Martha’s Still Going Strong At 80

When Martha Stewart was 57 years old, her behavior to one of my employees brought the woman to tears. Not much younger than Martha, the employee had always comported herself with aplomb. But Martha’s abruptness and demands – bordering on abusiveness – caused her unraveling.

That was 23 years ago, and Martha was one of the keynote speakers at a summit I produced that brought together an elite group of high-level women executives from the worlds of finance, fashion, beauty, retail, communications and more.

Overflowing with self praise, Martha’s address was completely inappropriate for the audience of women, all of whom were as or more accomplished than the egocentric icon standing before them.

Martha’s narcissistic presentation and unsuitable behavior to my employee didn’t surprise me. Her reputation preceded her.

An ambitious woman myself, I was no saint either when it came to making demands of others in order to satisfy my objectives. Then harshly criticizing them for falling short.

But Martha actually made me look like a wimp.

I’ve learned over decades that ‘nice guys’ may not finish last in business, but they sure don’t finish anywhere near first, no matter how smart, clever and talented they are.

And now, at 80 years old, Martha Stewart is as omnipresent, ambitious, and successful as ever. And, she’s unequivocally as talented in 2022 as she was in 1999, perhaps even more.

 

SLIDESHOW OF MARTHA THROUGH THE YEARS

A splashy  story in today’s New York Times focuses on Martha’s success connecting with Gen Z on TikTok to promote an insanely expensive Japanese beauty line.

So here’s a new octogenarian filming cheeky and catchy beauty videos that 10 to 25 year olds are loving as much as they love I-have-no-idea what!

Not many 10-year-old girls are asking their moms to spring for $550 jars of moisturizer. I imagine though that there’s a sizable audience of 20-somethings who just might add it to their must-have lists.

I recently had lunch with one of Martha’s former employees, who told me she was still acerbic in her 70s.

But even if Martha hadn’t emotionally softened over the last 23 years, her face sure looks great. She claims in the article only to have had non-invasive or minimally invasive procedures on her skin. No plastic surgery.

I admire Martha for how she’s turned her passions, talents and tenacity into a business empire.

Of course, I have no idea if her great taste, superb talent, oodles of money, and great skin make her happy and give her peace. 

Somehow,  I suspect not.

Mother Your Favorite Lady With Tender Loving {Skin} Care

Crépe Erase® compensated FabOverFifty with an advertising sponsorship to write this article. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will benefit my FOFriends.—Geri Brin

Like most Moms, mine was brimming with advice about practically everything. While quite a bit of it went in one ear and out the other, I follow one of her recommendations to this day: Never use soap to wash your face!

               Me and Mom

Mom used only water to cleanse her facial skin, definitively announcing that the soap we used for showering was bad for her face. I have no idea how she knew this, but she was right!

The scents and dyes in most bar soaps can irritate the sensitive skin on your face and leave your skin red, itchy, or blotchy. Most traditional soaps also can be drying because they lack moisturizing ingredients and strip the skin of essential oils.

Mom would be thrilled to see the plethora of skin formulas today that would not only cleanse her face – but treat her whole body – with the tender loving care they deserve.

And I’d buy her Crépe Erase® Advanced for Mother’s Day, a present that would give her skin visibly smoothness, firmness, beautiful tone, and a glow the likes of which she couldn’t have imagined.

Whether you present it to your mom or to any other wonderful woman in your life, she’ll say thank you every day of the year.

and save 25% on Crépe Erase® Advanced Kit + get a FREE GIFT + FREE SHIPPING today!

The five-piece Deluxe Kit also treats our skin above the chin!

The hero ingredient powering Crépe Erase® Advanced is TruFirm® Complex, an exclusive blend that includes three plant extracts to help reinforce our skin’s netting. This helps make saggy skin appear tighter and firmer, and look more like it did when we were younger. Crépe Erase® Advanced also contains 9 Super Hydrators, including coconut oil, cocoa butter, olive oil, squalane, grapeseed oil, Vitamin E and a trio of glycerides to deliver 48 hours of intense hydration to dry, crepey skin. Quick absorbing without leaving a greasy residue, the light and airy moisture-rich formula works to visibly soothe and renew the skin.

Before stepping into the shower, mom could massage the luxurious and rejuvenating Advanced Refining Facial Scrub with TruFirm® over her whole face, down to her neck.  It would gently remove rough, dead skin cells to give her softer, smoother, firmer, and brighter skin. Paraben free, too!

