Monday Mar 26 2007
By Marilyn Kentz
Last year's announcement that actress Demi Moore wed young actor Ashton Kutcher hardly raised an eyebrow, as it would have twenty, or even ten, years ago. Hollywood celebrities often lead the way when it comes to national trends, and one trend is becoming increasingly obvious: women over forty no longer consider themselves “over the hill”.
Whether the rest of the world is on board is a matter of personal attitude. It's not about trying to sex it up for some 30-year-old ad executive. That would be a misplaced, maybe even desperate, intention. It's about how we perceive and authentically present ourselves that makes a person alluring. We all know those ageless women who walk into a room and capture it—no matter where their breasts land. And there's a big difference between being alluring and being outright sexy. The latter is a bit more of a challenge for me.
I am deep into midlife. And I often wonder when did THAT happen?
It's like one night you kiss your little one on the cheek, crawl in bed with your husband—have a bit of a sexy romp—and fall asleep worrying about the science project due in a few days.
Next morning, you get up and peak in your little one's room and … she's in college. Your husband, sitting up now, gives a little luring pat to your side of the bed, which makes you note the prescription for Viagra sitting on his nightstand. Oh no. (My luck he'd be the one in a million that experienced that accidental 4-hour “morning stiffness”.) “No sweetheart. You just put that little pill back in the bottle. I've got an appointment for my bunions and I want to look at rest homes for Mom before I do that. I'm just not in the mood.”
Don't get me wrong. I love my husband. I've been with him for 28 years. There's something so comforting about joining him out on the patio for one of his home-cooked gourmet dinners, enjoying his big brown eyes during idle conversation about our grownup kids, our baby dogs and Boston Legal. But what I love most about him is his huge and wonderful heart. AND he's well groomed. I love a well-groomed man. But when you're there—day in, day out—for the grooming process, it loses its sex appeal. Nose hair clippers, clearing sinuses in the shower, pride of what was left behind in the bathroom do not spell foreplay in my book. And I'm no better. I've got hair dye dripping down my neck that's supposed to be controlled by the big baggie on my head, clipping my toenails while I remind him of everything he's done wrong the last few weeks. Oh THAT'S sexy.
But I'm not even trying to be the sexiest woman in the room—because that wouldn't be fair. I'd be competing with a 25-year-old, smooth skinned being of light who is comfortable in her little thong that's sort of covering the pulsating ovum that's screaming, “Fertilize me-e-e-e. Keep the species go-o-o-o-ing!” And you can bet any male counterpart—any age—would happily accommodate.
The question for us females in the middle of our lives is…just because we have passed that procreating phase of life and we have a little extra skin, are we supposed to disappear? Hell, no! Though that may have been true in the past, Baby Boomer women are not in the mood to go down any hill. This is the time of life when we finally feel more secure, wise and wildly creative. It's about overlooking your egg count and becoming someone who has grown into her authentic passion, wisdom, confidence, tenderness and generosity. There's nothing more alluring than when a woman who oozes those qualities walks into a room looking and feeling regal and beautiful. Heads turn.
I know that confidence is very attractive, yet I have to remind myself of my personal assets when I walk into a room of “the beautiful L.A. people”. It's easy to get lost in the crowd when you are not up on the latest poison that freezes your face into a youthful position. In order to play on this field, I have to think and behave as though I really like myself … as is. I can't cave into negative thoughts like, “Gee, I'm middle-aged. I'm overweight. I have gas.” That attracts no one.
What helps me the most is remembering that we are put on earth to make this world a better place. And we don't even have a sense of what our purpose in life is until we are at least forty. That's my real “asset”. I can compete on any level in any arena as long as I remember that women who give back are more fulfilled, more passionate, and more beautiful than ever before. And there's nothing sexier than a woman who is full of passion for life.
Lofty goals? Not for a Boomer Babe.