Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Women and weight and aging and beauty

I just had to post this recent article from the New York Times about Princess Leia and the fact that she's older and bigger and wiser, but no one's talking about that!


Since this is an issue I've struggled with all of my life, I'd really like to know when, if ever, we women will ever stop worrying about how we look!!!!



Crystal Collier said...

Did you see Stephanie Faris's post? She was talking about that today. It was a great discussion.

Karen Walker said...

Yes, Crystal, I did and I went back and put this link in another comment.

Illsa Gorrey said...

Our culture only values the external appearance. A woman could find the cure for cancer, but if she wasn't perceived as conventionally attractive and/or "hot," all anyone would be able to talk about was the fact that they found her unattractive, particularly if she was also a larger person. Sometimes I don't want to live on this planet any more.

Tabitha Bird said...

The worst thing is a lot of times the pressure to be a certain way comes from us women towards other women.
Btw- nice to visit you again :)

Karen Walker said...

Illsa, so true. I only hope we can make the planet better
Tab, how good to see you again. Wow!

Sharon Lippincott said...

I have a friend five or six years older than I. When we first met thirty years ago, she was a large in the sense of being tall, big-boned, and no longer slim, but still relatively trim. She was always well-groomed and professional looking. Over the years she has gained maybe 70 pounds, no longer wears make-up, and her clothing is, well, eccentric. Several years ago she was celebrating the fact that "after a certain age you just quit caring what you look like and what people think!" I'm cool with that, at least for her, but I'm well past the age she was at that declaration and have not reached that liberating epiphany for myself. I have a hunch it's not far away though.

My mother-in-law took great pains with her appearance until she turned 100. We were all surprised that after she had her heart attack a few weeks after that birthday, she quit concerning herself with what she had on, and she was too blind to see how she looked anyway.

It's probably a sensory thing. Some people can stare at a mess and not see it. My friend was one of those people. I look at a mess (unless it's on my own desk) and want to dig in and clean it all up. Some people don't notice uncombed hair and post-lunch sandwich leavings between teeth. Some of us do. Those of us who do will probably do our best to maintain our appearance as well as we are able, in spite of expanding girth, warts, wrinkles and thinning hair.

Nicola said...

I just try to be a good person. I think that is far more important than how a person looks. Have a lovely weekend Karen.

Karen Walker said...

Sharon, thanks so much for these thoughts. I do think it's a personal thing. We also all respond differently to the media - some can ignore it, others are swayed by it.
Yes, Nicola, I agree. It's far far more important.

Arlee Bird said...

With age women gain a lot more important things than weight and older looks--things like greater knowledge, wisdom, and experience. Even when I was a younger man I had an admiration for women older than I was at that time. Men don't always have to contend with these same issues (though many certainly do) and I'm grateful for that. The greatness attractiveness comes with how a person carries themselves and uses to advantage the gifts which they have been given.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Smarticus and I just saw the new Star Wars flick yesterday, and I think Carrie Fisher looks terrific. Not that it really MATTERS. I think she should be remembered for her acting ability, or for how she treats other people, or for the books she's written, rather than for how many pounds she weighs, how many wrinkles she has, or how many gray hairs are on her head. Who cares? I would much rather people remember me as being smart or kind and loving than I would have them give a diddle about my appearance, one way or the other. Sure, I comb my hair and put on a little bit of makeup, because I want to look my best for my husband, but who I am is not reflected by what I look like. We all have to be happy within our own skin, and not worry about how the rest of the world sees us. Unfortunately, that's very difficult for some people.

Stephanie Faris said...

I was hoping around the age of 60 or so? I think part of the problem is social media...does anyone else find it disturbing that now everyone we ever dated/knew can look us up and see how we look now and say things like, "Wow, she's gotten old?" At one time you could just vanish after high school/college and nobody would know you aged!

Karen Walker said...

Sorry, Stephanie, but I'm in my mid-sixties and so are most of my friends (some in their 70s and 80s) and the issue remains. Sigh!

emaginette said...

It's as sad as young women starving themselves. When will the world grow up?

Anna from elements of emaginette