In the shower, she’d grab her bottle of silky Body Smoothing Pre-Treatment with TruFirm® and gentle exfoliators to lift away dead, rough surface cells and make her skin look smoother and more radiant. The lovely, fresh scent is a bonus! (By the way, avoid long, hot showers because they’ll dry your skin even more!)

After showering, mom would massage the Advanced Body Repair Treatment with TruFirm® into the crepey skin around her neck, chest, arms, and legs. Just like its name says, this lightly whipped formula would restore firmer, healthier-looking skin all over her body. Absorbs quickly and isn’t one bit greasy.

Even after a late night, she could count on her Flaw-Fix™ Eye Cream to instantly reduce the appearance of puffiness, dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles. It absorbs quickly and can be used at night and in the morning. Great as a hydrating mask, too.

And mom surely wouldn’t leave home without applying Advanced Restorative Facial Treatment, a deluxe, ultra-hydrating formula with TruFirm® and a blend of moisturizing oils. Along with its sister products, its plumps, smoothes and firms, and diminishes the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

This Mother’s Day make Crépe Erase® part of your favorite lady’s daily spring beauty routine for gorgeous results.

AND DON’T FORGET YOURSELF!

After 1 use

100% of women agreed their skin felt instantly more youthful*

After 1 use

80% of women saw an instant reduction in the look of crepey skin on the body**

After 4 weeks

86% of women saw a visible improvement in skin tone**

After 8 weeks

100% of women saw a lifted appearance of skin on the body**

*Based on 8-week user perception study for Crépe Erase® Advanced

**Based on results of an evaluation by expert clinical grader measuring décolleté, knees & arms

Crépe Erase® is so confident mom will love its products, she can use them for 60 days, and, if she’s not satisfied, she can return the tubes–EVEN EMPTY–for a full refund, less S&H! This offer tells you that these are quality beauty products. Plus, the line is incredibly reasonable in the first place!

 

There’s more. Order the 5-piece Deluxe Kit and mom will receive a free gift of 4-in-1 Eye Renewal Capsules. They’re packed with intense, concentrated moisturizers for an eye-opening experience. A $38 value.

 and save 25% on Crépe Erase® Advanced Kit + get a FREE GIFT + FREE SHIPPING today!

Save Your Skin From Spring’s Secret Foes

Crépe Erase® compensated FabOverFifty with an advertising sponsorship to write this article. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will benefit my FOFriends.—Geri Brin

Think about the things we automatically change when the brutal gusts of winter give way to the balmy breezes of spring. Farewell to heavy coats and boots; hot soups and casseroles; tailgating in blustery parking lots. Hello to colorful, crisp, and cooling clothes; iced drinks and chilled salads; heavenly picnics in the park.

But there’s something else we absolutely need to change when warmer weather arrives – something most of us simply haven’t learned: How we treat our skin!

We all know that dry, cold air outside and warm, dry heat indoors can rob our skin of essential moisture during the winter. If it dries up too much, cracks may form, especially on our elbows and feet.

But did you know that humidity also can be harmful when the climate beckons you to come and play outdoors?

and save 25% on Crépe Erase® Advanced Kit + get a FREE GIFT + FREE SHIPPING today!

Spring’s Secret Skin Saboteurs: Open pores and dead skin cells

While lots of moisture in the air helps hydrate our skin – which naturally becomes drier with each passing year – it expands our pores at the same time. Larger pores are more likely to clog up with dirt, oil and other substances that cause breakouts and eczema.  Even a brisk walk can be enough to congest pores and create a greasy feeling. Not a good look!

What’s more, cell turnover slows down over the years, and the dry, dead cells sitting on the skin’s surface at winter’s end give your face a rough, dull appearance.

That’s why lightweight, all-natural and gentle formulas that clean out pores, whisk away dead cells, and moisturize without clogging or weighing down the skin can be our spring skin saviors.

My hands-down favorite brand is Crépe Erase® Advanced. As the editor of a popular website, I’m often invited to try beauty products. This is one line I’ve counted on for years to keep my skin smooth, glowing and refreshed.

The hero ingredient powering Crépe Erase® Advanced is TruFirm® Complex, an exclusive blend that includes three plant extracts to help reinforce our skin’s netting. This makes saggy skin appear tighter and firmer, and look like it did when we were younger. Crépe Erase® Advanced also contains nine Super Hydrators, including coconut oil, cocoa butter, olive oil, squalane, grapeseed oil, Vitamin E and a trio of glycerides to deliver 48 hours of intense hydration to dry, crepey skin. Quick absorbing without leaving a greasy residue, the light and airy moisture-rich formula works to visibly soothe and renew the skin.

