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Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Betty White Factor

In our youth obsessed culture an 88-year-old Betty White is showing that along with wisdom, age can also bring out one’s it-factor. The Betty White factor, the idea that we get better as we age, could not have come at a better time for me. While most people think of July as the month in which we celebrate our nation’s independence, I think of it as the time when I edge closer to the other side of that proverbial hill. Yes July is my birthday month. And lately I find myself pausing in the mirror searching for new wrinkles. It is not like I can avoid thinking about such things. Online, the television, newspapers, magazines, standing in a store checkout line, no matter where I happen to be there are screaming words and images that convey that the older version of me is something to be feared. Not according to the Betty White factor. 
Thinking back to the 18-year-old Tanya and I can’t help but to shudder just recalling the former hairstyles not to mention some life choices. Sure the skin was tighter and wrinkle free but the lack of knowledge. If I could go back and chat with the 18-year-old me I assure you the phrases: just don’t, bad idea, ignore his call, and stupid move would come up often.  Age has given me skin that is not as firm or smooth as it once was, but it has also given me something else. Experience and a confidence that only women of a certain age can understand:) A combo that helped to push me to aggressively pursue my writing when everyone else was shouting, GO TEACH. I hope the Betty White factor is not just another trend for she has truly inspired me.
I will no longer dread the fast approaching birthday or the following ones for that matter. Instead of counting wrinkles I will look forward to the day when I will look in the mirror and see that older version of myself. A smarter, it-factor version of a bygone girl that was once quite shy. And it appears that I am not alone in my thinking. I believe Hollywood has discovered something that we women have known all along.  That we can still be leading ladies even after we hit 25. Meryl Streep in, “It’s Complicated,” Betty White and her cast mates are all over the age of 45 as well as the cast of the recent “Sex and the City 2" movie. Sure heads will always turn whenever a new Megan Fox type (supposed younger version of Angelina Jolie) bursts on to the scene, but it is the post 30 it-factor version of that type that will have figured out how to keep those heads from turning away.


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