The Evolution of Beauty

Filed Under All Posts, Beauty, Prudence Baird | 14 Comments

Prudence Baird shares an eye-opening video and her thoughts on beauty and aging.

How would your life have been different if you had seen this time-lapse video on the cusp of your own womanhood?

What if, as a young girl of 13 or 14, you had witnessed the impossibility of being that perfect face on the billboard? Would you still have lain in the sun to get that Bain de Soleil tan? Or, turned your legs (and Mom’s white sheets) orange with “QT” (aka Quick Tan)? Or stripped your hair with the spray-on Sun In, trying to look like those Nordic blondes in the commercials?

Would you have starved yourself to look like Twiggy or stretched your Dippity-Do gelled hair over soup cans to have Cheryl Tiegs’ smooth, waspy locks?

Me, I don’t think I’d have done anything different…I think I still would have broiled in the sun and sacrificed my personal development in order to please friends and boyfriends. I hope that I wouldn’t have, but as the philosopher Ouspensky said, “If it could have happened any other way, it would have.”

And, after all, what would be the point of being young if you listen to your parents’ wisdom and learn from their mistakes?

(If you are viewing this post in your mailbox, you must click on the title to get to the Fifty is the New website and view the video.)

What Not to Wear

Filed Under All Posts, Connie Stetson, Humor, Media, Pop Culture, Style | 13 Comments

I was standing in the grocery store line the other day perusing magazine headlines: “Madonna Gives Birth to Satan’s Love Child,” “Brad and Angelina Adopt Cat,” “Bulimic Brittany Barfs Barrels—Spagos Diners Disgusted,” when something so mind-boggling, so shocking caught my eye, I gasped.  Glamour magazine’s cover page, in all its glossy glory headlined, “What to Wear at 20, 30, 40, to be Your Sexy Best.”  I was aghast.  All I could think of was when did it happen?  When did I fall off the fashion radar?  What about MEEEEE?????

It hadn’t occurred to me that I would be facing this dilemma so soon.  I’m standing at the crossroads of Juicy Couture and Talbot’s.  I’m pretty clear that at my age wearing the word “JUICY” on my ass is just false advertising, but I’m also not ready for the muumuus and leisure wear that I see in the next department, and I sure as hell don’t want to look like a Republican, all coiffed and suited up so tight I squeak. Read more

Gumby is Fuzzy

Filed Under All Posts, Cathy Fischer, Humor, Style | 12 Comments

Gumby dans la douche

I’ll admit it. I need reading glasses.

It took some time for me acknowledge this publicly. A few years back, this was the scenario: I’d be out to dinner at a dimly lit restaurant. It was bad enough that I couldn’t hear (that’s the fashion these days, over-packed rooms with hard surfaces feigning a ‘happening’ atmosphere), but I couldn’t see, either. Casually trying to hold the menu a few inches away, then farther, a bit farther, finally at arms length—didn’t fool anyone. While my girlfriends of a similar age would whip out their fashionable specs, I would scoff because at age 48, I was still able read the fine print, in the perfect light, that is. But alas, I got older and Gumby got fuzzy. Read more

Older Models In Demand

Filed Under All Posts, Carine Fabius, Media, Pop Culture, Style | 6 Comments


The Los Angeles Times recently published an article about a new trend in the fashion world: a booming demand for older models—meaning 35 and older—for magazine spreads, and advertisers looking to reel in the aging boomer population. That’s us, folks.

The market for these older fashion goddesses is so hot that a former supermodel just endowed with a graduate degree in psychology decided to put off practicing psychotherapy in favor of the ever-so-fulfilling art of auditioning. Talk about going backwards. But, that’s just me being judgmental. The money’s probably a lot better, if you can get it. Plus, I think it’s a fine idea. “After all,” the author of the piece says, “what middle-aged woman wants to buy moisturizer from a model who’s too young to order a martini?” Indeed. Read more

My Mother, My Shelf—Thoughts on My Boobs

Filed Under All Posts, Beauty, Connie Stetson, Family, Humor | 12 Comments

“Giant boobies, on my chest.
One points east, the other points west.”

(Sung to the tune of Don Ho’s “Tiny Bubbles”… and if you’re around my age, you know who he was.)

Sadly, the words to this little titty ditty are prophetic.

I have large breasts. Not a complaint, mind you. I have always enjoyed a very good relationship with my bodacious tata’s. They are quite nice and symmetrical; my husband describes them as soft, comfy and compelling. Everyone seems to enjoy a hug from me. Sweaters have followed me home, and, yes, men have bypassed eye contact with me all together to carry on deep conversations with them. They’ve been called fabulous. My sister says that no one has enjoyed my breasts more than I have. My sister’s breasts are those charming “champagne glass” types. (Though, they say to never drink champagne from those little bowls, flutes are better. Frankly, I’d drink champagne from a jock strap. I love the stuff). Read more

Hope Chest: Finding Comfort in a Recycled Life

Filed Under All Posts, Christie Healey, Environment | 4 Comments

Recycled art by SNIFF, Albany Bulb, 2007

In 2006 when I surveyed the mountains of boxes and items that filled the small house I had just moved into, I became overwhelmed with the amount of “stuff” it took for me to live. I started downsizing. The kimono stand went to a local Asian school, beds and couches were scooped up by college students, and sundry kitchen items disappeared into the trunks of passing cars whose owners had spotted the “FREE” sign on my open garage door. I felt lighter, and very grown up.

Last year, my personal improvement movement took on a more “green” aspect. I use my own cloth shopping bags. Plastic bags are banished from my existence. My cat is previously owned. Read more