Roadkill Goldfish

Does Renee Zellweger look like a natural 45-year-old woman?

Actress Renee Zellweger's new look. Image: Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

Actress Renee Zellweger’s new look.
Image: Frazer Harrison, Getty Images

What should a 45-year-old woman look like?

Does she have wrinkles around her eyes from more than four decades of smiling? Does her body reveal an amazingly beautiful heart that brought life into this world and worked hard to support her family?

Yes and yes, but that’s not what the fashion and entertainment industries want them to look like.

Actress Renee Zellweger is 45-year-old, and she shocked pop culture this week with her appearance at the Elle Women in Hollywood Awards. The star of “Bridget Jones Diary” and “Jerry McGuire” was virtually unrecognizable on the red carpet.

Her skin seemed unusually tight, her eyes smaller, and her brows flat and frozen, but Zellweger told reporters her look was the result of a healthy lifestyle and natural changes that come with aging.

Plastic surgeons cited by various news media disagreed. They said Zellweger’s look was likely the result of fillers, a brow lift and Botox.

Zellweger bought into Hollywood’s expectations of 45, and now it’s difficult to gauge her age based on her physical appearance. She doesn’t look younger, she doesn’t look older, but she does look different.

And unnatural.

For a woman of any age.

Like Zellweger, I too am 45. My knees pop like bubble wrap when I climb stairs, and I have more underwear from Hanes and Spanx than from Victoria’s Secret. I have crow’s feet and a wrinkled brow when I smile, and my skin and other body parts sag a little more than they did before. THESE are the natural changes that come with aging, and yet I still look like the young woman I was in college.

Just older.

If money were no object, would I fight my mature look with cosmetic surgery and fancy skin procedures? I’ve been tempted, but my answer is “no.” I’m not trying to position myself on some moral high ground with my response; I’m confessing I have a huge issue with my own vanity. With a few rare exceptions, most of the women I’ve known who have tried these procedures don’t look any younger with their new frozen faces and anatomically impossible features. They look weird, and too many of them end up on a never-ending quest for the fountain of youth packaged in a syringe, surgical suite or worthless cosmetic products.

There is a kind of beauty the young will never have and Hollywood will rarely show. It’s the beauty and downright sexiness of maturity that radiates from a woman who has lived life and maintained a youthful attitude. There are a few Hollywood examples of this kind of beauty in the form of 40-somethings Jennifer Lopez and Sofia Vergara who have more natural beauty and energy than women half their age, and the legendary Rita Moreno, whose radiance has not diminished in more than 80 years.

To be fair, these women have a lot of help that makes them look good – an army of make-up artists, hair stylists, fashion designers, lighting professionals, private chefs, and personal trainers. They also have access to great photographers, who in turn have great access to Photoshop.

Every entertainer, regardless of age, has the same support.

Nonetheless, these women have something no cosmetic army could ever give them.

They, like me and millions of other wonderfully mature women, still look like the young women they were in their 20s.

Just older.

And that’s very beautiful.


See the original post on Fox News Latino.

If you’re a beautifully mature woman or love someone who is, please share your thoughts on this article.
I’d love to know what you think.

 

 

Can we get rid of the grown-ups in youth sports?

Image: Friday Night Tykes' Facebook page

Image: Friday Night Tykes’ Facebook page

I hate youth sports.

Let me rephrase that, I hate the adults involved in youth sports.

To be fair, most of the adults are pretty level-headed and see sports as a learning opportunity for their kids. It’s a fun way to keep them physically active, and moms and dads coach because they want to share their love of the game.

I like those people.

Unfortunately, too many others use youth sports to create a culture in which parents live vicariously through their children, failure is not an option, and children suffer physical and emotional abuse in the name of “play like a champion.” It hurts their kids, and it hurts mine.

I’ve seen way too much of that.

My two children started playing in church leagues as 4-year-olds. These programs taught them the basics of sports like soccer, t-ball and basketball in environments where effort and fun were celebrated. God bless the men and women who dealt with my preschool daughter picking flowers in the outfield and my kindergarten son who decided that the best way to control the basketball was to hold it close to his chest and run from everyone who tried to get it.

