inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #226 of 286: Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 19 Jun 01 11:54
    

Me, too.  I remember reading some snarky item in a tabloid somewhere about
Meryl Streep dressed in jeans and t-shirt and no makeup popping into a
place for a takeout pizza.  Dressed like the rest of us, in other words,
except we hold celebrities to a higher standard.  How weird is that?
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #227 of 286: Molly Wright Steenson (explode) Tue 19 Jun 01 16:36
    

weird and not fair! be careful of leaving your house when famous.
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #228 of 286: Linda Castellani (castle) Tue 19 Jun 01 18:53
    

I was having an e-mail conversation earlier with my co-host jonl.  He had
pointed me to a newly-available video called "The Gospel According to
Philip K. Dick" and we chatted about the possibility of having the
director in inkwell.  Then jon said he was surprised that they hadn't
interviewed me.  Which reminded me why they hadn't:  one of the reasons
was that I just didn't want to be seen on camera, especially in the
context of being someone who, thirty years earlier, had been one of Phil's
obsessions.  If people were to see me now, no longer 21 and slim and cute
as a button (although, of course, then I thought I was the Medusa), it
would be horrible, especially in view of the letter of proposal that Phil
wrote to me that was published in _The Dark-Haired Girl_.  No one would
believe it.  Even going through the process of deciding whether to go on
camera was wrenching because I am comfortable with myself now, what I have
trouble with is reconciling how I am now with people's expectations and
memories of me then.

This was recently brought home to me in a bitterly disappointing
fashion.  In January, my SO and I went to a Tim Powers book signing.  Tim
hadn't seen me in about 8 years, and I've probably gained ten pounds in
each of those years, and while he outwardly did not appear shocked to see
me, he has stopped responding to my e-mails, and hasn't called.  

But, damn it, I'm middle-aged now.  Can't I just grow old gracefully and
without the issues that plagued me when I was young?  (Can we talk about
diet pills??!)  I'm still me, in here, better than ever.  But sadly, most
people can't see beyond the appearance or don't want to look.
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #229 of 286: Gail Williams (gail) Tue 19 Jun 01 20:14
    
Linda, what a moving post.
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #230 of 286: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Tue 19 Jun 01 20:46
    
Wow.
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #231 of 286: Martha Soukup (soukup) Tue 19 Jun 01 21:31
    
I'd only like to insert the thought that when someone, especially a writer
god knows, flakes out on communication, it isn't necessarily for any reason
you can point at.  Writers can just be flaky.
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #232 of 286: Lori Gottlieb (lori-gottlieb) Tue 19 Jun 01 21:56
    
"Writers can just be flaky" - <soukup>

Writers can also be creeps.  
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #233 of 286: inherently arboreal and not, uh, dirtorial (crow) Wed 20 Jun 01 10:09
    
I hear you, Linda.
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #234 of 286: Martha Soukup (soukup) Wed 20 Jun 01 11:54
    
Also true.  I know Powers a bit myself, not as well as castle by any means,
which is why I tend toward the "flaky" hypothesis.  God knows I wouldn't
want anyone to draw conclusions about what I was thinking by my extra-
erratic communication--"patterns" would be too strong a word.
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #235 of 286: Molly Wright Steenson (explode) Wed 20 Jun 01 12:09
    

linda, thanks for sharing that. people change over time, and i wish that the
way things worked is that we got more points for aging, for just being older
and for showing up, regardless of how we change from what we were like at
age 21.
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #236 of 286: Martha Soukup (soukup) Wed 20 Jun 01 12:39
    
That would make life much less unpleasant!
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #237 of 286: Gail Williams (gail) Wed 20 Jun 01 12:42
    
How come the middle aged women of today didn't get rid of all the social
dynamics we all knew about as young feminists...  what happened?

Time to fire up the complaint letters about "father-daughter teams" on
newscasts and other examples of interest and credibility being tied to youth
for females, only.  Drat.  This should be so OVER you know?
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #238 of 286: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 20 Jun 01 19:16
    
I know, Martha.  I guess I could just get on the phone and call him.  But,
I don't, because I can't help but wonder how much my appearance has to do
with it.  I think I'm going to wait until I'm done with his book,
(_Declare_, which is quite good, by the way.  I'm at the point where I
don't want to put it down).  And then, when I'm done.  I will call.

I get so irritated with some of the media and the apparent assumption that
young women are the only consumers in the romance department.  There was a
segment on Dateline last night, showcasing some of People magazine's
latest crop of eligible bachelors.  They were all certainly nice to look
at, and clearly that's what sells magazines, but geeze, they were just
so...young!
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #239 of 286: Martha Soukup (soukup) Wed 20 Jun 01 20:12
    
If we didn't have to be made to be so damn self-conscious about what we look
like all the time, we--wouldn't waste so much time being self-conscious.

Darn, that was pithy.
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #240 of 286: Lori Gottlieb (lori-gottlieb) Wed 20 Jun 01 23:32
    
That "father-daughter" thing - arg!  When I was working in the film
and TV business, I'd make casting lists for our projects.  And I'd have
your hot young actresses in the column for the female lead, and some
hot young actors in the column for the male lead.  I'd also throw in
some "older" talented actresses and actors, if the project would work
with characters in that age group.  (Most scripts are written for
twenty-something characters.)  

