When I turned on the TV yesterday morning, Today Show host Ann Curry was presiding over a segment called "60 is the new 40." First on was a 67 year old model, discovered at age 63. She's now working for Eileen Ford's modeling agency and living a most unexpected life. She said it was wonderful and looked very happy. I loved the color of her hair-- white-- but thought the style was pathetic. No way the Ford Agency would tolerate that hair on an under-40 model, but I guess they were relieved that she still had hair.
Next, Ann Curry interviewed Raquel Welch and best-selling author Gail "Passages" Sheehy. They both agreed that 60 is the new 40 and that the older model is bound to be very inspirational to aging women. Yes indeedy, I feel better already and know I'll sleep good tonight.
Raquel talked about, uh, Raquel. Sheehy trumpeted her new book Sex and the Seasoned Woman. My favorite moment of all came when one of them said-- are you ready for this-- "But getting older is about more than sex." I was overcome with shock and heard myself shouting at the television, "It is? Oh noooooooo!" In other words, I was profoundly disappointed. My mood did not pick up when Curry closed by inviting the viewers to stay tuned for a feature on depression. But I suppose I can rationalize that not only is getting older not just about sex, it's also not just about depression. Sigh.
I was ever-so-slightly impressed with a phrase spoken by Racquel. She seemed to be regreting her pattern of "living life on the surface" for so many years. Since she's presenting herself as an example of how good an older woman can look-- as opposed to be, for example-- I'm not sure she's much deeper than she's ever been. But perhaps she's trying, and that's all any of us can do.