Tag Archives: Betty White

The Value Of Role Models; 5 Women To Admire

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I guess people have always been sort of a hobby of mine…not that I enjoy being around them all the time, because I’m really more of a loner in that regard. But, I love to learn about other people–the experiences they’ve had, the traits and quirks that make them unique, their perspectives, and finally, how they tend to respond to the circumstances of their lives. This goes double for famous women, who always interest me more than their male counterparts because I can relate my own life more closely, I suppose. 

I get the distinct impression that, when you get to be my age, you aren’t really encouraged to have role models. Women over 40…scratch that…women 30 and over are supposed to either BE role models, live to serve, or be invisible. But, since I also think that no matter how old we get, until we’re six feet under and it really is over, we should enthusiastically pursue our own growth and development–just like we did as children. People shouldn’t say, “I’d love to do/be/pursue __________________ , but I’m too old and/or set in my ways” nearly as much as I hear them say it. While I never would want to be exactly like someone else or emulate them in a creepy “Single White Female” way, I think its healthy for people of all ages to have role models. 

Each of the following women made my list because there is something about them that inspires me…something that strikes a chord. When I sat down to write this morning, as often happens, I’d planned for the tone of this blog to be different than how it has turned out. I intended to write a light sort of piece–slightly humorous, fun, etc. But, maybe that’s too much to ask of myself during the annual period of reflection, analysis, and New Year’s resolution lists…

So…here are a few female role models you may catch me clumsily trying to channel in 2012… 

BETTY WHITE

 This retro cool lady is making a lot of lists these days…for all the right reasons! 

Admirable Quality:  I love her for all the same reasons everybody else does…she’s funny, she’s adorable, she’s sassy, etc. But, the trait that I admire about her most is her ability to seize an opportunity when it arises and make it work for her–not the other way around. I can’t think of anyone else who has had this sort of resurgence of popularity in virtually every era in which they’ve lived. Bravo, Betty! 

To watch Betty White in action on her hit sitcom, Hot In Cleveland, click here: Hot In Cleveland on TVLand

NIGELLA LAWSON

 It’s hard to not love a woman to eats real butter, probably every day, and is damn proud of it! 

Admirable Quality: Aside from her fabulous recipes which I’ve been copying now for a few years, this woman lives life with gusto–eats it up with a spoon! She has a real passion for life that shines through. She’s not afraid to try new things, loves learning about other cultures, and incorporating all of that into a career she loves–cooking. A few days ago, on her Facebook page, she was inquiring about Italian cuisine…that will have delicious results, I’m sure! 

For all the latest Nigella news and recipes, go here: Nigella’s Blog

CAROLINE GLICK

Whip smart…controversial…utterly fearless.

Admirable Quality: I’ve been getting her columns in my email for a few months now and they never fail to impress me. Caroline is a journalist, and probably the most serious, no nonsense woman on the list. What I love about her is that she is not afraid to tell it like she sees it, and always–ALWAYS does her homework to support the facts of what she writes in her pieces. The lesson for me? Think it, research it so you won’t look stupid, say it–no regrets. 

To read Caroline Glick’s column, click this link: Caroline Glick

DANA PERINO

Poise, grace, Christy Brinkley-esque good looks–hands down, the best Press Secretary a President could ask for…

Admirable Quality: This woman possesses truly astounding public speaking ability. No matter what she is asked, she responds articulately, comprehensively, and graciously. This holds true even when she is caught off guard. I’d love to develop this more in myself…I can write circles around most topics if I put my mind to it, but I really need to hone my public speaking skillset. 

Watch Dana hold her own on “The Five” here: Dana Perino

STEPHANIE NIELSON

Photo Credit: Stephanie Nielson, Nie Nie Dialogues

A blueprint of how to not only survive, but to make your life count in a big way…

Admirable Quality: This remarkable woman is probably also the least known famous person on the list, but I want everyone to know her name. After surviving a life altering plane crash, she demonstrated to all of us, myself included, what is really important in life, and how to keep your problems, handicaps, pain, and loss from crippling you. That is no easy feat for anyone, but Stephanie’s ongoing story is inspirational and humbling. She is the gold standard of role models for women in my book. Speaking of books, I read that her autobiography is coming this Spring–can’t wait! In the meantime, treat yourself and visit her blog here: NieNie Dialogues

Read more about Stephanie here: Mommy Blogger and Mother Warrior

Hot In Cleveland, Hot Everywhere!

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At first I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to this one…from the previews and the hype, it looked just a little too canned and predictable, sort of like The Facts of Life was back in the 80’s. And really, with Betty White’s recent career comeback, we all knew Hollywood would have to find a place to plug that live wire back in! I’ll file this one in the annals of don’t judge a book by its cover, because Hot is way less Facts of Life, and far more Golden Girls, which I’m sure is no coincidence. Like Golden Girls, there are more than a few overly predictable gags, and spots where star of the show Valerie Bertinelli overplays the cute factor. But, there is a lot of really great television that shines though too. And Valerie, like co-star Betty White, really deserved a new venue after her own recent career resurgence, fueled by her astounding weight loss and resultant rockin’ bikini bod, and bestselling heartfelt memoirs detailing her life, her mistakes, and most importantly of all, how she found her way to reinvention and a happy life.

And this little gem of a sitcom is, at core, all about reinvention. The pilot episode begins with main character Melanie Moretti, played by Bertinelli, treating her two best girlfriends, eyebrow artist Joy Scroggs and soap actress Victoria Chase, played by Frasier’s Jane Leeves and Wendie Malick, to a girls’ vacation to Paris to celebrate the success of her new book, a self help advice volume for women. These three are jaded refugees from the land of L.A., where they live as best they can among the dismissive and vapid, and have become more or less invisible and irrelevant in their hometown, all because of what they’re not–18-25, and/or male. Fate does them a favor, when their plane from L.A. crash lands in Cleveland. The “girls” are not happy at first to be stuck in “Cleeee-veland” of all places. That is, until they visit a local bar for a bite, only to find that Cleveland does indeed rock after all. Why? Because in Cleveland, they’re hot! Men not only notice them, but find them beautiful and fascinating again. And, in the back of their minds, they realize that, being honest with themselves, their lives in L.A. are not so hot anymore, and they’ve been given a rare opportunity to start over. Melanie decides to stay, rents a house, which comes with Betty White, aka Elka, the wise cracking, feisty octogenarian who serves as a golden fourth for this trio of friends.

This show is truly delightful! Light entertainment at its best, especially when the world we live in becomes overly burdensome, depressing, and just, well…too much. We all need escape and entertainment, and I certainly did last night after the rough couple of days I’d been treated to courtesy of a fellow blogger, and my own big mouth and stubborn nature. And I love the idea of reinvention…actually I loved the word and the process way before Madonna tried her best to ruin it for everyone. True reinvention, not the phony attention seeking Madonna kind, involves taking chances and being open to change. And it’s about making our lives what we want them to be as well as what they were meant to be, not desperately trying to fit ourselves into a persona and/or a world where we really don’t belong. I think we’ve probably all been down that dead end, square peg/round hole road a time or two.

So, like the ladies of Hot In Cleveland, find the place where you’re hot and live there–literally or just figuratively as a state of mind. And laugh along the way and have some fun….Life really is way too short to live any other way!

Hot In Cleveland can be seen on TV Land…for a schedule and full episodes online, visit the show’s official site here: http://www.tvland.com/shows/hot-in-cleveland/

The full first season is also available on Netflix streaming video here: http://movies.netflix.com/WiMovie/Hot_in_Cleveland/70172451?trkid=2361637