Saturday, July 21, 2012

On Wearing Our Miles Well...

AND THE WINNERS ARE:
Congratulations! Copies of the gorgeous new trade paperback edition of Julia Spencer-Fleming's "In the Bleak Midwinter" are going to (drum roll, please!) Pat Marinelli, Lora in Florida, Deb Romano! Send your address to julia "at" juliaspencerfleming dot com.

And BE SURE TO CHECK IN TOMORROW when we'll be giving away an EARLY copy of Lucy Burdette's "Death in Four Courses" (pub date 9/4/2012).
HALLIE EPHRON: She's always been an overachiever. This week, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially set a record traveling to 102 countries, 843,839 miles. 

Over these last years seems like she's earned admiration, or at least grudging respect, for sheer stamina and dogged determination. An endless stream of photos show her looking serious, vexed, exhausted, intense...  rarely coiffed and smoothed and always looking her age, showing every one of those frequent flyer miles.

She's 64. She could paraphrase Gloria Steinem's famous line (in response to when a reporter told Steinem that she didn't look 40): “This is what 64 looks like. We’ve been lying for so long, who would know?” Recounting the moment later, Steinem added, "Age really was a great penalty for women."

I cheer a woman who is aging in the public spotlight and wonder if finally age can be out in the open. Maybe. Hillary reminds me of Hank's Charlie McNally ("Prime Time" etc.) who, Hank likes to say, is trying to figure out what she's going to do when the camera doesn't love her any more. 

It strikes me that Hillary has figured it out.

Here's a "now and then" of a few prominent women, still in the public eye (it was hard to find that many), who don't seem to be hiding their age.

Who would you add?

NOW...


























THEN...

 


 

 


37 comments:

Karen in Ohio said...

Doesn't it do your heart good to see these five incredibly beautiful women not getting themselves turned into weird-looking, duck-faced, aliens with unnaturally-colored hair? I applaud their bravery, especially when compared to much, much younger women like Lindsay Lohan, who has already started down the slippery slope of nipping and tucking and (over)filling. Contrast the naturally lovely Helen Mirren to the overstretched and overstrained Susan Lucci; the difference is like night and day.

Good examples, Hallie, and I can't think of any better. Barbra Streisand seems to have kept herself intact without surgical intervention, although I'm fairly sure that is not her actual hair color.

Karen in Ohio said...

By the way, Mrs. Clinton is remarkable. No way I would ever manage, even on a government private plane, to chug along the way she has. She's been a great Secretary of State.

Which brings us to this topic: of the last four SOS, three of them, and one might say two of the best we've ever had, were women. I love that.

Jack Getze said...

Betty White?

Marianne in Maine said...

I can't believe the early Helen Mirren pic! Wow!

These women have really aged extremely well. I love Hillary but, can I say, I wish she'd cut her hair. But brava to her for the diplomacy!

I have a picture of Jamie Lee Curtis in my purse. Before you think I'm an obsessive fan I have to say that I love her haircut and bring the picture out to remind my hairdresser how I want to look. (Fat chance!) But I love that she doesn't fear the grey. My kind of woman.

Hallie Ephron said...

Sometimes I not only wish Hillary would cut her hair, I wish she'd WASH it... but then I'm not on airplanes overnight after overnight zipping around the globe. One trip back and forth to Dayton wipes me out.

Hallie Ephron said...

Oh yes, add Jamie Lee Curtis! Any remember that incredible magazine spread she did for More Magazine in '02 - Jamie Lee unretouched in underpants and a bra, then glammed up and tricked out? (On the other hand, how many starring roles has she been handed since? -- Glad I'm not an actress.)

Karen in Ohio said...

Yes, Betty White and Jamie Lee Curtis! Both good examples.

I want to be Betty White when I grow up.

Oh, wait. I'm almost 61. Is it too late?

Kaye Barley said...

Marianne - your comment made me laugh out loud. When I was wearing my hair short I also carried a picture of Jamie Lee Curtis in my purse. And, it was to remind my stylist exactly how I wanted her to cut my hair. Too funny.