The five-piece Deluxe Kit also treats your skin above the chin!

Before stepping into the shower, I massage the luxurious and rejuvenating Advanced Refining Facial Scrub with TruFirm® over my whole face, down to my neck.  It gently removes rough, dead skin cells to give me softer, smoother, firmer, and brighter skin. Paraben free, too!

In the shower, I grab my bottle of silky Body Smoothing Pre-Treatment with TruFirm® and gentle exfoliators to lift away dead, rough surface cells and make my skin look smoother and more radiant. The lovely, fresh scent is a bonus! (By the way, avoid long, hot showers because they’ll dry your skin even more!)

After showering, I massage the Advanced Body Repair Treatment with TruFirm® into the crepey skin around my neck, chest, arms and legs. Just like its name says, this lightly whipped formula restores firmer, healthier-looking skin all over my body. Absorbs quickly and isn’t one bit greasy.

Even after a late night, I can trust my Flaw-Fix™ Eye Cream to instantly reduce the appearance of puffiness, dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles. It absorbs quickly and can be used at night and in the morning. Great as a hydrating mask, too.

I never leave home without applying Advanced Restorative Facial Treatment, a deluxe, ultra-hydrating formula with TruFirm® and a blend of moisturizing oils. Along with its sister products, it plumps, smoothes and firms, and diminishes the look of fine lines and wrinkles.

 

Make Crépe Erase® a part of your daily spring beauty routine for gorgeous results

After 1 use

100% of women agreed their skin felt instantly more youthful*

After 1 use

80% of women saw an instant reduction in the look of crepey skin on the body**

After 4 weeks

86% of women saw a visible improvement in skin tone**

After 8 weeks

100% of women saw a lifted appearance of skin on the body**

*Based on 8-week user perception study for Crépe Erase® Advanced

**Based on results of an evaluation by expert clinical grader measuring decollete, knees & arms

Crépe Erase® is so confident that you’ll love its products, it invites you to use them for 60 days, and, if you’re not satisfied, you can return the tubes–EVEN EMPTY–for a full refund, less s&h! This offer even gives me more confidence that these are quality beauty products. Plus, the line is incredibly reasonable in the first place!

There’s more. Order the 5-piece Deluxe Kit and receive 4-in-1 Eye Renewal Capsules as a free thank you gift. They’re packed with intense, concentrated moisturizers for an eye-opening experience. A $38 value.

and save 25% on Crépe Erase® Advanced Kit + get a FREE GIFT + FREE SHIPPING today!

Putting My Dad Through Agony

17-year-old me ( right) with my roommate, as freshmen at Syracuse University. I stayed there one semester and came home, subsequently graduating from NYU. Don’t let the smile fool you. I was miserable.

When we’re young and not especially smart emotionally – aka self aware –  many of us have no earthly idea how our actions are impacting others. Or ourselves. And we do some pretty risky, hurtful, downright mean things that often help shape our future.

Even the best of us isn’t immune from behaving improperly, immaturely or impossibly illogically in our youth – and beyond.

If we’re lucky and introspective, we learn about ourselves as we move along in life. About the good and bad. And we act more and more like responsible grownups.

If we never become self aware, we can make the same dumb mistakes over and over, continuing to hurt ourselves and those around us. Our friends. Relatives. Colleagues. Bosses. Even strangers.

Of course, we can’t magically undo what we did 50 years ago, let’s say. But we can think hard about important situations from our past, superimpose them on our lives and people in the present, and see what we can learn ourselves or teach others.

This process is called a “thought experiment,” a phrase I never heard before, I’m embarrassed to admit. I learned it from my son after I messaged him the following random thoughts earlier this week:

My 42-year-old dad (why did everyone look older 50+ years ago??!!!) visiting me at parents weekend.

“When I had a breakdown as a freshman at Syracuse University, I was 17. My father was 42 (my son’s age today). I called him hysterically five times a day, often interrupting him when he was with a patient.

“I desperately needed him to talk me off the ledge. I never for a moment thought about him. Besides, he was incapable of dealing with an emotional, crazy person.

“Imagine if you had a nutcase 17-year old kid calling you at work five times a day.

“My poor dad. I put him through hell when he was so young. He wasn’t filled with joy in the first place – and then he had to contend with me.

“I wish he would come back for even a few hours so I could talk to him.”

And this was my son’s response:

“That’s an amazing thought experiment. Can’t believe he was only 42. I wish I knew him better.” (My son was 9 years old when my dad died. He was born on my dad’s 60th birthday!)

