I just read My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatches From Just the Other Side of Young, Stephanie Dolgoff’s tale of what it feels like for a 20-something dancing on tabletops in stilettos to wake up as a 40-something mom. Bolstered by the male attention afforded to big-haired, large-breasted hotties such as herself, Dolgoff breezed through her young adulthood accustomed to heads turning and men asking for her phone number wherever she went. Twenty years, two kids, and perhaps 20 pounds later, Dolgoff realizes that now, when men ask her for the time on the subway, they actually want to know what time it is. Could there be a dividing line between those women like Dolgoff who used to be able to get by on their looks, and those like me who never could? At 21, my body was pretty much the same as it is today, cute but a far cry from hot. I favored Doc Martens and surf shorts over pumps and minis. I didn’t give out my phone number, have one-night stands, or stay out all night partying, mainly because I was never asked. And other than being slightly less inclined to sleep on the floor, my worldview hasn’t really changed much in the past 25 years. I half joke that I look better now than “back in the day,” but always include the disclaimer that the bar wasn’t really that high. For better or worse, I am not faced with the specter of my formerly hot self. I earned those character points a long time ago. Does learning the “there’s more to life than attracting men” lesson in your 40s instead of in your 20s make Dolgoff and me a different species? Or are the lessons the same for every “formerly,” hot or not?
Name five ways you’ve changed — inside and out — since your 20s. If your character development has increased in indirect proportion to your beauty cred, consider yourself Formerly Hot. If both have held steady or gone up, you may be a Formerly Not.
Tags: Doc Martens, forty, forty-plus, middle aged women, My Formerly Hot Life, over forty, Stephanie Dolgoff, women, women over 40, women over 50, women over forty