan Van Ark?

My husband was torn between Cher and Diane Keaton.  Not I.  For me, it’s Diane by a mile.  I look at her face and see a woman who has spent more time parenting her kids, taking photos, pondering the world and her place in it and making thoughtful movies than running to a plastic surgeon.  I see a woman with the guts to be fully herself and to challenge Hollywood to respect a woman over fifty.  Better yet, to simply acknowledge that there are women over fifty.

No wonder poor George Clooney is so confused about who his peer group is.

Thank you, Diane.  And a big shout out to Annette Bening and Jacqueline Bisset, too.

Wendy

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Filed under aging, Geroge Clooney, Golden Girls

Everything old is new again

Like any seven-year-old, my daughter cannot wait to be a teenager.  Her target age:  nineteen.

“Mom, does this headband make me look nineteen?”  Absolutely.  And you could add another year if you detached the Minnie Mouse ears.

“Mom, look at my ballet slippers.”  (Extending her foot with a lovely pointed toe.)  “Do my legs look nineteen?”

“Listen, Mom, listen.  Does this song make me sound–”  Yes, sweetheart, yes, singing “We Are The Dinosaurs” at the top of your lungs absolutely makes you sound nineteen.

I’m not sure why she targeted that particular age.  Nineteen was certainly not my best year.  I was in my third year of college, a good forty pounds overweight, struggling to know more, do more and be more than I was comfortable with.

Nineteen was almost thirty years ago.  Now I’m trying to look younger, feel younger and still trying to do more than I am comfortable with.  Not that I  want to be nineteen again.  Noooo thank you.  But forty-two…yeah, that was a great year.

“Hey, world, if I wear this makeup, do I look 42 again?”

“If I lose ten pounds, will I look 42?  Will you like me better?  Take me more seriously?  Hire me?”

Recently, I was with the twenty-five-year-old niece of a dear friend.  When I say the girl is stunningly beautiful, I am issuing a gross understatement.  And yet she felt it necessary to have her first BOTOX injection at 24.  Apparently that is no longer uncommon; you get a head start on wrinkle prevention that way.

Annette Bening was my acting teacher twenty-six years ago.  She was, by far, the most confident woman I had ever met.  Today, she is one of the few actresses of her generation with the guts to age gracefully.   She is, by all accounts, the very hands-on mother to four young people.  Google her, and you will find that she spends a great deal of her time giving back to her community in addition to conducting what has amounted to a thoughtful, intelligent and wildly successful career.

Check the imdb boards, and you will discover that she is being slammed–rudely–for daring to age naturally.  One poster wrote that Warren Beatty is now “too good for her.”  Another brain trust labeled her “a hag.”

Great.  These are probably people who get tattoos and piercings so they can be unique.  I’m not knocking that, but guess what?  Aging naturally in Hollywood is probably as unique anyone is going to get.

I wonder if a woman posted the crack about Warren Beatty or the uber-intelligent hag comment?  Lord, I hope not.

Annette:  You glow, woman.  And may I say, “Thank you” for living the wisdom of taking yourself seriously…but not too seriously.  And for spending more time working to improve the world instead of your own skin.

Libbi, my darling daughter:  Slow down, baby.  There’s plenty of time.  Live the moment, because the time that yawns endlessly now will someday seem achingly brief.  And you don’t want to miss a second by trying to be someone else.  (Or even an older–or younger–version of yourself.

Note to me:  Ditto.

Wendy

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Filed under Annette Bening, Children, Menopause, Motherhood, parenthood, Writing

Dem Bones

You know the movie An Affair to Remember with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr?  My mother showed it to me when I was a wee romantic thing, but if you’re not old enough to recall it, perhaps you’ve seen the remake with Annette Bening and Warren Beatty –titled Love Affair. And if you’re not old enough to remember that, then please Google PBS Kids while I take this moment to address my peers.

So, in An Affair to Remember/Love Affair, Deborah Kerr/Annette Bening falls in love with Cary Grant/Warren Beatty.   Alas, Deborah/Annette is already in a relationship, and Cary/Warren has never had a long-term relationship with anyone.  So they get it into their heads that if a suitable period of time goes by and they are still in love, they will meet at the top of the Empire State Building.  But when poor Deborah/Annette leaps from the cab to see if her lover is waiting for her, she runs smack in front of another car and BAM!  She’s paralyzed.  When her true love finds her and realizes she is injured for life, he asks, “What happened?”   She replies, “I was looking up.” (At the Empire State Building.)

Yeah, don’t do that.

Being the 48-year-old mother of a very energetic seven-year-old, I like to attempt to keep up.  I see the mothers of her classmates setting off on their morning bike rides after drop-off (they ride to the athletic club across the river where they work out for an hour or two before riding back home).  So when DD said, “Let’s chase fairies” after school one day, I set off on a jog after the fairies.   Over pavement, over lawns, over tree roots we ran, leaped and frolicked, pointing at the fairies flying over our heads until…BAM!  I fell.

I was looking up.

I broke my wrist and–long story short–it turns out I have osteoporosis.  Apparently, I’ve had it since I was 40, but missed the memo.  (I swear I thought the doctor said osteopoenia 8 years ago.)  Here comes the irony:  I spent most of my adult life trying to fit into a size 6.  For a dozen years (during my thirties and early forties), I was successful.  Apparently that was not such a good thing for my body.  The technician who did my DEXA scan 8 years ago told me, “If you weighed more, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

Well, I’ve been through menopause since then.  I weigh more now.  I’m a size ten again, the size I was always trying to whittle down.  I’m getting another DEXA scan in a couple of weeks and if the bone density in my hip has not improved or is worse, I will get to wear hip protectors–AKA, PADDING ON THE HIP–when I do something physical.  That’s right:  All that dieting back in my thirties has brought me back to size ten hips plus EXTRA PADDING.  Oh, the irony!

Please engage in regular weight-bearing exercise, dear readers.  Eliminate sodas and reduce sugar consumption (without dieting).  Eat plenty of greens and whatever else you do, DON’T LOOK UP.

Wendy

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Filed under Exercise, Fitness, Health, Menopause, Motherhood, osteoporosis, Weight gain, Weight Loss, Writing