Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Beginning Of The End Of The Cougar Trend?

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Cougar, Before Cougar Was Cool

A couple of years ago, I wrote a member contribution article for MORE Magazine: Multiculturalism And The Cougar Please don’t be impressed–you shouldn’t be. Anyone who signs up with MORE online as a member can write and submit articles for their online site, so trust me, I’m nothing special there. In the article, I offer my own observations and theories about the so called “Cougar” trend, completely invalid scientifically, as always. I was taking a course in multiculturalism at the time and it occurred to me that while there seemed to be an uptick in middle aged women dating young men that was getting a lot of attention, this particular phenomenon always seemed to be characterized by said middle aged romantic partner looking/acting/being anything but what she really was–a 40+ female. This is a reality which is in direct opposition to the concept of multiculturalism, in which differences are embraced, even emphasized, and thought of as equally desirable to the former ideal. I do this a lot actually when I’m taking a class–when immersed in a lot of hard facts and academic research, I whimsically apply what I’ve learned to pop culture, probably to stave off boredom and narcolepsy during class. This was especially puzzling, albeit entertaining to my decidedly left brained Armenian astrophysicist professor when I took Astronomy during my undergrad adventures. Needless to say, I didn’t take a lot of hard science in school–only what I had to have to graduate. 

At any rate, I thought I was onto something then, and today, with the tabloid and social media rumor mill working overtime to cover a possible Demi Moore/Ashton Kutcher split due to his alleged serial cheating with young college aged women, the buzzers are going off again. Now, first of all, who knows if there is truth to this story or not? Nobody, that’s who. None of us knows what really goes on in relationships outside our own, and that goes double for celebrity gossip that is often spun up by tabloid “journalists” on slow days, or even the stars’ own publicists when increased attention is needed to promote this or that new project. This could certainly be the case here, as both halves of this May/December couple have something new to promote right about now. But, that’s not the point. The point is that, given the nature of the Cougar trend, this is a very plausible outcome…

It’s my opinion that in the vast majority of relationships, the Cougar/Cub (god help me) thing is simply not built to last. Certainly, “women of a certain age” can be very attractive, even to much younger men. Why wouldn’t they be? Women who take care of their appearance can be beautiful at any age. And here I’ll insert a very Kelso-esque exclamation–DUH! But, it’s my feeling that a fleeting (and flattering) sexual attraction does not a lasting relationship make. Those natural, healthy differences between people with 15 or more years difference in their ages will always come back to bite them in that body part that you can bounce a quarter off of–in the case of Ashton’s 23 year old alleged girlfriends, that is. This is particularly true when the younger man, as in Kutcher’s case, doesn’t even act his own age (33), instead his public behaviors resemble that of his former television character, Michael Kelso, a high school student who was none too bright to boot. I’m just a couple of years shy of Demi Moore’s age. She’s 48 and I’m 46, and he strikes me as really immature, perpetually partying, punking people sophomoric-ally….cheating or not, living with him and being his wife would get on my nerves pretty quick.

For the past several years, I’ve seen a lot of media that holds this twosome up as some sort of golden couple…a shining example of how and why the Cougar trend is here to stay, and something that middle aged women should aspire to. But, in reality, what I see is that it doesn’t really work as well as they’d like to believe it does. As I covered in my piece for More.com, the only way it works to begin with is if the older female half of the equation spends an indefinite amount of time and energy on convincing herself, and everyone else, that she’s something she’s not. Can a 40+ year old woman be attractive…”hot” even? That goes without saying. Can a 40+ year old woman be happy in a relationship with a man many years her junior, long term? The answer is maybe, but I rather doubt it. And it’s for those reasons I mentioned in the article–an atmosphere of multiculturalism is not yet present when it comes to middle aged women. Meaning those of us willing to admit that we are 40+ in every way, including all the inevitable changes in our looks, our personalities, child-bearing inclinations and capabilities, our entertainment and lifestyle preferences, etc.


