Does anyone remember actress Michelle Pfeiffer?
Along with Meg Ryan and Kim Basinger, Pfeiffer was a box office draw even though it was the 80s, a time when strong female roles in Hollywood were few and far between. She was smart and sexy, with a wide range that spanned from comedienne (Married to the Mob) to sultry vixen (The Fabulous Baker Boys), and I am not ashamed to admit that I had a total girl crush on her.
But it isn’t my nostalgic hero worship of Pfeiffer that makes her memorable. What has stuck with me even to this day was a particular feature in a fashion mag. It wasn’t even a full-blown article; it was one of those inserts at the bottom of a page, meant to fill some white space, and it showcased photos of actresses when they were young next to photos of themselves in the present day. I think the point of the blurb was to be catty, but if that were so, then they epic failed when it came to La Pfeiffer.
I still remember how my fifteen-year-old self reacted to this shot. How beautiful she is now, I thought. And they say she’s old? She’s not old; she’s gorgeous! If that’s what it means to be old, then I don’t think I’m going to mind being thirty.
Yes, I was naive (only teenagers consider thirty “old”) and yes, I’m sure both photos were air brushed to the gills, but I think there is a valuable lesson to be learned here. In this current age of Botox, liposuction and the pursuit of everlasting youth, it’s difficult to believe that anyone beyond adolescence is actually valuable and worthy, let alone beautiful. It’s sad that we live in a society that has been brainwashed to think of youth as prime currency and to discount the wisdom and experience of maturity.
I am actually proud to be 40. I tell anyone who asks. I must admit, though, to a hypocritically smug satisfaction when people react so surprised and disbelieving at this admission. I preen and prance and pretend to be younger than I am because genetics and a self-taught style sense has afforded me the illusion of youth.
But when I stop and ignore the youth culture hype perpetrated by the media, I remember Michelle Pfeiffer and my teen-age convictions and then I don’t mind so much that I’m seeing more white strands on my head or that my arm wattle is getting a bit more pronounced or that I probably have only a few more good years before I can no longer wear eye makeup because the skin on my eyelids will become thin and crepey.
I welcome the lines around my mouth because they mean I have laughed long and hard. I am proud of my stretch marks because they signify my membership in the Mommy Club. And even though I am losing the resilience of my skin, I am gaining a resilience to my spirit that only time and age can bestow.
But before this post devolves into some sort of sanctimonious sermon, I revert back to my preening, prancing self and say how grateful and happy I am that my humble blog about my fashion and my style is still relevant to you, my friends, even though I’m old enough to be your mother.