When Crabby Old Lady was younger – way younger – it was common among her crowd to remark, when they had partied too hard the night before, that they'd had a preview in the morning mirror of what they would look like when they got old.
Of course, this was only a stab at a humorous explanation about why they were late to work that day. Crabby and her friends didn't believe yet, in their 20s and even 30s, that they would really get old; they just knew – from somewhere in the ether of daily life – that to look old was the worst thing that could happen to them.
That lame, old joke came to Crabby's mind earlier this week while she was (and still is) recovering from a case of conjunctivitis which has now traveled from one eye to the other. The swelling of her eyelid, according to the mirror, somehow caused even more wrinkles than usual below the eye so that Crabby appeared much like a shar pei.
Cute on a dog, but not on Crabby and maybe similar to what she will look like in five years. Or ten years. Or sooner. Who knows. But she wishes she didn't care. Two things about this:
- Crabby Old Lady doesn't like looking that old.
- She resents she has been brainwashed to dislike it.
Maybe because Crabby has spent so many years reading, writing and doing 'rithmatic about getting old, she has usually been more curious about aging than caring about what she looks like. But she is not immune and it comes down to what Crabby has always said here: there is nowhere to turn without hearing how awful it is to get and look old. It is shoved in our (old) faces every day in movies, on television, in print ads and commercials and from ageist comedians and aging celebrity spokes persons who are airbrushed to look 25 years younger than they are.
Although Crabby Old Lady has always had reservations about it, the “real woman” campaign from Dove cosmetics has featured so-called real women and was a bit of a welcome relief from the usual. But except that they are somewhat older than 16 and heftier than the models we are accustomed to seeing, the “real women” have been astonishingly beautiful.
Some of that was the result of professional makeup, hair, lighting and unknown amounts of Photoshopping. Now, however, Dove has been caught with their “real women” ideals down around their ankles in a casting call posted on Craigslist last weekend for a new Real Women campaign.
You probably can't read that image of the page, so here's what it says – bold emphasis added:
DOVE “REAL WOMEN” PRINT CASTING JUNE 28-30, 2010 IN NYC.
ABSOLUTELY NO ACTRESSES / MODELS OR REALITY SHOW PARTICIPANTS or ANY ONE CARRYING A HEADSHOT!!!
REAL WOMEN ONLY!
LOOKING FOR 3-4 REAL WOMEN for a DOVE PRINT CAMPAIGN!
AGES 35-45, CAUCASIAN, HISPANIC, AFRTICAN AMERICAN, & ASIAN!
SHOOT: SUNDAY, JULY 18 in NYC! MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR THE SHOOT!
RATE: $500 FOR SHOOT & IF SELECTED FOR Ad Campaign (running 2011) you will be paid $4000!
USAGE: 3 years unlimited print & web usage in N. America Only
YOU WILL BE PHOTOGTAPHED FOR THE CAMPAIGN IN A TOWEL!
BEAUTIFUL ARMS AND LEGS AND FACE WILL BE SHOWN!
MUST HAVE FLAWLESS SKIN, NO TATTOOS OR SCARS!
Well groomed and clean...Nice Bodies...NATURALLY, FIT Not too Curvy Not too Athletic
Great Sparkling Personalities. Beautiful Smiles. A DOVE GIRL!!!
STYLISH AND COOL!
Beautiful HAIR & SKIN is a MUST!!!
PLEASE SUBMIT SNAPSHOTS of FACE & BODY ASAP & WE WILL CALL YOU IN FOR A CASTING NEXT WEEK 6/28-30 in NYC! firstname.lastname@example.org
The casting call has been removed from Craigslist. A Dove spokesperson told the website Stylelist that the posting was an “unplanned gaffe” (yeah, sure) and
"Unfortunately, this casting notice was not approved by the brand or agency team and did not reflect the spirit of the brand team's vision. We appreciate that this has been brought to our attention, and we are taking the necessary steps to prevent this from happening in the future.
“We believe our images demonstrate that real beauty comes in many shapes, sizes, colors and ages and we remain committed to featuring realistic and attainable images of beauty in all our advertising."
That attempt at corporate ass-covering is worse than the casting call post. It never ceases to amaze Crabby how dumb public relations people think the public is. Instead of derision, they could have won Crabby's heart if they'd just said, “Oops, mea culpa. But hey, at least give us credit for including slightly older, chubby women that no one else does.”
Now if you will excuse her, Crabby is going to go work on adjusting her attitude about looking older.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Johna Ferguson: Brrr...