Back in the late eighties, I was offered a subscription to Lears, a magazine marketed to women over thirty-five.
I was mortified.
I was probably in my late twenties at the time, and I thought to myself "WTF?" (This was before WTF was part of the American lexicon, but I always was cutting-edge.) Thirty-five? That was OLD! Did I look thirty-five? Really? Because if I did, it was time to get out the straight razor.
Lears was the brainchild and baby of Frances Lear, the ex-wife of Norman, who charged her husband a whopping $112 million for his freedom. I like to think she believed in the power of her age, and Lears was a big eff-you to younger women who may have had longer hair and better legs and boobs that hadn't yet made an acquaintance with Mr. Gravity, but they didn't have the moxie of those of us who had been around the block a time or two. (Of course at the time, I was still the former, not the latter.)
After Lears folded, the slack was picked up by More, which markets itself to women of a certain age. (They don't really say what age, but one can infer they mean 40+.) More takes less of an "eff-you" attitude and more of a "forty is the new twenty-eight." These are some of the tag lines in their direct-mailing campaign: "The prime of your life...is the time of your life!" and "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and "Maybe you had to play by the rules growing up. Not anymore!"
So here I am, not twenty-nine anymore. Mr. Gravity and I are on intimate terms. Not only am I 40+, I'm 50+. And according to More, forty might be the new twenty-eight, but fifty is the new thirteen. We may be cutting our hair and doing digestion commercials like Jamie Lee Curtis, but we are stronger and smarter and more determined than ever.
And that's an awesome second act.