 

When You Read A Nasty Comment About Yourself on Facebook

Whenever I’ve heard celebrities publicly read nasty tweets or comments people wrote about them, I think:  “Good for you!”  Well, I’m no celebrity, but I’d like to share a nasty comment made about me. 

The backstory: Life Line Screening is an exceptional service that offers a battery of preventative health screening tests for a ridiculously low price. I’ve written about my experience with Lifeline on my website faboverfifty.com, and this post runs on our Facebook page: 

It’s always rewarding to read the comments from people who have had Lifeline’s tests or plan to have them once they see the Facebook posts. I’m not a saint either, but it pleases me to be able to recommend something that can help someone else.  Especially when it comes to their health!

Anyway, I was scrolling through some comments today and noticed one was hidden from a couple of weeks back, so I un-hid it and saw this: 

 

I know the world is spinning out of control in many ways, but what in God’s name would possess a woman to preface her comment ABOUT A HEALTH SERVICE with a statement about how “UNAPPEALING” I LOOK!!!!!!????? I actually think that’s a good photo, but, as they say:  “To each her own.”

It’s sad – and a little bit scary – to think about the anger millions of people harbour in their souls on so many levels. 

Now, please understand that I have no problem with people commenting about my hair, my weight, my fashion style etc. if, let’s say, I’m writing about one of those subjects. And, if someone like Doreen Caridi-Schmidt gets her jollies passing around my photo at a soiree she’s throwing for all her good (and obviously ravishing) friends in Florida, go to it sweetheart! 

But I couldn’t let Ms. Caridi-Schmidt’s comment go unanswered because it’s a perfect reflection of something deeply wrong in our culture today.  It takes a special kind of rage for a woman to gratuitously comment about how my photo looks on a post about preventative health screenings.

Anyway, I’m delighted Doreen was “very pleased” with Lifeline and got her results in a couple of weeks.

I wonder how she’d do on tests that measure kindness and joy.

 

Treat Dry, Crepey Skin Starting This Summer

Crepe Erase compensated FabOverFifty with an advertising sponsorship to write this article. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will benefit my FOFriends.—Geri Brin

You can’t wait to throw caution to the wind this summer, especially after more than a year of restrictions. What a relief it’s going to be to tear off your mask, get into your shorts and sandals and have a ball.  But what are you going to do about the dry, flaky and saggy skin on your arms, knees and feet now that it’s going to be mighty hard to hide them? Excellent news. There’s still time to get your skin looking and feeling sensationally soft and smooth before you hit the beach, thanks to a delightful discovery I’ll tell you about in a moment.

Dry skin is common in later life, when our glands naturally produce less oil.

Woefully, the things that delight us in summer, from romping in the waves to picnicking in the park, can make the problem worse. Saltwater in the ocean, chlorine in the pool and air conditioning can steal natural oil from our skin, leaving it super dry. Even the sun’s UV rays are drying. Just put a bunch of grapes in your backyard on a bright hot day. Voila! You’ll have raisins in just a few days And you surely don’t want your skin to look like that.

What’s more, our skin loses its terrific foundation of collagen and elastin, making it loose and saggy.

Even continually using body lotion from Thanksgiving to Easter won’t provide lasting hydration or softness, and won’t do a thing for the crepiness. I’ve bought dozens of lotions and body creams–drugstore to high end– over the years, so I can speak from experience.

As editor of a popular website, I’m often invited to try out all kinds of beauty products. One brand–Crepe Erase®jumped out at me because I’ll never forget seeing the actress Jane Seymour talk about it on TV. She looks amazing at 70, and has been using Crepe Erase for years, a fine endorsement right there!

The formula features TruFirm® Complex, an exclusive blend that includes three plant extracts to help reinforce our skin’s netting, so the skin can appear tighter and firmer, and looks like it did when we were younger. Crepe Erase also contains seven powerful hydrators, including coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, olive oil, beeswax, cassava and Vitamin E, which absorb quickly and work to visibly soothe and renew the skin.

Crepe Erase is the #1 Selling Anti-Aging Body Treatment System for Dry, Crepey Skin*

(*Based on Crepe Erase sales data & IRI & NPD sales data for 2017.)

The Essentials Kit only includes two simple steps:

I grab my bottle of Exfoliating Body Polish when I shower, to lift away dead, rough surface cells and make my skin look smoother and more radiant. (By the way, don’t take long, hot showers because they’ll dry your skin even more!) After the shower, I massage the Intensive Body Repair Treatment, with the TruFirm Complex, into the crepey skin around my neck, chest, arms and legs. The Body Polish has a beautiful, fresh scent and the Repair Treatment absorbs quickly and isn’t one bit greasy.

