Essays, rants and reflections on life after sixty for baby boomers who rocked life in THE sixties. And lots of book reviews too.

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Want to feel better about how you look?

You’re beautiful.

Who among us doesn’t look at magazines or at our own bodies in the privacy of bedroom mirrors or in retail store fitting rooms and wish we were thinner, taller or prettier. The media sets impossibly high standards for appearance and even though we know those pictures are extensively Photoshopped and otherwise altered, we can’t help feeling like we fall short. Well, we’re not short, fat or abnormal. Models are genetic freaks. We’re the normal ones. Here are some statistics that will make you feel a whole lot better about yourself:

  • Average height of Canadian women – 5 ft. 4 inches. Any woman over 5 ft. 10 inches tall is in the 97.6 height percentile. Now who’s the freak?
  • Average waist measurement for Canadian women – 35 inches. For American women it’s 37.5 inches. If you’ve ever seen the portions of nutritionally poor food they dish out in American restaurants you’ll understand why there’s a difference.
  • Average dress size – 14. For American women it’s 16-18. Are you listening retail corporate buyers?
  • Naturally blonde hair and blue eyes are genetically carried by only 17 percent of the population. Most Canadians and Americans carry the dominant brown-eyed gene with recessive blue-eyed genes declining each year.
  • Fully 90 percent of women have cellulite—including models and celebrities. It’s the product of female estrogen and cannot be eradicated. This becomes particularly evident once we are no longer teenagers.

Magazines and other forms of media have finally recognized that no one can relate to the genetic mutants featured in fashion and beauty ads. We’re now seeing mature models like Maye Musk and women with normal-sized bodies being featured in media. While it’s tempting to scream “too little, too late” we have to take whatever we can get in the battle to change perceptions of beauty. We’ve achieved a tiny slice of recognition and if we keep the pressure on advertisers and manufacturers we can turn the tide.

The challenge now is to listen to my own advice. Every time I’m tempted to be critical of some aspect of my appearance, I’ll remind myself of how blessed I really am. I’m alive. I’m healthy. I’m happy. That’s more than enough and more than many people can claim to have. You’re beautiful girlfriend and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


I’ve come a long way baby!

I'm a victim of product overload.

I’m a victim of product overload.

In previous posts I’ve described my susceptibility to being taken in by advertising for the latest and greatest cosmetics and personal care products. There’s a cupboard in my basement with enough toiletries, shampoo and cosmetics to stock my own Shoppers Drug Mart or at least supply our whole neighbourhood until the end of (my) time, or in the event of a nuclear attack. The situation became so out of hand that I decided we needed a new vanity in our bathroom. The one that came with the house and installed by the builder had no drawers or shelves, just two cavernous holes behind lower cupboard doors. No matter how many organizers, stackers and baskets I put in there, I couldn’t accommodate everything and could never find what I was looking for.

After consultation with the nice lady at Lowes I ordered my dream vanity. It arrived on time, was installed and is now functioning beautifully. In fact, I have room to spare. In addition to the cupboards under each sink, I now have three easy-glide-return drawers and an adjoining linen cupboard with three sliding shelves and four fixed shelves. This is a product junkie’s wet dream.

Your Boomer Broadcaster in 1966. I even remember the dress. It was dark green fake cotton suede and I sewed it myself.

Your Boomer Broadcaster in 1966 when I still had a waist. I even remember the dress. It was dark green faux cotton suede and I sewed it myself.

Then, the other day an envelope arrived in the mail from my mother. It contained some old photos she thought I would like to have. One of the pictures was a black and white shot taken with my Brownie Starflash camera of me washing my face in my parents’ 1966 bathroom. The picture shows a single sink, one small mirror and to my left a utility cupboard that contained all the toiletry items and linens used by our entire family of four which was miniscule by today’s inventory. I know getting older means more maintenance but that picture was a sad reminder of the extent of my sins in the age of acquisition.

While I make a silent promise to myself to try and do better, I’m not optimistic. I do remember a friend of a friend telling me once that when she cleaned out her linen closet she threw out 54 bottles of nail polish! And that’s just what she threw out. She still had some left. There’s always consolation in knowing I’m not alone in my shortcomings. Just be thankful you know me when that nuclear disaster hits. I’ll be the one with no food or water but we’ll be clean, smell pretty, look good and will be the envy of every woman on the planet. Do I see Black Market in my future? And that new vanity? It was made in Canada by KraftMaid Cabinetry in Barrie, Ontario so I was just doing my bit for the Canadian economy. Paint me patriotic.