I adore Hillary Clinton. I want to be Hillary when I grow up (she's a whole year older than me).

I stopped coloring my hair several years ago. We hired a faculty member several years ago - a woman I was so impressed with that I decided to follow her lead and say the hell with Miss Clairol. Truthfully, I only wish I had done it sooner.

Barb Ross said...

In all the recent publicity about Tom Cruise I saw a photos of both him and Kelly McGillis in Top Gun and now. Today, she looks like a normal, very attractive 55-year-old woman. He's 5 years younger, but somehow the contrast, well it just made him look creepy.

Joan Emerson said...

I'm cheering any of these women [or any others] who don't feel the need to chop off their longer locks at some arbitrary age [and who determines this "women of a certain age must have short hair" edict, anyway?] . . . . Hilary may not have the latest hairstyle, but I applaud her determination to wear her hair the way she wants to, rather than the way others think she should. I'm all for the wash it, but I’m also thrilled to see that hair falling below her shoulders.

Hallie Ephron said...

Ooooh, interesting point about Tom Cruise. It's definitely not just the ladies who are getting nipped and tucked. Men's other solution: a much younger wife. Meow.

Hallie Ephron said...

Jack - I do love Betty White, and so happy to see her working. But is that what '90' looks like??

Erika Chase said...

I love Judi Dench! She's been a marvel on the screen for so many years and isn't afraid to look her age. Meryl Streep is another one who knows there so much more to life than a young face!

Carol said...

Tina Turner.

Hallie Ephron said...

I want to be Tina Turner's LEGS when I grow up

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Oh, yes, good examples! (Yeah, can't figure out what Hillary Clinton is going for with the hair style, but who cares, I guess.)

It's too bad this has to be a topic, isn't it? I'm hoping we'll get through this "see, it's okay to look your age" phase and on into "Life goes on." I'm happier now than I've ever been--though I must say sometimes I am fascinated by the bags under my eyes. HOw on earth did that happen?

And I look at pictures of a younger me and think-whoa, I don't remember looking like that. I should have been more--grateful. At the time, I only worried.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Yeah, they say "the legs are the last to go."

Rusty Fairbanks said...

I admire all the women mentioned. Age is a matter of mind (and sometimes matter). But Hilary has achieved so much more than herself four years ago. Being SOS means she can beat the pants off any candidate in four years. Bet that scares the pants of the GOP!

Rosemary Harris said...

In defense of Susan Lucci here..i don't know what she looks like now but when I worked at ABC around 10 years ago, she was a knockout and didn't look "done" at all. There's a pic of the two of us somewhere.
Missed you guys but glad I wasn't here for the swimsuit competition. There's one pic of me but it's all leg and as Hank says they're the last to go. While hiking in Yosemite I met an ageless beauty - Lara Parker from the original Dark Shadows tv show. She now writes the Dark Shadows books. If anyone remembers Angelique - shewas the gorgeous blonde..and she still is. no surgery required. I'm hoping she'll remember that she promised to visit us on JR. BTW Hank..she knew about The Other Woman!!! She's also Tor/Forge

Jan Brogan said...

Two comments

First. I admire Hilary. But I think she mat have figured out that we dont want a Barbie for secratary of state. Madeleine was no hot chick either. We want a tough hardworking many miles look.

Second. Just because you cant see it, doesnt mean none of these women have had aliitle fill. A little Botox Or even one of the many surgeons who specialize in the natural look.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Still, you won't find the actresses playing romantic leads the way male stars still do at their age. Not unless it's an art movie focused on the elderly. And yet Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith, Meryl Streep, all look younger and more attractive than Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, et. al., who play tough heroes all the (young) women go for in their movies.

I used to laugh and make fun of female actresses who obviously lied about their ages and had plastic work done, but Hollywood is a vicious town on women and totally focused on appearance and age.

Lucy Burdette said...

Meryl Streep--I love her, love her, love her. And Hilary too. It's hard not to comment on her hair though--I thought she looked serious and stunning the one day she wore it back in a twist.