And often I'd be told by my boss or the director that a certain
actress was "too old" (say, 35), but that a man TWENTY YEARS OLDER THAN
THE WOMAN WHO WAS "TOO OLD" would be great for the lead -- opposite a
26-year-old actress!!!!!  Need I say more?
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #241 of 286: Linda Castellani (castle) Wed 20 Jun 01 23:38
    

Not until I get my barf bag handy...
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #242 of 286: Dr. Leda Horticulture (leroy) Thu 21 Jun 01 06:31
    

There's big bucks to be made off our feelings of self-consciousness,
insecurity, self-loathing, and competition with other women.

One example: sephora.com has a little feature called "The Seven Beauty Sins
of Summer." "Forget lust, gluttony, and all the rest," they tell us. "After
all, what's summer all about if not flirting and indulging in frozen treats?
Sunburned skin and hairy knees, on the other hand, are just plain
offensive."  Offensive??? Well of course the last thing we want to do is
*offend* anybody with the way we look, right?

They offer us beauty solutions to absolve us of our sins. A waxing kit for
$40. Sunscreen for $37, moisturizer for $26. We can avoid "makeup meltdown"
by purchasing a sealer for $22. We can prevent "butt breakout" by paying $60
for an anti-acne kit. The sum of all seven beauty sin remedies comes to
$254.

And this is just the surface stuff. We all know that the ultimate beauty
sins are being fat and getting old. They son't even need to remind us of
those sins. We'll pay anything, anything at all, when it comes to weight and
aging.

Yes, we're bombarded with cultural messages every minute of every day. We
slam into the hard reality every time we're chosen or passed over--for
employment, for friendship, for love.

And as long as we keep Letting them make us feel self conscious and
insecure, as long as we keep trying to compete, and giving them our money,
they're going to keep bombarding and slamming and getting rich. While we
hate ourselves more and more every day. Do we really have to keep buying
into it?
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #243 of 286: Tara Gillet-Liloia (taragl) Thu 21 Jun 01 07:47
    
<leroy>: "We can avoid "makeup meltdown" by purchasing a sealer for
$22."

Sealer? Sounds like something you'd use on your deck, not your face.
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #244 of 286: Linda Castellani (castle) Thu 21 Jun 01 09:58
    

I guess we stop buying into it when people stop being attracted to soft,
smooth, firm, slender people.  When that happens, advertisers will no
longer use that image to sell us stuff.

Or, maybe, advertisers stop using that image and we stop being attracted
to it?
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #245 of 286: Dr. Leda Horticulture (leroy) Thu 21 Jun 01 10:18
    

We stop buying into it when we stop letting advertisers control us. We stop
buying into it when we stop caring so much whether "people" are attracted to
us, and start building our lives around other values and goals. We stop
buying into it when we realize we have the power to just plain refuse to
give them our money.

It gets so much easier when we start getting to old for it to matter much
any more. I'm at a point in life where I take so much pleasure from things
like working in my garden, listening to music, reading, taking photos in the
swamp, tending to my animals, going for a walk with a friend, settling down
with a pot of tea during a thunder storm...I forget to care about what other
people might think. I can spend many happy hours out fussing with my roses
and not give a damn whether I have hairy knees or sunburned skin. I don't
spend much money on my looks any more, and I'm content. I've learned to
avoid people who are critical, judgemental, and petty. They just don't
interest me any more. It's so much easoier when you get old enough to
understand that life is too damn short for all that nonsense. It took me a
long time to get here, but now that I'm here, mostly people seem to like me
better. I've managed to turn my back on the world that tried to have so much
power over me, and to create a world where I can just relax and do what I
enjoy. When I was in my 20s or 30s, I wouldn't have believed this was
possible or even desirable. But it is.
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #246 of 286: Molly Wright Steenson (explode) Thu 21 Jun 01 10:24
    

I'm living in the midwest, and I've been surprised at how many people here
lay out. There's one thing about getting pink cheeks -- but there's
something else about turning really dark.

I know we've been talking about this earlier in this topic... but it's odd
to see how it surfaces here. It's also funny in a personal sense, I'm lily-
ass white. Extremely pale, as in my ancestors are from near the Arctic
Circle (no exaggeration on that front!). I cannot get tan. There isn't the
melanin. So I've gotten used to this fact and I don't have a problem with
it.

It's funny the way these things have changed. 150 years ago, being pale and
round was the truly attractive thing. It probably signified not having to
work hard, to get brown and calloused, to get skinny -- it meant that life
was abundant.

Now, I wonder how much the skinny and tan thing has to do with economics. It
means that you have time to get tan, to go someplace warm, and you've got
the discipline to keep your money and to get buff, to work out rather than
stay in an office.
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #247 of 286: Molly Wright Steenson (explode) Thu 21 Jun 01 10:25
    

slippage (excellent post!) by (leroy)!
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #248 of 286: Mary Eisenhart (marye) Thu 21 Jun 01 11:09
    
Yup, fabulous post, leroy.
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #249 of 286: Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Thu 21 Jun 01 16:02
    
I have something to add, though, when you say "We stop buying into it
when we stop caring so much whether 'people' are attracted to us, and
start building our lives around other values and goals."  What if we can't
achieve our own goals because of our weight? What if we're turned down for
jobs because of 'weight discrimination'? I think something more has to
change. (While I'm weighting, I'm on a diet, natch.)
  
inkwell.vue.112 : Lori Gottlieb - Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self
permalink #250 of 286: Mary Eisenhart (marye) Thu 21 Jun 01 17:17
    
Well, if you define goals that are dependent on other people's approval,
which is indeed the case with many jobs, you are basically screwed and
that's not going to change. With luck you can find a simpatico work
environment, and geek culture was certainly a boon in that regard, but
a lot of workplaces are basically the apotheosis of junior high
school bitchiness.
  

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