We just discovered Change magazine, a Houston-based monthly that covers creative, playful, serious and inspiring women. And we’re delighted to find Arlene Alda, 73, on the cover of the March issue.

Inside, Alda talks about growing up in the Bronx and about her career as a children’s book author and photographer. She also describes meeting her husband, the actor Alan Alda, when he was a 20-year-old college senior and she was a 23-year-old clarinetist, having just returned from studying at the Music Conservatory in Cologne, Germany, as a Fulbright scholar (they’ll celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this year).

Completing the sentence "Women can be anything they want to be because …," Alda said:

We live in a country where economically, it is possible. Artistically it is possible, and personally it is possible. However, it is most distressing to see that mindless consumerism has overtaken our country and with it, the image of female as a sex object. It has not only returned, but returned with a vengeance. The attitudes and dress have filtered down to middle school kids, who in my opinion are losing not only the innocence of childhood, but also what the Women’s Movement in the ’70s and ’80s fought so hard to achieve for all of us. That is, the value of being the special YOU who you are … not an object … or a toy … but a human being who has the basic right to fairness and opportunity in the workplace and at home.

And on the subject of finding her own identity:

I think that finding one’s identity can be a life long search. Work gives you identity, but I guess identity is what you’re most invested in, that you identify yourself as. With me, it’s a combination of woman, wife, mother, grandmother, my professions, my ethnic background and even my nationality as American. At 73, I can honestly say, this is who I am. I’m still learning and growing, but what you see is what you get. I also think "flexibility" and "forgiveness" are two wonderful words. "Humor" and "compassion" aren’t bad either.

Read the full interview here.

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