In this month’s issue of one of the magazines I receive, there are short profiles of the winners of a contest for beautiful “real” women over a certain age. Yes, the women are pretty enough to be models. And yes, they each have some sort of story to tell. One was an attorney who re-invented herself by making a career change to run a private foundation for underprivileged families, and had experts give her a make-over for a new look. Another is an actress who split up with her husband, is about to leave on a “self –renewal” trip to Madrid, Rome & Tuscany, and once a year has Botox done on her frown line.
These women deserve to win this particular contest — they are pretty extraordinary…but unrealistic. Once again, I was left with the feeling that the magazine was missing the point behind being a truly “real woman”. Where are the accolades & awards for the women we all know in our daily lives who are amazing for all that they do and for who they are? Where is the recognition for those of us who accomplish a pretty unbelievable number of tasks, still manage to look great, and yet will most likely never be able to leave our current jobs to manage a private foundation, take a European “self-renewal” trip, nor would ever spend the money to have annual Botox treatments?
In just the blink of an eye, I can think of so many outstanding women I am lucky to know and be in contact with in my day-to-day real life. There is the one who manages a busy household with two boys, her live-in mother-in-law with health issues, a full-time job, and who finds time daily to exercise to improve her health, and coaches for her sons’ basketball team… Or how about the R.W. who lost her job around the same time that her husband left, yet she managed to job hunt, take care of her aging mother, keep a roof over her head, land a new job and still keep her sense of humor? Then there is the beautiful R.W. who won her battle with breast cancer while balancing issues at home with her family, and kept her full-time job during a major company reorganization. Or think of any of the other Real Women you know, like the single mom working hard to provide for her family, the entrepreneur who struggles to pay the bills but still finds time to volunteer to help those less fortunate, and the list goes on and on.
Then let’s give a nod to the sizes, shapes and styles we all come in – that aren’t 5’ 9” and 120 pounds. How about the plus-size woman who is gorgeous and incredibly fun to be around? Or the R.W. who is so small she has to shop in children’s departments? There’s that extremely thin friend who put on 20 pounds because she quit smoking, and of course the many of us battling menopausal pudge by exercising as often as we can wedge it into our busy schedules.
These women, and so many more, are incredible, strong, beautiful and unrecognized for their daily “amazingness.” Isn’t it about time we salute the truly Real Women in our lives? Don’t they all deserve to be on the cover of a magazine with an award in hand? Someday I hope to publish just such a magazine. Each month I would profile another very real woman who is a true winner for being exactly who she is.
But in the meantime, I say THANK YOU to all of you for being Super Woman to the people in your life, and for just plain being fabulous. I’m honored to know you.