Cartoon by Jeff Berry, http://berrystudio.blogspot.com/

The reality is that people do change as they age. A 23 year old woman isn’t really the same as a 43 year old woman, just like a 43 year old woman isn’t the same as a 63 year old woman. And despite what popular media would have us all believe, it really is a rare romantic relationship with a multi year age difference that will work long term without the older woman exhaustively working to be 40+, but look and behave only 18+. And that’s sad, for all concerned. Over the last couple of years especially, I’ve watched Demi Moore age, yet frantically diet and exercise to the point of being thinner than she ought to be, constantly tweet sexy photos of herself, and in general try to project an image that she naturally exuded as a 23 year old–when she was 23. And what it looks like to me is part of an overall futile, and I believe completely unnecessary campaign to hang on to that infamous Cougar/Cub relationship of hers. Not to say that these two don’t have a deep affection for one another, which they may genuinely share. 

This makes me sad because I think Demi Moore is better than this. We all are. I hope that she sees herself as she really is, and lets her middle age flag fly in all its glory. That would serve as a true inspiration to women our age, I think, rather than the phony, fleeting one that has been served up to all of us for the past few years, in order to keep up the Cougar image. What I’d like to see is all of us being who we really are, in that true spirit of multiculturalism I talked about. Then, if intergenerational love happens, it happens…and it’d be real for a change….maybe it would even last, who knows? But, my gut tells me that it would be the beginning of the end of the Cougar Trend…a trend that would probably fade away on its own for the most part, having run its course. With a few exceptions that fall into the “you don’t choose who you love” category, I think we’d see a better trend…one that is characterized by women coming into their own, no matter what age they are, and going out there and getting everything they truly deserve, romantically and otherwise, with men who are their equals and are mature enough to appreciate authenticity. 

Trading the Cougar Trend for an Authenticity Trend…hmmm….that’s a trend I could promote! 

 

10 Great Red Carpet Looks; The 2011 Emmys

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I always watch the award show red carpet arrivals with great interest…the actual shows, not so much. Who wants to hear and see a bunch of actors pontificate about the finer points of their “craft”, phony air kiss one another, and bash conservative politicians? Yawn…

So, without further ado, here are the ten overall looks, not just dresses, that made me say “Wow!”, along with a lot of difficult names that I had to look up proper spellings for… 

This may seem like an odd choice, as others have expressed strong dislike for Kaley Cuoco’s Emmy look…But, I thought she looked cute, unique, and age appropriate. 

I love just about everything about Kate Winslet–she’s one of my all time favorites…Last night, she looked flawless as usual, and although red was a really popular color for a lot of ladies last night, Kate did it best! 

Christine Baranski–classy, gorgeous, and age appropriately HOT! 

Jane Krakowski…I would have advised against the overdone spray tan, but other than that–she looked fantastic! 

Dianna Agron was a vision in violet…

Julia Stiles…great fitting, beautiful strapless gown–perfect! 

I thought Kate Flannery looked beautiful and elegant…and her gown is an exact match with her eyes–did you notice that? 

Padma Lakshmi…not sure what the heck that is on her arm, but she was a goddess last night…

Sofia Vergara–perfect! Someone should steer the redhead from Mad Men in this direction…you don’t always need to have everything spilling out of your top, we all know it’s ample and impressive already…

And finally, my absolute favorite look of the night…Cobie Smulders was perfect in every way! I loved the color of her gown, her flawless hair and makeup, and gorgeous accessories….WOW! 


The 6 Greatest T.V. Couples, By The Decade

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Tonight is Emmy night…the evening the world stops and honors excellence in television. As a card carrying member of the television generation, and an unabashed romantic as well, here are my top picks for the greatest t.v. couples of all time, by the decade…

THE FIFTIES

LUCY & RICKY

Despite their separate twin beds, the Latino/Redhead heat between these two was hard to miss…much later in life, I met a real life Lucy & Ricky…my two younger boys’ grandparents! RIP Dorothy & Tony Casas…:*) 

THE SIXTIES

MARSHALL DILLON & MISS KITTY

Did they, or didn’t they? I guess we may never know…but we all loved the hint of romance between Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty, a classic Good Boy/Bad Girl attraction…:-) 

THE SEVENTIES 

THE BRADYS

Mike & Carol…ahhh, the perfect, unrealistic blended family (see, The 80’s, 90’s and 2,000’s)…oh man, did they set us all up for disappointment! 