Things took an ugly turn when they began to participate in community programs. It wasn’t the competition on the field or court that got ugly, it was the parents on the sidelines.

Real life examples of parents behaving badly

During one of my daughter’s basketball games, I witnessed rabid grown-ups verbally assaulting 12-year-old girls with shouts such as “Knock her down,” and “Don’t let that little b_tch push you around.” Moms shrieked during free throws, and dads yelled expletives at the game officials while their daughters pulled hair and clawed the arms, hands and faces of girls on the opposing team – my daughter and her friends. Sadly, our team parents and coach created a competitive disadvantage for our girls because we all seemed psychologically well-balanced.

I’ve seen dads jerk their sons by the soccer jersey after the little guy had a bad game. I’ve seen morbidly obese parents scream, “Move your ass” when their 7-year-old baseball player wasn’t running the bases fast enough.

No one ever batted an eye during these situations. Unbeknownst to me, this is just part of the game, and it’s expected and accepted. If a parent dares to speak out about it, they will face the full wrath and fury of the youth sports gods.

I finally spoke out after I witnessed a football coach yell, scream and angrily smack his sixth grade son because the child centered the ball too soon and caused a fumble. A few seconds later, he barked at the boy to stop crying. Inexcusable offense? Not really, the dad-coach received a three game suspension for doing something that would be grounds for immediate termination of any middle school, high school or college coach.

Why regular moms and dads need to speak out

I really ticked off the Guardians of Youth Football. The offense was no big deal, because as an assistant coach said, “The kid had his helmet on and was not knocked to the ground or anything.” A league official took to social media to say, “Adults hit their children in anger all the time for discipline.” Another dad went as far as to justify the action by saying, “I personally was ripped by coaches, grabbed and cussed at in my years of sports. And I thank every one of those coaches. They molded me to be the man I am today.”

Seriously? That’s not coaching or parenting; that’s abuse – from every adult involved.

As the mom of a young athletes and the wife of a youth coach, I understand sports can be aggressive and players must be physically and mentally tough. However, I also understand these young athletes are still children, and children don’t learn when adults are yelling, hitting or behaving like frustrated toddlers.

My kids have been very fortunate to have had level-headed coaches who viewed sports as just games, not lifestyles. Nonetheless, I will be silently celebrating as my son plays his last football game this weekend. Should he choose to play next year, his next coach will not be a dad; it will be a middle school teacher who doesn’t think the athleticism of seventh-grade boys is a reflection of his self-worth.

Thank goodness. I’m way too old to put up with another year of youth sports.

Let me rephrase that. I’m way to old to put up with the juvenile adults involved in youth sports.

 

If Houston’s mayor wants sermons, let’s give her sermons

Aldrich_Ames_mailboxThe mayor of Houston recently subpoenaed local pastors for copies of their sermons. She’s  not looking for inspiration; she’s looking for content her office can use in a legal case.

According to the Washington Post, “…The controversy erupted amid a battle over an ordinance, passed by the City Council in May, which allows people to use public bathrooms designated for use by the opposite sex. The measure is aimed at prohibiting discrimination based on “gender identity,” which is now a “protected characteristic” under Houston law.”

The mayor and her office are requesting a long list of documents and communications from the pastors. The list includes “all speeches, presentations, or sermons” related to the mayor and gender identity. Get the full story from the Washington Times.

One of my lifelong best friends, a pastor in Memphis, expressed a rather unusual opinion about the case. Rather than wailing and gnashing teeth, he suggested:

“Instead of denying the office sermons, every pastor in the nation, along with every Sunday school teacher, should mail their sermons, page by page, to (the Houston mayor’s office.”)

I have to admit I like his idea. It points out the utter ridiculousness of the entire situation without throwing any person, group or belief under the bus.

“If they want sermons, I say we give them sermons,” added Dave.

I’m not one to say “no” to the guy who quotes Monty Python movies better than I do, so here’s the mayor’s mailing address:

The Honorable Annise D. Parker
City of Houston
P.O. Box 1562
Houston, TX 77251

I’ve got copies of a few preschool Sunday School lessons that use gender identity words like “boys” and “girls.” Now to find my envelopes.


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