(pic source : Jezebel)
It especially breaks my heart to see the way women over a certain age are bullied into feeling like they need to cut, inject, starve, or otherwise manipulate themselves to look younger & therefore more viable as human beings.
It's not just the media that does this. The public does it, too.
I see the way some commenters on popular blogs will recoil in horror at a woman's bony hands or "disgusting" cellulite then turn right around to throw eggs at her for having unnaturally inflated lips or a frozen brow.
When it comes to trying to please the masses, it's a damned if you don't - damned if you do situation. So, let us all fondly recall the words of 90's girl punks, L7, "the masses are asses", and live for pleasing ourselves.
"I look forward to being older, when what you look like becomes less and less an issue and what you are is the point." -Susan Sarandon
Some cultures have croning ceremonies (1000 cool points for pagans), celebrating the magickal rite of passage in which a woman moves from the mothering phase of her life to step fully into her power as a person of age & value. She is publicly revered for the strength she's acquired over the decades and honored as a source of wisdom.
(Check out Kay Franks' Croning Ceremonies)
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all started doing this? Why don't we?
And- as far as our youth-obsessed media goes, I will give them (a little) credit for having the decency to occasionally feature kickass public figures like Betsey Johnson, Helen Mirren, Gloria Steinem, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Maya Angelou.
However, there are others, less conspicuous but vibrant & inspiring none the less, and I want to take this moment to shine a light on a few of them here.
So, in no particular order, I happily present you with 6 Kickass Crones...
1. Judith Boyd of Style Crone believes that style can be healing. Since losing her beloved husband of 32 years to a rare form of cancer, she has, rather than letting herself go in a pool of bottomless grief, poured herself into her passion for fashion. She sees style as a powerful art form, using that expression in her daily presentation of what she calls her very own form of "body art".
2. Brigitte Mars looks like a blonde, hippie version of Demi Moore and, at 54, she can rock a bikini just as well. She is a raw food chef, herbalist, published author, proud mother and doting grandmother. I really dig her cool, laid back personality and often use her recipe for raw jicama fries when craving something salty & crisp.
3. Jacquie Dubois is seriously "out there" when it comes to her unabashed approach to spirituality, which is a quirky blend of witchcraft, kabbalah, tarot, quantum physics, gnostic Christianity & whatever else she sees fit. And that's only one of the many reasons to adore this fantastic woman. She's also extremely kind, laugh-out-loud funny, bursting with love & so damn charming that you might as well pour yourself a glass of wine now, get comfy and treat yourself to a "Real Witches Of Orange County" marathon.
4. After 40 years as a journalist, Joan Gage turned 60 and decided to return to her first love, art, exhibiting her watercolors & photographs in Massachusetts and selling her photo book, “The Secret Life Of Greek Cats” online. She also keeps a fabulous blog, A Rolling Crone, that celebrates travel, art, photography & life after sixty. She is a fantastic writer, a passionate collector, a mother, a grandmother, and, of course, a proud advocate of Crone Power!
5. At 66 years young, Susun Weed is a master herbalist, an educator, and a published author. She teaches the Wise Woman Tradition of using nature to nurture our way to balanced health, and I so appreciate her matter of fact attitude, no fuss exterior, and the way she loving speaks to and mentors her granddaughter, Monica Jean, as well as the eager apprentices she trains in her wise woman ways.
6. Ernestine Shepherd, at the age of 73, became the world's oldest body builder. Up at 3 a.m. every morning, she spends her days running, lifting weights & working out. She also works as a certified personal trainer at her local gym. Her discipline, energy & zest for life speaks for itself, and if you can WATCH THIS without getting at least a little choked up, well then... I recommend you check your pulse!
I hope that, no matter what your age or gender, you find these women as inspiring as I do.
"Age is no barrier. It's a limitation you put on your mind." -Jackie Joyner-Kersee
Do you know at least one woman over 50 who is kicking ass and boldly setting an example of how sweet life's third act can be?
Hug her! Thank her! Tell her what a badass she is.
TELL US what a badass she is & do it NOW in the comments section below...
And- if you are a woman who is in or fast approaching the crone phase of life, I hope that you'll reach deep within yourself to find & present the world with the magickally wise & wonderful woman that you've become. You've earned your way to this moment and the next generation needs the best of what you've got to light the way!
MUCH LOVE -xo
p.s. If you enjoyed this list, you'll probably get a real kick out of Ari Seth Cohen's Advanced Style.