I hate the whole “formerly hot” concept. Why are you no longer hot? Why can’t you get better every year? I’m sick of the whole, “Weh… I’m 40.” Or 50. Or 60. Let’s quit overanalyzing age and start living! All that frettin’ is terribly unattractive. Definitely not hot.Well, I got an email from Steph and we had quite a dialogue yesterday. I told her I know what she means about the universally accepted definition of hot as that “first-glance” type of attractiveness, as superficial as that is. But the “formerly hot” concept bugs me. If a woman turned heads and was considered hot when she was 20 and 30, I don’t understand why she wouldn’t continue to turn heads and continue to be hot at 40, 50, 60, and even 70. The only difference would be the age of the heads she’s turning; she’d still be hot to her own demographic*, right?
(*I’m not counting those woeful 50-year-olds who need a trophy chick three decades younger on their arm to make them feel virile or, God help us, the men who think Thailand is paradise because they have their choice of subservient, poverty-stricken young girls who would blow anything for a flicker of American hope. Let's leave them out of the picture.)
Steph and I agree that women shouldn’t feel like they have to be hot in the first place. I have friends who don’t wear a bit of makeup and they look perfectly fine; they care about their looks, they just don't have the vanity gene that some of us do. Women like me opt into “The Hot Game” and not all women care to play. That’s cool.
But I think if you choose to play The Hot Game when you’re over 40, you do have to keep yourself up. If a woman who used to be hot no longer attracts attention, she’s probably let herself go—she’s gained weight, walks around in sweats, doesn’t bother with lipstick or even a comb, or has a “Weh, I'm formerly hot” attitude that comes across in the way she carries herself.
However, Steph thinks that the cultural definition of hot encompasses just a sliver of the population, and that’s where we don't agree. Think of all the marvelous role models we have these days--Helen Mirren (remember this pic from last summer???), Susan Sarandon, Goldie Hawn--they're all in their 60s. Need I mention Sophia Loren (almost 75) and Raquel Welch (70 next year)? I think we no longer live in an era where 50 is considered over the hill, and I'm afraid that, however well-intentioned, a website that talks about "girlstashes" and asks women to send in their “formerly hot” stories only serves to perpetuate the ageist culture that as a society, we've finally begun to shed. Maybe she's targeting the "Menopause: The Musical" crowd, but I never saw the appeal of that shit, either.
Personally, I would never dream of calling myself "formerly hot." Hell, no--I plan on being smokin' when I'm 90! Don't think I'm kidding. Being hot has nothing to do with age; it's all about attitude. And the first steps toward staying "forever hot" are (say it with me, kids):
1. Stand up straight.What do you think? Would you ever refer to yourself as "formerly hot"? Or are you more the "FOREVER hot" type?
P.S. If you get a chance, check out this Living-Las-Vegas article I wrote last December. It's one of the most popular articles they've had on the site. “Are Middle-Aged Women Invisible? Not in Las Vegas.”