The Calf Becomes a Cow

Cybill Shepherd was on a repeat of Oprah yesterday discussing aging. She said that when she turned 50, she stopped looking in the mirror. Hell, I haven’t looked in the mirror since 1988.  Which is why when I see myself in current photos or, god forbid, on TV interviews, I can’t help but wonder Who is that fat, pale cow? “Cow” is a term first hurled at me in 2004 by an angry motorcyclist whom I honked at to “go” at a green light in Santa Barbara.  Unfortunately, I was driving a convertible with the top down and could feel the spray of the spit hurled by his three-letter curse. But I digress.

We all know aging is hard.  Or, to put it more succinctly, it sucks.  But after watching Linda Evans (also on the same Oprah episode) say she never thought of herself as pretty (yeah, Oprah didn’t buy it either), I couldn’t help but wonder Is aging harder for beautiful women? Okay, for the majority, their self-worth must be wrapped up in their looks.  It’s gotten them magazine covers, star turns on Dynasty and Moonlighting, famous lovers and husbands such as Peter Bogdanovich and John Derek.  So, sure, when those all go away, it’s a bummer.  But what for those of us who never had that?  Is aging any easier?

I don’t have an answer, but I do know this:  I really must look in the mirror (other than to occasionally pluck my eyebrows); I must see myself as I am now.  Not as a svelte, yet shapely 26 year old, but as the beautiful heifer I’ve become, complete with multiple chins and thinning hair and a too big belly and a just right-sized big heart.