Wednesday, July 23, 2014

In praise of 42

Esquire says this is the year of the 42-year old woman. Praise be. If this undisputed fact can counteract the horribleness that people (like me) born in the year of the rat are going through in 2014, even better.

The big problem with Esquire’s claim, other than the obvious sexism and general bullshit of the mag, is that their 42-year women look like Sofia Vergara, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Garner and Carla Gugino. All symmetrical babes, to be sure, but in the same bodacious, traditionally feminine kinda way. Boring.

Listen, I love curves. I love long hair. I love appropriately drooped (or not) breasts. But madre de dios, I’d love to see a wider range of woman encouraged to show up in wet dreams.

I turned 42 last Friday and have skin like a teenage boy, a sparse buzz cut that releases hair on the regular, like a Charlie Brown Christmas tree, no eyebrows, one tit, a boatload of scars and a body more like an H than an 8. And despite the eye-opening days of early Women’s Studies classes, trading my thigh-high socks for Fakenstocks to really deconstruct all that gender shizz while sitting beside the white guy in the dreadlocks with the soul-searching demeanour I wanted to smack off his face, I’m still working on figuring out the femininity question.

The fact that I’m even thinking about something relatively nuanced like femininity and not maudlin garbage like death by 43 is score one for my state of mind lately. Between the chemo side effects, I’ve been feeling great, especially upstairs, but it's been a conscious choice after a period of self-inflicted hibernation.

I’ve been waking up at 6 am to walk (even this morning, the day after the end of chemo round 5), I’m off white flour and all non-fruit forms of the crack known as sugar (that's a whole other post) and am just generally feeling entirely hopeful and grand about life.

So I uphold Esquire’s assertion that 42 is the absolute shit. I’m not represented in their list of babes, but I feel more like myself today than I did back when I rocked the F-cups. I still hate the pitying looks from strangers when they put 2 and 2 together with my missing eyebrows, lopsidedness and Sluggo hair, but I care less about perception than I did 20 years ago. And I have zero desire to return to the university me, trying to figure out whether it’s ok to look like a ho-bag and study the history of feminism at the same time (if I knew now what I knew then, I’d keep the thigh-high socks a little longer).

Even if I’ve been looking more like David Bowie lately than a parasol-carrying babe, I’m praised often by my live-in boyfriend, who may be sucking up, but I don’t care.

And maybe the whole point of this exercise is that my girls will grow up knowing a woman who looks a tad strange but manages to walk tall despite it, can squash rogue cells with her every fibre, make a mean chicken Milanese and argue the panties off anyone who dares cross her. It's a small percentage of womenfolk I'm influencing, but that uni degree is finally coming in handy.


  1. Your writing never ceases to amaze and inspire me!

  2. Sugar, you've been influencing me long before the fucking university degree!
    Love T
    (The master rhymer. Obviously my new rapper name)

  3. As I get older I find intelligent women are sexy women. A sexy woman who can write - hell ya!

  4. You rock! On behalf of all of us who are fiercely strong, yet lop-sided:)

  5. what a wonderful post; i should say "another" wonderful post. so happy to read you are feeling hopeful and grand about life. it doesn't matter what anyone looks like on the outside, it's inside that counts. if more people would fuckingwell realize this, the world would be a better place!! you rock, you inspire, you are beautiful. XO

  6. Being one of the crowd was never your thing anyway. Have you noticed that the great people of the world who really make a difference are different from everyone else? Your beauty shines through in every blog you write. Different is better!