Can you hear the violent barfing noises from there? Those were the sound effects of me reading this New York Times article entitled “Currently Struggling as a ‘Formerly.’” If you want, I can save you the bitter aftertaste and sore throat by summarizing the article. Apparently, author Stephanie Dolgoff has proclaimed a new moniker for women in their 40s: Formerlies. As in, women who were “formerly hot.” (I know, right? What the ffformerly???) She talks about how women in the 40s are free from the worries of following the latest trends, being ogled by men on the street or hit on by handsome men in the subway. She is quoted as saying “I was no longer ‘all that,’ perhaps no longer even a little of ‘that,’ whatever ‘that’ is.”
Sorry. I had to step outside the room for a minute to scream.
On her website (no I won’t link it…because I love you,) she has a “You Know You’re a Formerly When…” list that includes: You count calories in mixed drinks. You let your mother friend you on Facebook because you have that little to hide. A supermodel could give you one of her kidneys and you would still kind of hate her.
Furthermore – and I’m talking to you, New York Times, as much as anybody else – if I read another article about an actress who has “miraculously” managed to remain in the spotlight after 40 or done some magical feat, like finally headlining a show or a movie when she has crow’s feet, I am going to have a full-blown hissy fit. When the hell is the media and society going to get the message that 40 is not fatal????
But back to you, Steph, I know you’re joking around here. And, yeah, some of your stuff is kind of funny. And, okay, I feel you when you say it seems like you’ve been “bitchslapped into a new category of person: adult ‘tweens,’ not quite middle-aged, but no longer our reckless, restless, gravity-defying selves.” Finally, I’ll give you a lot of credit, girl, ‘cause your “formerly” angle attracted a lot of attention which no doubt means your book will sell a hell of a lot more than mine. But, please darling, wake up and smell the sisterhood.
I guess I had my “Formerly” freak out because Ms. Dolgoff trotted up in her designer shoes to put the last straw on this camel’s back. I am 43-years-old, and I’m here to tell you folks, for women the 40s can be incredibly potent. Personally, I’m lovin’ my 40s. I love starting to harness my power. I love getting more adept at manifesting my dreams. I love the attention I get from people who find me attractive.
So listen, (I’m still talking to you, New York Times and the other media types, and you ladies out there too) we need to create a new paradigm for this time in a woman’s life, when we’re fully coming into our womanhood. Younger women are watching us, trying to figure out what’s ahead for them. I think it’s up to us to provide a role model for the personal power they can harness as they age.
So f@*k the Formerlies. I feel more fabulous than ever. Right now.