THE EIGHTIES

MADDIE & DAVID

Sexual tension as plotline on television…and Moonlightling taught us a little something about that, now didn’t it? Once the golden couple actually begins a relationship, the party’s over…

THE NINETIES

ROSS & RACHEL

The One That Taught Us That Maybe Our Soulmate Was There All Along…

THE NEW MILLENIUM

MARY & MARSHALL

Partners…Equals…Lots in common despite being opposite on the surface….hmmm…the perfect couple perhaps? We’ll see! 

Two Kids Of Infamously Bad Famous Parents Navigate The Forgiveness Culture

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for·give·ness [ fər gívnəss ]   Audio player
  1. act of pardoning somebody: the act of pardoning somebody for a mistake or wrongdoing
  2. forgiving quality: the tendency to forgive offenses readily and easily

This morning, as I do most mornings, I was perusing the pop news articles, looking for interesting stuff to tweet to my followers. I ran across two articles that effectively demonstrated the polar opposite flip sides of the same coin. 

The first was a piece about Christina Crawford, child of Mommy Dearest, all set to expose Mom Joan’s “naked tapes”:   Burn! 

And the second was an article about how Ryan O’Neal has found someone new to blame for his troubles with his daughter–Oprah Winfrey: Ryan O’Neal Blames Family Drama On Oprah Of course he does…:::Insert eyeroll here:::

Both of these stories really stem from tragic tales of children wronged somehow by parents during their years growing up, and even beyond, but choosing very different ways of dealing with that reality in order to move on with their lives. 

One is society’s heroine, due to her apparent devotion to the ever growing, wildly popular forgiveness culture which dictates that in order to move on and heal from hurts inflicted upon us by others, sometimes those who were charged to love and protect us, we must forgive that person–at all costs. We have to “let it go” in order to be whole and happy. Is this true? I’m not sure, but it sounds a little too easy if you ask me. Yet Tatum, bless her tender broken heart, is doing her level best to forgive her Dad, who clearly–clearly is neither sorry, nor even aware that he has done anything the least bit wrong. If you’ve watched even a clip of the reality show on Oprah’s network starring Tatum And Ryan O’Neal, you’ll know exactly what I mean. In gut wrenching, painful reality scenes, Tatum so obviously wants nothing more than for her father to own up, and moreover, to be sorry for the past and agree to change the hurtful behaviors–or at least try. What is also obvious is that Ryan O’Neal has absolutely no intention of doing any of that, or even looking at himself seriously in any way. Yet Tatum soldiers on, and strives to forgive anyway, in the one sided, supposedly soul enriching way that is advocated by every self help guru and life coach, hiding under every rock these days. 

Clip from The O’Neals

And then there’s the one boo’ed by those experts and society at large in the Forgiveness Culture–Christina Crawford. Christina had this to say on the topic of forgiving her mother, explaining why she would have none of that hogwash,  “Forgiveness is a two-way street and she never took responsibility for her behavior.” To me, this seems the more realistic perspective on the matter, and could be healthy for folks if they do not remain simultaneously obsessed with the offender, making a career out of their mother’s career, vengefully spending waking hours looking for dirt on her to exploit in the context of a one woman show. Yikes! This seems to be going too far the other way, when naturally running screaming from the Forgiveness Culture, which imposes what I think are unrealistic expectations on wronged people to forgive those who aren’t sorry and very likely would do the same things ten times over if given the chance. 

“Why Did You Adopt Me” Scene From Mommy Dearest

I think what these two women and their experiences have to teach us is that the right answer is more than likely a response which is somewhere in between Tatum’s painful to watch, willingness to allow her narcissistic Peter Pan of a father to gut her as many times as he likes from now on in the spirit of forgiveness and enlightenment, and Christina’s cringe inducing, love/hate, don’t let it go even if it kills you, inability to separate herself and her identity from the mother who nearly destroyed her, in the name of backlash to a somewhat annoying, unrealistic Forgiveness Culture. 

So what is that happy medium? Well, it beats me. But something tells me that not many of the experts, or relationship gurus and writers write about it because it’s not a solution you can guide masses of people to find easily with a $29.95 hardback and accompanying lucrative speaking engagements. It has to be a journey that is individual, thereby unique to everyone who undertakes it, with no clear or easy path to the end. And it has to be an undertaking that will leave you whole, nobody’s free ride or doormat, but letting the past go to the point where you are truly focused upon your own life, making yourself the best you can be, and cultivating healthy relationships, not necessarily remaining hell bent upon singlehandedly fixing the ones that perhaps, sadly, will remain unfixable, because forgiveness really is a two way street…

What are your thoughts on forgiveness? 

