Nora Ephron was 65 when she felt bad about her neck. At 64, I feel bad about my elbows. It is nature's gift that I don't have to look at them. But you do, so let me apologize in advance. Maybe that's why we are invisible. We are a walking advertisement for the inevitable pull of gravity and today's youth clearly would rather not be reminded. Assisted suicide franchises for people over 50 will spring up replacing plastic surgery as the only alternative to aging. Who has the money? Even with all the over-65 perks, who wants the perks? I have a friend with a Senior MetroCard who keeps her full price "vanity" card handy so she wont be forced to suffer the slings and arrows of her coworkers discovering her well-guarded secret. If you can't afford a facelift or fillers I have the cheapest alternative around. It's called Warby Parkers and bangs. Aging gracefully is a bore and the term "age appropriate" gives me hives. Fashion should be age neutral -- not age appropriate. I want to make some noise, break boundaries, have a cocktail ... maybe two.
CNN recently wrote an exposé about how the modeling industry exploits young workers but nothing about older models. A stunning silver-haired model, who shall remain nameless, recently shared her own story of exploitation in the industry with me. While on a fashion shoot for a high profile billion-dollar company she was asked to work double the amount of hours of the other models who were half her age. Why, she asked indignantly? The answer was that she sold double the amount of clothes and they needed more shots. She also discovered she was being paid half the amount of her younger counterparts. Ageism at its finest.
When I was in my mid 20s I had a boyfriend who told me I needed to start exercising in order to keep my body in shape. Like the late bloomer I am, 40 years later I took his advice. I snuck onto the information highway where The Refinery29 plank challenge beckoned. Now I never leave home without it. Three minutes of blissful purgatory. Keep your bod together and who's going to notice your neck?
As people around me are retiring, dying or even worse, leaving New York, I wonder, who am I and where am I going? At 64 I'm not ready to retire or die or even worse, leave New York. So I guess I go on discovering, growing and doing my three-minute plank every day. Maybe I'll just go outside and walk around naked. I'm sure to get noticed. And try to figure out what to do with my hair, while sipping a cocktail, of course.
Photo Credit: Leland Bobbé