Friday, June 11, 2010

Formerly perfect

My headshot from the year I met Nipper Knapp. I thought I had a muffintop then. Sigh...

Do you look at old pictures of yourself and think "My god, I was so cute. I wish I had known that then!"? I'm sure we all do that right? When I was 16 I decided that the little patch of skin at the bottom of my butt felt like chicken skin, and made me completely unlovable. How would I ever get on in the world with a chicken skin butt??? I don't want to get too personal here, but I'm looking close, and either the chicken skin is gone or my 16 year old self was a LOT more discerning about skin texture. 

My 15 year old self (no seriously that's me, and that is a discussion for another day) was however a lot LESS discerning about hairdo's. Hello princess. 

Let me introduce you to Stephanie Dolgoff of Formerly Hot. She's NYC writer who's new book is about being "formerly hot". That strange netherworld when you are no longer young, but still not old, just invisible. Oh and she's funny. Oh and I love her. Steph tracked me down after several people forwarded the My Muffintop video to her (you know you want to watch it again). We talked a bit over email, and then on the phone, and, we talked about some stuff that I feel like everyone around me is talking about, but only in private. Everything in LA is image, and if you say these things too loud, someone might realize that you ARE formerly hot, and move on to the next girl. I didn't really realize I had so much to say on the subject until she asked, and then I literally couldn't shut up. As I was waiting for her to call this morning, I started typing a novel length email about the subject of being a not old, but not young, woman, and actress. My heart is so much happier at 35 (thanks Nipper Knapp), but my ego has been taking some major body blows the last few years. I know I'm not quite the age demographic Steph is talking about yet. A woman on her blog commented that she didn't buy what I was selling because I look like Reese Witherspoon, and to that woman, I say "Yes! YES! A thousand times yes, I will marry you! Also will you be my publicist?" 

She's got a book coming out in August, called "My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatches From Just the Other Side of Young" and I can't wait to read it. Long and short of it, she's brilliant, and here's what she had to say on her blog about My Muffintop (no I will not stop trying to make you look at it). 

When Jack was 5 months old and I wore my beach cover up INTO the pool. What a dumb dumb

I'm not sure in real like I'm an official "formerly". In LA, I am most definitely a LOT of formerlies. Formerly young, formerly perky, formerly gave a shit about what you thought about her. I think that's maybe my favorite formerly.  And mom, before you pick up that phone, I KNOW you think I'm still young and beautiful and can do anything. But that's your job to think that. My job is to be realistic so I don't end up like Angelyne

Where are all the muffintops?

In my day to day life at the grocery store, or mommy and me swim class, or flopped on the couch with Nipper Knapp, I still feel pretty much like me, but man oh man, at work, I feel like a BIG TIME FORMERLY. Imagine standing in a room full of 20 year old models. They're waiting for their Doritos, or Beer, or Clean and Clear audition to start. You're waiting for your Lean Cuisine, or Activia, or Fill in the blank mom product audition to start. The character breakdown is "warm, and attractive, but not overly pretty, must be fit, but not too thin, midwestern mom". You're sitting there minding your own business, happy to be there because you know that the mom jobs are where all the money is, when one of these pubescent mantises walks by and says "Oh, this isn't my audition! They must be looking for 'real people' over there". Sigh... "Real people" is a euphemism for ugly (or fat, or plain) in this business. I want to shout "Enjoy it now sassafras! You've got about 7 more years of those boobs opening doors for you and then you're going to have to get some job skills!" (I've never been good at put-downs)

Yes Ma'am that just about sums it up

I'm not complaining. I do very well. I get to work with my family. I get to be home with my family. I have a pink man cave, and a husband that LOVES my "formerly chicken skinned ass". I'm grateful for all the work I get. I wish that when I WAS young, and perky and gave a shit about what you thought of me, I had a little bit more of my new "formerly" wisdom. I wish I'd been able to laugh at my chicken skin, and my muffintop, and at those mantises, who even when I was 25 made me feel like an over the hill wheezebag who was somehow missing out on part of the joke. 


  1. I love you and this topic. I am right there with you.

    I keep trying to remind my "formerly" self that 10 years into the future I will look back on photos of myself from now and think about how young I look.

  2. I think you are prettier now than in your headshot

  3. Fantastic post. And that's coming from a "formerly" who's breakdown now is: "Normal to Real Casual Mom. Real body not too thin. No Models."

    Thank God I'm not 20 anymore:)
    I heart you.

  4. I love this post. And that I have my "formerly" friends to evolve with...makes it alot more fun! I also love the 'Fried Green Tomatoes' is also one of my favorites. One of these days I know I'm gonna snap like that, and it is going to feel GREAT!

  5. I love you. You are my people. I can't think of anyone I know who doesn't relate.