5 Women of Style…Iconic Because They Made their Own

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A lot of the stylish women featured in magazines, both entertainment and fashion, are listed as such because they follow fashion trends set by others, and look great doing it. That’s an accomplishment, I suppose, but the style icons that really interest me are those who march to the beat of their own drum and develop their own style. The ordinary women who pull this off are never brought to our attention, unless we know them personally, but here are a few of my all time favorites that I think you’ll recognize…

STEVIE NICKS

Why She’s Iconic: Because she took a few different looks, and melded them into her own unique signature style…Always ethereal, slightly mysterious, and cool–to this day! 

Click here to watch the ladies of The Talk interview Stevie about how her unique look was inspired, and has evolved. Stevie talks style around 19 minutes into this full episode, and sings at the end so it’s well worth watching the whole thing.  

Stylish Quote: “I think they all went too far. Their jeans got too low, their tops got too see-through. Personally, I think that sexy is keeping yourself mysterious. I’m really an old-fashioned girl, and I think I’m totally sexy”.

COCO CHANEL

Why She’s Iconic: She made sophisticated, simple, and elegant an always acceptable style option for women. You can never go wrong with a Chanel-esque look…this was true in her heyday, and will never go out of fashion. 

Coco Chanel on Biography.com 

Stylish Quote: “A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous”. 

MADONNA




Why She’s Iconic: Madonna’s unique style literally symbolizes the 80’s. We’re glad a lot of it is permanently lost to that decade, hopefully never to return, but say what you will–this woman was definitely a style trendsetter who played by her own rules. 

Madonna, The Early Years, Singing “Borderline”  

Stylish Quote: “I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art.” 

CLEOPATRA

Why She’s Iconic: Let’s face it, who knows exactly what she looked like? However, Cleopatra is and always will be a well known fashion icon, emulated still today. Any woman who can pull that off when no modern person ever even saw her deserves a place on this list! 

Here’s a fascinating article detailing a scientific study that found that Cleo’s infamous eye makeup was actually healthy–who knew? Cleopatra Eye Makeup 

Stylish Quote: “Be it known that we, the greatest, are misthought.” 

PRINCESS DIANA

Why She’s Iconic: Not for the reasons you’ve always heard…The late Princess Diana is a style icon in my book because of her successful style evolution, which mirrored her life. She evolved, matured, and found out who she really was over the years…And she took us all along for the ride. Her early years were filled with style bloopers, in my opinion, and she was responsible for me looking hideous more than once in big flouncy ruffles that were so not me, or her, for that matter. But, even when she was a world famous style icon who set trends all over the globe with her less than fashionable fashion, she demonstrated that quality that every style icon possesses–fearlessness. You can’t be truly stylish if you’re afraid to take a risk to express yourself! 

This is an article on the latest news of the ongoing auction of Diana’s famous dresses: Princess Diana 

Stylish Quote: “I like to be a free spirit. Some don’t like that, but that’s the way I am.” 

The Happy Hobbyist Gets Better At It!

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Rome wasn’t built in a day, and this is especially true when learning some new craft or another. I’ve been working hard to perfect my technique at wire wrapping, which is one of the basic skills everyone has to learn when becoming a jewelry maker. And when I wore my charmingly imperfect Twilight Inspired set out the other night and got loads of compliments on it, I was inspired to make more sets. 

And so I did! I stayed up till about 2:00 a.m. last Saturday night finishing this one…

The best part of this series is that I found those gorgeous gray faux pearls in the WalMart craft clearance bin for $1–what a steal! 

Once my fingers recovered a bit from all the work that my “Silver Dream” set was, I made this one on Sunday. Let’s call it “Blue Fantasy”, shall we? It sounds so much more artsy and professional if you give it a name, don’t you think? 🙂

I am really having a lot of fun learning this new skill! Designing the pieces is definitely my favorite part…it’s a golden, or in this case silver, opportunity to let my creativity flow…

And, I think my work looks pretty good on too…

This class I signed up for is fantastic! If you don’t mind learning via the internet (It’s been my whole life for the last several years), then I highly recommend it: Jewelry Workshop With Max Goodman