Thursday 23 March 2017

'In a world obsessed by Kim Kardashian's arse, I'm happy being an older Mom without bee-stings or Botox'

Her mission is to save her daughter from the tyranny of the Best Before Date of womanhood, where years are not incremental but detrimental

Miriam O'Callaghan

AU NATURAL: Miriam O’Callaghan is bucking the trend in the struggle to defy time and gravity and has been inspired by Judi Dench and Hillary Clinton to become empowered by age not intimidated by it
AU NATURAL: Miriam O’Callaghan is bucking the trend in the struggle to defy time and gravity and has been inspired by Judi Dench and Hillary Clinton to become empowered by age not intimidated by it
Dame Judi Dench
Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

At the rickety school gates, I'm an older Mom. Not because of my years, but my unenhanced visage: no filler, lifter, plumper, smoother, bee-stings or Botox. A sensitivity to hair colour means a decades-long love affair that began with Hint-of-a-Tint and since left me broke, glossed and peeling in shades of plum, mahogany, chestnut and caramel, is ending in my showing my grey. At least for now.

So when my son calls me Red, it's not the colour, but the character in Orange is the New Black. "You, but less scary". For years, he's called me Hillary. "The hands, the stand, the hair". But whatever about Red Reznikov and the sly "slocking" of my offspring (a crack to head with a lock in a sock) there's a lot to be said for Hillary Clinton. In her campaign to become the Leader of the Free World, she is a 67-year-old woman having the absolute gall to look like a 67-year-old woman. Without 'work'. In refusing to subject herself to the risk of general anaesthesia, clostridium botulinum, a scalpel, dermal facial fillers, or plain stupidity, she is a very public woman making a very public statement. Here's me. The sum of my experience. Yes, I want to be the first woman POTUS. But no, I won't be making myself look 20 years younger and therefore more 'acceptable'. Signally, she is saying this in a culture despising of age and idolatrous of youth.

Harrison Ford, aka President James Marshall of Air Force One is five years older than Hillary Clinton and I have yet to encounter many gasps about how great he looks. For his age. Terry Prone wrote recently about how Diana Rigg and Helen Mirren are doing superb work, yet, the story tends to be not their ability, but their appearance - even their very existence - as if a woman's social and physical 'expiry dates' were concomitant. From the coverage we might imagine, that appearance aside, Mirren freakishly channelled Queen Elizabeth and Rigg did for King Joffrey, between paring their corns, oiling their hips and sucking on their beakers of Complan.

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