Keeping Up With Caitlyn Won’t Be Easy

1586972480_0dc49d8d7d_nWhen Bruce Jenner’s photos started popping up everywhere my first thought was, “Ok, why does Caitlyn Jenner look so much better than me?” I texted several friends and posed that question. One friend said she looked better than all the Kardashians and another jested she wanted her plastic surgeon’s number. As the day went on another friend queried on Facebook, “How come Caitlyn looks better than we do and she’s only been at it a year or so?!?

Of course we know when you have her resources, Annie Leibovitz photographing you and the magic wands of Vanity Fair how could you not look fabulous. Like most of us, I’m happy for her and she does look great but it is just the essence of her veneer that is bothering me. The vast majority of comments have commended her on her outside shell and let’s be honest other than Hollywood most 65-year-olds do not remotely look like Jenner. Yet, it’s hard for me to get past the fact that if she truly wanted to be taken seriously beyond her exterior she wouldn’t have posed a la Marilyn Monroe. In essence she has created a new image and standard to live up to. I empathize that she’s in the public eye, a society that couldn’t believe Susan Boyle could sing like an angel. We judge and we judge hard and women are judged the harshest. Plus, we’re still fighting objectification and equal pay from Madison Avenue to board rooms across America.

As a middle-aged woman I don’t want to be judged by how I look on the outside. It is likely that Jenner is making up for lost time and with unlimited resources and time perhaps she will keep up the race with Father Time. Yet, I believe most us by the time we hit middle age are happy to settle for looking our best, making the most of our genetics and focusing on who we are beyond our shell. This has become my mantra as I age. Mother Nature has also provided some nice perks like worsening vision. The gift of motherhood has also humbled me in ways no other role I’ve ever held has. I’ve learned that perfection in any area of your life is typically doomed.

For me, middle age is a time of wisdom and light and for those seeking to enhance themselves that’s fine but I’m aging with the notion that I’m good enough. I don’t have a career predicated by how I look. Most days good enough is I’ve covered the grays, exercised, eaten well, limited sugar and treated myself kindly. Women have long struggled to be viewed and respected for who they are and not what they look like and aging in a society that worships youth and beauty is not for the faint of heart.

I’m not judging her and I always loved “it’s a never too late story” but her positioning is worrisome. I hope Jenner doesn’t become a slave to her outer shell, as it stands keeping up with Caitlyn won’t be easy…as most of us know.

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/63754393@N00/1586972480″>rouge</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

 

Comments

  1. Yeah, I don’t think we should be too swayed by the magic of photoshop, stage makep, plastic surgery, and fabulous lighting (that’s a whole lot of work). That’s one of the benefits of reaching maturing and gaining wisdom – we know that’s all smoke and mirrors. And we can concentrate on teaching our children to block out the madness and concentrate on things of quality. I wouldn’t worry about Caitlyn or whoever the lastest pop culture trend is for the moment. It’s all so …. meh LOL!

    • True Toni! I don’t want to water down whatever positives she’s bringing to the transgender community but she’ll learn it’s not easy being a woman and a little wisdoms goes a long way!

  2. I imagine that she wanted, finally, to feel and look like she did on the cover of VF. I also imagine that she’s wise enough to understand it for what it is. That said, I agree that the overwhelming response about her looks, while positive, says a lot about what women are valued for. I do believe it’s changing though, with voices like yours!

  3. From her comments in the story and accompanying videos, it’s clear that she has always thought about what she calls “presentation.” I think living a lie for 65 years takes a toll, and that she is also influenced by being a public person, on reality TV, and in the family she is in. All that said, if I had waited to come out for 65 years, I would want to do it how I wanted it, and I applaud her for all of it. And I think that by simply doing this cover, the Sawyer interview, and the new show, she is going to save a lot of lives and influence a lot of people, myself included, to broaden their ideas of what normal is. Thanks for this post. I love the idea that “middle age is a time of wisdom and light.” Great post.

    • Thanks for reading! Yes, I understand she felt the need to break out in a big way. The transgender community is often bullied and mocked if she can influence and prevent some of that I say Kudos to her!

  4. I agree with the other comments. I imagine that Caitlyn just really wanted to exult in the change, her own beauty and the beauty of the moment. It’s what’s going to come next that scares me. Everything seemed to happen so fast…

    Anita

    • Thanks for reading Anita. Would be nice to see a happy ending but the celebrity lifestyle even without a sex change is already fraught with so many pitfalls!

  5. The focus on the physical is a bit sad. Is that all we are as women? It makes me wonder what Caitlyn was yearning for all those years, a true life as a woman or a pretty shell to attract attention?
    Kimberly
    http://FiftyJewels.com

  6. bethhavey says:

    Lots of people wish that she entered this new life with more of a 65 year old look. But maybe this was the way she had to do it–and it’s Hollywood too. She’s been part of that community for a long time. Hopefully once the initial is over, she will begin to just feel comfortable in her new body and allow normal aging to proceed.

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