Now others I'd add to the list are musicians, Emmy Lou Harris and Bonnie Raitt. I was a huge fan of those two at least thirty years back and they still look fab but not "fixed."

Deb said...

Oh, yes, definitely adding Judi Dench. But I have to quibble on the hair color thing. It's fine for you gorgeous women like Kaye Barley who go beautifully platinum all over. I'd go natural in a second if I looked like that. But I am white at the temples and dark everywhere else, with barely a gray thread--I look like a skunk. So until I go gray all over, I'm keeping up the highlights.

Hallie, Jamie Lee Curtis has had a great part on NCIS this year as a romantic interest for Mark Harmon, and a very smart and sexy woman. Huge applause for the show for writing and casting a woman his age instead of someone twenty or thirty years younger.

Gigi Norwood said...

I once saw a film clip that included just a glimpse of an older woman, and I thought she had one of the most interesting faces I'd seen in years. Turned out to be Vanessa Redgrave, who completely stole the film "Letters To Juliet" and who appears to be still working pretty regularly.

Tina Neyer from the edge said...

I love this post. Living in a plastic world where women tend to want to imitate images from magazines, models like Hillary and Carol King are my heroines. This from a 55-year-old who describes her lines as laugh lines, not crows feet.

Hallie Ephron said...

At least we don't have those sick plastic surgery "reality" (IN QUOTES) ... Those shows ARE gone, right? Uh, never mind... here comes "Bridalplasty."

Nancy said...

I'm so thankful for these women (including the Jungle Red Writers!) who have set such great examples for all of us!

NGW

Cynthia Wright said...

What a great post, Hallie! Yes, these women are fantastic role models for us all - and utterly beautiful at any age.

Lora in Florida said...

I have always liked Hillary Clinton. I also love the Hillary memes. They were so funny and clever. That is exactly how I hear her in my head. She is an awesome role model.

Whenever I think of plastic surgery, I think of Lisa Rinna and Priscilla Presley. If they had botched jobs with their money, what is going to happen to me with next-to-no money?

Love all these women. I don't have abs like Helen Mirren and she has 20 years on me. Love Betty White. Please let me still reinventing myself at 90.

I think of hair color as I do getting glasses. Some things are a must.

and woohoo! I won! Yay!

Laura DiSilverio said...

Angela lansbury. Jessica Lange. Susan Sarandon. I don't know if any of the above have had work done, but if they have, it's been discreet since I think they look their age. It's interesting that, with the possible exception of Mirren, none of these women were really known as "great beauties." I'll bet it's harder for the women who let themselves be defined by their beauty, rather than their talents/abilities (or in addition to them) to see that beauty fade.

Tammy C. said...

Add Diane Keaton to that list! She's made a point of saying she would never have plastic surgery.

Anonymous said...

Actually, I think Jessica Lange does look "done", but only after she appeared in Grey Gardens. It was disappointing to see, in my opinion.

Jan J. said...

Brenda Blethyn came immediately to mind - just watched her in her British series "Vera" based on Ann Cleeves mystery books - fantastic and real! Also Kathy Bates!

Reine said...

I'm rooting for Charlie McNally to keep on "... when the camera doesn't love her any more" and hope that she will find inspiration in the older working women of the time when age visits her.

Hillary... yes, long hair, pixie, or bald... I don't care. Helen Mirren and Judy Dench... beautiful wrinkles.

One of the reasons I read books is to enjoy a story without being bombarded with the ever present young and beautiful onscreen women. Unless they are playing a character role where they have to be ugly, old, or obese, in which case they must also be funny, these women must be attractive. Books save me from that. Thank you, writers.

Rosemary Harris said...

Jessica Lange is lookin' a little weird. Sad. Jan J thanks for the tip on Vera, I was hovering over that on Netflix yesterday - now i'll put it in the queue!

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to see so much honest praise for H.C. I just wish she could run next November - and hope she'll have her hat ready for the next round. Great post! Thelma Straw in Manhattan

The Cat Bastet said...

Don't forget the ever-beautiful Candice Bergen!

Cathy AJ