Of a Certain Age

I wasn't one of those Sassy or subsequent Jane fanatics. Sure, I read the magazines now and then, but I wouldn't say they changed my life or that I even knew the editors and writers by name–which is why it's odd that I am recognizing these affiliated women as they begin re-popping up in the media lately. There's Jane Pratt's xoJane (which I've written for and would more maybe if I could use my waning free time more efficiently) then that Brandon Holley Red Hook home invasion story (I love that she solves the no neighborhood subway issue by just commuting by towncar–so very Conde Nast).  I recently heard about Kim France's blog, Girls of a Certain Age, described as for women in their "late 30s and 40s" and as for "older ladies" by Christina Kelly, who has a blog of her own, Fallen Princess. (Also, I italicize magazine names online and had no idea that made me old and am still pretty sure that lots of blogs do this.)

With the exception of xoJane, which is a website with a staff, the others are so bloggy, by which I mean  not terribly polished or profound. And their very mundaneness and choice of platform–blogging is more static and requires more of the reader than say, tumblr, which is where someone a decade or so younger would be posting pics, videos, and quotes, looking for reblogs–is strangely comforting.  Even though I don't exactly identify with these successful, wealthy women, closer to 50 than 40, married/divorced with children, I appreciate a nearly slackerish approach to their online presence as opposed to the scary, always-on, overly confident millennial aesthetic that's become the norm.

Six years ago the New York Times ran an article, "Two Women's Magazines Shift Focus to 'Millennials'" about Jane and Marie Claire (all this italicizing is making my fingers cramp). The takeway was that a burgeoning group of younger women were less cynical and liked buy more shit, pardon the snark.

"The millennials are totally different from the Gen-X'ers," said Carlos Demadrid, the vice president and publisher at Jane. "Because they're not anti-establishment, they haven't made a lot of noise. But they're big consumers. They're the children of baby boomers so they like to buy and they like labels."


"But now Ms. Holley wants to get away from the tone that helped set Jane apart from the Cosmos and Glamours of the magazine world.

'I think the readers and the editors are looking to lighten things up a bit,' Ms. Holley said. 'There's a sense of humor we can have without all of the snarkiness. That's something we can shed.'"

I guess I'm of a certain age, though not certain I'm ready for J.Jill whose ads have been following me around online after I got sucked into browsing some billowy, middle-aged linen garments I thought might be good for deserts (ha, typed desserts, true) and tropics (where I won't be until July, mind you). To lay blame where it belongs, though, it was a young lady blog that led me down the J.Jill path.

Do girls of a certain age silence their husbands by singing Spandau Ballet in a Chevy? And do couples actually drive around with other couples? I've never experienced a grown-up double-date.

Also, I've spent over an hour researching BB creams. Are you familiar with these not quite foundation or tinted moisturizers that have been all the rage in Asia for a million years? Because I prefer procrastination over being productive, instead of coming up with and refining ideas to pitch to paying outlets on my free Sunday I am thinking about how I get a kick out of tanning my normally pale skin when I go on vacations to places with hot climates maybe once every two years. The serious issue keeping me from focusing on more important matters is that I wear the lightest foundation available (Make Up Forever HD Foundation in ivory when I want something heavy duty and Bare Minerals power in fair the rest of the time) but that  it's too hot and humid in SE Asia to wear liquid foundation and if I do get tan whatever I bring with me will be too pale and my skin has turned too crappy to go bare-faced. So, even though my birthday vacation (Dubai, Macau, Hong Kong, and Bangkok!) is three months off I am now wasting time researching cheap tinted moisturizers, which then led me down a rabbit hole of BB creams.

And now I'm even more confused because some brands don't even come in varying shades, some reviewers say they make your skin dry and you should moisturize first, others say they make your face greasy, some put foundation and powder on top (I thought the point was that they were an all-in-one product?). I've already ruled out the American brands and am focused on Missha, a Korean one, that's cheap on eBay, but they have a ton of variations: perfect cover, mixed with wrinkle cream, sparkly, hypoallergenic, herbal, matte, extra moisture, and don't appear to come in shades but in three numbers with attributes: #13 very bright, #21 bright, and #23 natural and calm. What do those even mean?!

Ok, I bought a $7.99 travel sized tube of perfect cover in #21, which is actually bright beige, a shade darker than I think I actually am, and will test it out shortly. Being so earnest about consumerism has already made me feel more youthful. This has been very helpful. Thanks.




11 thoughts on “Of a Certain Age

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