• Lori Turner

Aging Sucks and Dumb is Forever

Aging Sucks and Dumb Is Forever by Lori Turner

About three years ago I decided it was time to join Instagram. Instagram has been around since 2010 so it only took me 7 years to warm up to the idea. One day, my friend’s daughter asked me to follow her and I mentioned I was only on Facebook. With an eye roll only a teenager could accomplish, she proceeded to enlighten me that only dinosaurs used Facebook and I’d better start catching up with the current social media world. I had no idea that using Facebook aged me 65 million years, but I succumbed to the fact maybe she was right. I do need to be up to date on my social media platforms since I have a teenager I need to monitor. That night, the ancient bird (that would be me) signed up. Surprisingly, I enjoyed Instagram. It is easy to post pictures, say very little and let the hashtags say it all. Photos with editing apps and filters can make you look 10 years younger. I almost convinced myself I looked that good in real life, but that is not quite the reflection I saw in the mirror. Humility and reality served with a cup of coffee in the morning.

What fascinates me about Instagram is the ability to connect with my friends I haven’t seen or heard from in over 20 years. This includes famous people that I would have never dreamed of responding to my posts. One such person was Paulina Porizkova. For those that do not know her, she was a “supermodel” in the late 80s and early 90s. I admired her beauty like many women of the era as a high school graduate transitioning into college. She was on every Cosmopolitan and Vogue magazine. These magazines were the gold standard of beauty, fashion, and fitness, and we all lived our fantasy lives through flipping the pages of endless high-end fashion ads. Paulina responded to a couple of my posts and I was tickled pink. I already know what everyone is thinking. She must have a personal assistant managing her social media account, but whether it is true or not I choose to believe it was her. Why such a fuss over Paulina and her posts? Like any other famous person before social media, she was unreachable. She was this beautiful supermodel gleefully frolicking around the Eiffel Tower in Paris wearing Estee Lauder lipstick, decked out in head to toe Chanel. She was responding to little old un-famous me. Like most supermodels from those decades, they slowly faded away and magazines were replaced by blogs and vlogs.

In October 2018, Paulina resurfaced, much to my delight in an interview with People Magazine about what it is like to age in the public’s eye as the most well-known supermodel. In her real and raw honesty, she said it “sucked”. Yes, Paulina, I can agree with you. Aging does suck! https://people.com/style/paulina-porizkova-says-aging-suck

Anyone that says they are aging “gracefully” with wrinkles, sagging skin, mobility problems, or any other weird issues not documented in the medical journals should be dropped on their thinning haired head! I like to say I’m an optimist, but when hormones are disappearing like teenagers being asked to take out the trash, I find it easier to be ungrateful. Getting old sucks and I’m not handling it well.

Paulina wasn’t the only woman I admired as a college student. At a time when only four channels were on TV, Judge Judy, a courtroom reality show, would come on each day at 2:00 pm. This was my signal to take a break from tedious Accounting and Micro Economics homework. Judge Judith Sheindlin was a firecracker, to say the least. A real judge making rulings over petty and ridiculous small claims. You really can’t write some of this stuff when the people appearing in her TV courtroom were drunk or stoned. Small in stature with an infamous lace collar, she can sniff out liars and cheats like a bear with an unattended campsite cooler. She makes them pay literally and dearly! She is a shining light of hope for us non-assertive types. It begs the question: why would anyone want to embarrass themselves on national TV like that? Dumb is forever.

Judy wrote a book I read years ago, “Beauty Fades, Dumb Is Forever: The Making of a Happy Woman.” https://www.amazon.com/Beauty-Fades-Dumb-Forever-Making/dp/006092991X

It was written for women who made poor decisions based off of love and didn’t understand their true potential. She wanted women to realize the reason they felt unfulfilled and lost was because they were more worried about hurting someone’s feelings rather than being respected. Women have a tendency to focus on others while neglecting themselves. She advised them not to apologize for going after what they want, and confrontation cannot be avoided so get over it. The title of the book has been an inspiration for me throughout my life. When I am feeling insecure and old, I imagine Judge Judy bluntly reminding me, “Dumb is forever.” Plastic surgery, make-up and hair extensions can’t fix a lifetime of stupid choices. Thank goodness I still have my brains; Rumor has it that can slip away if you don’t challenge your body and mind with staying fit and busy throughout the remaining years of your life. Maybe that is why Judge Judy still has her show and is the highest-paid TV personality. She has plenty of wit and tenacity to live forever.

Like Paulina said in her interview, she is caught between two worlds. Memories of the top model and beauty industry that recorded all of her youth, to wondering if people think she must an old hag by now. It is a vicious thought process of insecurities and desire to do something drastic that may risk you looking like an inflated version of your mother. We are constantly bombarded with ads, commercials and bloggers telling us to be confident, graceful, and how to age like a fine wine. Well I’m here to be real, raw and honest. Hormones are missing, your looks start to change and all the while your hair on your head is thinning out. The body you once knew starts to betray you, slowly indicated by how difficult it is to get up off of the floor after playing with the dog. Keep your doctors close, and for goodness sakes don’t move to a secluded log cabin 30 miles away from excellent healthcare. Like Judge Judy, I can’t stand a liar and anyone who says they are looking forward to menopause I imagine punching in the ovaries because that is what menopause feels like. I am no Judge Judy but I do have wisdom and knowledge from surviving years of ups and downs. You can’t get that from a little syringe of Botox. Aging sucks, dumb is forever. Please don’t forget it!