As I mentioned earlier, the skin on my body has felt smooth and hydrated for a few years, including during bitter winters. I’ve learned that the more consistently you use skincare products, the better the results. Adding Crepe Erase to my skincare routine has paid off when I need it most!

Results will vary.

The Body Firm team is so confident that you’ll love its products, it invites you to use them for 60 days, and, if you’re not satisfied, you can return the tubes–EVEN EMPTY–for a full refund, less s&h! This offer even gives me more confidence that these are quality beauty products. Plus, the line is incredibly reasonable in the first place!

and save 20% on the Crepe Erase Introductory Deluxe Kit + get FREE SHIPPING + a FREE GIFT valued at $38.

Time To Tell Him: “Show Me The Money, Honey!”

“This post is sponsored by Wealthramp, and FabOverFifty may receive compensation from Wealthramp if readers use their services.  Regardless, we think Wealthramp is an important service and as always we only recommend products or services that we believe will be helpful for our readers, as we’ve been doing for 11 years! The article contains affiliate links for Wealthramp, which can be accessed directly at https://wealthramp.com” – Geri Brin

Married at 19 years old, Sarah rarely stressed about money during the next 50 years. “My husband Rob was in charge of the finances from day one,” she said. A mid-level administrator at a printing company in New York, he was sensible and competent at everything he did. Sarah always turned her modest salary as a nutritionist over to him. 

But when Rob died at 74 after a short illness, Sarah’s money worries began. 

She had no earthly idea whether their mortgage was paid off, or if Rob kept his life insurance when their sons moved out on their own. She didn’t know a thing about their investments. And, she didn’t have a clue about their monthly expenses. Rob prepared their income taxes. He paid all the bills.

Sarah was beside herself with anxiety as she waded through mountains of files trying to get a handle on money matters. 

Halfway across the country in Chicago, Barbara had another type of distress when her ex died suddenly. Assuming their 17-year-old twins were still beneficiaries of his life insurance policy, Barbara was shocked to learn he left the money to his new – and much younger – wife. “I was counting on the inheritance to help pay the steep tuition bills when the kids went off to college in a year,” Barbara fretted.

Barbara is still kicking herself that she didn’t confirm the beneficiaries of her former husband’s insurance policy since their divorce. “I would have paid the premiums just as long as the money went to our children, but I had no one to advise me,” she groaned.

DON’T WAIT FOR DEATH OR DIVORCE

Stop right here. Are you like Sarah or Barbara? If your husband died or you and he split up, would you know if your and your family’s financial future were secure?

Or maybe you’re single and make a decent living, but haven’t done a thing to ensure you’d be in decent shape if you lost your job or could no longer work.  And what are your retirement plans?

You see a doctor about medical issues. Rely on a plumber when a pipe leaks. And make a mad dash to a mechanic when a warning light pops up on the car dashboard.

Isn’t it high time you met another expert – a financial expert – who can advise you about one of the most crucial components in your life: Your Money?

You may feel more comfortable letting your partner deal with the family finances. Or perhaps you’re embarrassed that you know next to nothing about investing and would feel like a jerk talking to an expert. Or maybe you think your “future” is too far away, so why start planning for it now!  But you should stop making excuses. If you start learning about your finances today you’ll help give yourself a secure tomorrow. 

“SHOW ME THE MONEY, HONEY”

“Even if you don’t control the money, a lot of ‘what ifs’ can happen, so at least learn where the money is and where it’s going,” said Joyce Streithorst, director of financial planning with Frisch Financial Group. “It’s a lot easier to gather this information over time than to be forced into it by a divorce or a death. 

“You’re not looking to take over control, but to educate yourself and be involved,” Joyce added. Get copies of your tax returns, investment statements, credit card statements, bank statements. Discuss where your money is invested. Go through the estate plan and the beneficiaries. Find out if your husband bought disability and long-term care policies. And make sure your home isn’t in his name only.

“Tell your husband that you want to be on the call when he next talks to the accountant or financial advisor so you can try to understand what’s happening. If the advisor talks over your head, ask him to go slower. If you think commissions, not your interests, are his priorities,  suggest to your husband that it might be a good idea to get a second opinion from another advisor,” Joyce recommended.  After all, you want to make sure you have the right person working for you. 

