In this week’s Wednesday 5, we ponder the differences (in dating behavior) between older and younger men; hail Michelle Obama’s second term; worry about the trend toward vaginal “neatening surgeries”; note a new study about women directors in Hollywood; and pay proper tribute to Meryl Streep in one of her off-years.
Older Man, Younger Man? A Spinsterlicious Question
Our Eleanore Wells takes on a fraught issue in her Spinsterlicious Life: the impact of a man’s age on his dating behavior. “I date guys within about a 25-year range; say, 40-65, and I have observed some differences,” she writes. She offers a comparative chart on matters like “Does he care if you make more than he does?” and “Is he physically active?” But Wells also reports her own responses. Older men, she writes, tend to exhibit “less flexible thinking about the role of men and women and the way they should behave in a relationship, so I, from time to time, ‘let him be the man’ . . . do things for me that I’m perfectly capable of doing myself . . . and being really grateful for it! Older guys like that.” But should she find herself Demi Moore to a date’s Ashton Kutcher, it’s different. “For the younger guy? I try really hard not to slip into a mother/son dynamic. Just because I’ve seen more doesn’t mean I should always tell him what to do.”
Read the rest, and see some some delicious celebrity photos, at The Spinsterlicious Life.
@FLOTUS Begins New Term as First Lady in Style
This week, pundits are busy parsing what President Obama’s Inauguration Day speech means for his second term, but the First Lady’s new term is already in full swing. People watched Monday’s Inauguration Day festivities for multiple reasons, but a highlight for many was the Jason Wu gown worn by Michelle Obama (see at left), as well as the Thom Browne dress and coat she wore during the day and her precedent-shattering bangs. That haircut had already set Washington aflutter; the new look was in celebration of Obama’s birthday last Thursday—which also occasioned a new, non-campaign Twitter account for the First Lady, @FLOTUS. Twitter users should look at the link to her profile, which also features, to the left, Twitter feeds for the president, the VP, and the Joining Forces initiative she and Jill Biden founded to help military families.
With the Oscars in a few weeks, some of us are still getting used to a sorta-unusual phenomenon: Meryl Streep is not in contention. That didn’t stop Jennifer Lawrence from making a Streep joke at the Golden Globes, though, and it didn’t stop the creator of “I Heart Ingrid” — a blog “dedicated to [great actresses'] enduring image, whether they are heroines, femme fatales, or just drop-dead gorgeous!” from putting together a Streep tribute just in time for the awards.
“But I have to say I love Meryl in black & white. There’s something so timeless about her beauty that she lends herself to the glamour shot in such an open, unassuming and understated way that all you see is beauty and brains unlike any other actress of her time. This is another one of my favorites of the multi-Oscar winning actress. And no matter how old she gets and how insipid the movie roles become—I’m just happy to see Meryl up on the screen where she belongs.”
See the rest of the glamour shots chosen by I Heart Ingrid here, and check out the tribute last year from the Academy itself to Streep’s 17 nominations.
“I’ll Have the Barbie”
For some of us, plastic surgery has become part of midlife; we’ve become used to the idea that even Jane Fonda has had work done on her chin, neck, and under the eyes. At WVFC, we thought ourselves savvy when we learned about jeweled labia, known as “vajazzling.” But we still found ourselves astonished by this week’s two-part series on elective labiaplasty in the online magazine Guernica:
Labiaplasty is a procedure that trims the labia minora (the inner lips of the vulva) to fit neatly within the outer lips. It is just one of a number of increasingly popular “vaginal rejuvenation” surgeries offered by discerning plastic surgeons and gynecologists across America and the globe. Also known as cosmetic gynecology, this field includes procedures designed to reduce the size of the labia minora and the labia majora (the outer lips), tighten the vagina (this is known as vaginoplasty), reduce the size of the clitoral hood, reconstruct the hymen, and even enlarge the g-spot.
Kirsten O’Regan reports for Guernica that a number of specialists offer women a range of this kind of surgery, including the popular ‘Barbie,’ which creates a “clamshell aesthetic” that its leading surgeon calls a “comfortable, athletic, petite look.” O’Regan interviews a number of surgeons, patients, and experts concerned about both its medical safety and the implications of this search for gynecologic uniformity.
Our Dr. Pat will report on those concerns soon, but the Guernica series contains terrific reporting and writing—and begins with a smart, borderline-profane lead sentence. Go look.
Women Directors in the U.S.: Still Running from Crazy, even at Sundance
Just in time for Oscar season, Women & Hollywood comments on a new report from the Sundance Institute for Women and Film about women directors in the United States. As one might expect, it brings some good news, including the fact that “”Women support women. Films directed by women feature more women in all roles. There is a 21% increase in women working on a narrative film when there is a female director and a 24% increase in women working on documentaries.” But overall, the study charts that despite some recent buzz, we’re not near equality:
“Here’s the bottom line. There is some great news here and some really sucky news. Things are really great for women directors in documentaries but things are still really awful for women in narrative. The men have the access to the money and they advocate for their peers. There is still the perception that female content is not commercially viable and there is still a feeling that women directors lack the confidence to lead and are less trustworthy.”
For now, we can take solace in the film festivals that help women buck the trend—including the Sundance Film Festival itself, which wraps up this Sunday and offers a number of WVFC-worthy possible winners. For example, we already can’t wait for Barbara Kopple’s new documentary about the Hemingway grandchildren, Running From Crazy. Can you?