“Will I Be Pretty?”

I’ve paid scant attention to Demi Moore other than to remember and love the iconic image of her – hugely pregnant – on the cover of the August 1991 Vanity Fair.  I thought it was a bold and gorgeous picture, and I followed the typically prudish American outrage with amusement.  Of course, there is no way to know what caused her recent crash, but if we believe half of what the tabloids say, it seems to have a lot to do with a truly horrible, mind-crushing fear of aging. And a desperate need to be - and to stay – beautiful.

In Moore’s business, it is understandable I suppose since media is especially cruel to aging women. But so is life in general.  Fortunately, not all women are crushed by the burden of coming to terms with biology, genetics and fitting into society. During lunch recently with an accomplished and fine-looking friend in her sixties, she commented casually, “I know I’ll never be beautiful again.” In her case it was said without a shard of self-pity or sadness.  It was a statement of her reality and said with the remembered pleasure of a head-turning past.  Would that we could all be as sanguine about our aging faces and bodies.

I’ve never tried to do anything thematic on this website, but in the last several weeks my friend’s comment; a long conversation with a young woman about her lifelong struggle with her body-image; the re-surfacing of a video my 22-year-old granddaughter sent me more than a year ago; and, finally, an impassioned essay about the challenges black women too often face trying to love our looks in a blond society prompt me to post the three pieces together.  I urge you to read Help Viola!, Pretty Inside and Trying To Be Pretty Perfect but, first, take a look at this video: Will I Be Pretty?

A Rich Life

Trying To Be Pretty Perfect