The Young Leslie Mann
I love the movie Funny People. It was widely panned and I’m not an Adam Sandler fan at all, but I really enjoyed this Judd Apatow effort. Why would you feel sympathy for someone who is rich beyond measure, gets any girl he wants and has wide influence in Hollywood? (And not for reasons that are fair: he is a wretched, lowest common denominator comedian whose act is stale and sappy.) And yet, Adam Sandler is convincing as the miserable superstar who is functionally incapable of living a normal life and connecting with anyone on a human level. He’s the most successful failure you’ve ever seen.
In my favorite scene, the woman he has always loved confronts him about his choices and asks him so plaintively: “Why did you cheat on me? I was so HOT.” She was (as her promo reel later shows) and is incredibly attractive. But “hot” I believe means something else here. It means she was the whole package: at the top of her game professionally, a devoted partner to him, a kind person. I wonder if Leslie Mann, the actress in this scene, imbues the word “hot” with so much meaning because in Hollywood, women in their early 20s ARE hot. She probably knows this personally: she had a thriving career as an ingenue in movies like George of the Jungle and The Cable Guy in her twenties. But, there’s nowhere to go but down after 30 for women stars, with rare exception. (Meryl Streep, Helen Mirren, Halle Berry seem to be thriving post-40.) In a box office dominated by teen boys, Victoria Secret models with scrunched-up faces are preferred.
Click here for the scene: I used to be so hot.
Why am I thinking about this? Well, first there was this Huffington Post article about Moms not being in the picture. (They’d rather take photos of their kids because they think they look bad.) There was a cool, coordinated PAIL response, with lots of moms purposefully taking photos of themselves with their kids. Then, Loribeth wrote a really interesting post about how women in general stay out of the frame and turn into documentarians as they age, whether they are mothers or not. I think this is true. I’ve not taken so many photos of myself lately. I’m glad Darcy captured these on Saturday. I do weigh 10 more pounds than I did when I was “so hot.” (Which, I was smokin’ if I do say so myself. Not Leslie Mann levels, but enough.) But, I looked pretty decent. Better than I thought I would.
10 pounds ago (and a few years ago)
My favorite photo of my grandmother is a shot of her when she was in her 60s. She was wearing her beloved pearls, a beautiful dress, sunglasses and pink lipstick. She was on vacation, and at a baseball game (she lived for America’s past-time) and she looks marvelously beautiful. And more importantly, happy.
So I say: whether you are a mom or not a mom, a young woman or a more mature lady, not at your finest or at your peak, pregnant, just had a miscarriage, trying to lose weight: document your life. You matter. And please: feel free to link to a recent photo of you in the comments section, a photo where you look and feel strong. I know you have at least one. And Esperanza and Bodega: fair warning. If you don’t link, I will. I have a great photo of us ALL and I am not afraid to use it