                      Pam Krueger

Frisch Financial is part of Wealthramp, a free online referral service that connects consumers with top independent, fee-only financial advisors who best fit their needs. After all, each woman’s financial requirements are as unique as her health or beauty essentials, stressed Pam Krueger, Wealthramp founder. 

Also co-host of Friends Talk Money podcast and creator and co-host of MoneyTrack on PBS, Pam spent three years personally vetting every advisor for her smart Wealthramp service. She had heard one too many tales of woe from women who suffered financially because they were horribly mismatched with advisors. Or they accepted the advisors their husbands chose, not meeting them even once.

THE WEALTHRAMP DIFFERENCE 

Sixty-something Carol discovered Wealthramp after she sold a building she owned for almost 30 years, and was searching for an investment advisor. Single and a construction management professional, Carol had always been frugal and lived modestly, putting most of  the money she earned from her job and tenants’ rents back into her house.  When she decided  it was time “to start enjoying life instead of fixing toilets,” she put the building up for sale. Her modest down payment had turned into a handsome profit, and she knew it was time “to grow up and have an investment portfolio.”

Discouraged by meetings with women from a Forbes list of top advisors, “who’d blab on and on about themselves without asking me a single question,” Carol was encouraged to hear about Wealthramp on Pam Krueger’s podcast.  “Pam was personable and seemed to care about her clients,” Carol remembered.

After submitting a two-minute Wealthramp survey, Carol had a 45-minute call with Pam, who recommended two advisors. Carol interviewed both of them at length and chose Joyce. “She created a detailed document explaining how she’d invest my money, what the businesses did and why she chose them,” Carol said.

Carol speaks to Joyce whenever she has questions or gets nervous if she sees the value of her investments dropping and needs reassurance. “Joyce gets back to me right away,” Carol said. “I’ve never felt that she put me on the back burner or pushed me off. She doesn’t talk mumbo jumbo and say things I don’t understand.”    

Working with Joyce for the last five months, Carol has seen a good return on her investments. “I never had my life so stress-free, EVER! I know my money is in good hands. And so am I.”  

The advisors in the Wealthramp network don’t require that you invest millions like Carol. As a matter of fact, you don’t need to invest at all; you can simply get a sound analysis from an expert about the state of your financial affairs.

FOR FINANCIAL SECURITY TOMORROW

Bravo Bombas!

You probably know Bombas as the brand that donates one pair of its socks to a homeless shelter for each pair purchased. This became the company’s social mission when the two founders learned that socks are the most requested item of clothing in shelters. 

Now the brand is carrying its social consciousness to its new underwear collection.  What’s more, the Bombas marketing mavens are conscious of another important fact: Women who wear underwear aren’t all Victoria’s Secret models. When I opened up one of the Bombas emails the other day, and started looking through its online shop, I was intrigued to see the panties on the bodies of ‘real’ women. Real women with thighs, hips, buttocks, tummies and legs that don’t resemble washboards, beanstalks, and pencils.

When I launched Figure magazine for plus-size women around 2004, the bodies of the larger models we used still didn’t have a bit of hanging or bulging skin. But younger women today champion body acceptance, not body shaming.

I’m not advocating that women should accept bodies that can wreak havoc on their health. “Obesity is a complex disease involving an excessive amount of body fat. Obesity isn’t just a cosmetic concern. It is a medical problem that increases your risk of other diseases and health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and certain cancers,” reports the Mayo Clinic website. 

But not all bodies with excess skin (let’s say after dramatic weight loss or pregnancy) or more heft are unhealthy or unsightly. We may not be used to seeing them on the pages of magazines and catalogs, but millions of women see bodies like this when they look in their mirrors.

I remember to this day heading to the “Chubbette” department with my parents when we went shopping for new school clothes around the end of August every year during my childhood.  I don’t think I read the copy in ads like this one in 1957, when I was 10, but reading it now makes me realize why I grew up thinking myself unsexy (I wasn’t, by the way, but it took years of therapy to discover that).

“If your favorite little girl is on the plump side, dress her in Chubbettes and see her blossom into a lovely lass – as happy and self-assured as her slimmer schoolmates. Chubbettes are created for the chubby-size young figure – a perfect combination of fit, comfort and slenderizing design.” 

The ad also offers parents “POUNDS AND PERSONALITY”,  a free booklet that will help them understand their child’s “problems, talent development, shyness, tactless remarks, the ‘game’ of dieting, etc.” And, it was written by a woman from New York University’s School of Education.

Those 1950s were quite a decade!

 

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