women over 50

All posts tagged women over 50

It’s True, Some Gay Men Are Misogynist

Published February 25, 2019 by Maryanne

gay men hating women

I don’t remember my very first experience with a gay man, but in my younger day I do remember getting along great with gay men. So much so that one wanted to kiss me because he thought “women are beautiful.” He was so cute, he reminded me of Peter Burns before he got all the plastic surgery. We kissed and talked until the sun came up.

Because of him, I considered myself a supporter of the gay community. Plus the fact that one of my favorite entertainers, Freddie Mercury is gay. Living so close to NYC, I’ve known so many gay men in passing; some transvestites too. They were great and so much fun.

As I got older, I supported the gay community by attending Pride Parades in NYC, going to Wigstock, shedding a million big tears for transgender teens Matthew Shepherd and Brandon Teena, hanging out in gay bars, going to gay rights rallies, and being one of the first reporters to write about gay marriages.

The first time I ever heard anything negative from a gay man was when I worked with at a newsroom in NYC. He said loud enough for everyone in the office to hear, “I’m not attracted to women!”

Another man who was straight and misogynist laughed.

I found no humor in it. It wasn’t what the gay man said, but how he said it. He spoke his words harshly, as a put down to women.

I’ve also heard a gay man say the stereotypical line, “Vaginas are ugly.”

And another call a woman a “slut.”

If I dig deep enough into my brain, I’m sure I’d remember much more.

A few years ago I was getting my hair cut in a salon, by a woman, and a gay man (who also worked there as a stylist) was on an anti-woman rant. It was so pathetic and ignorant, I stopped going to the salon, even though the woman gave me a great cut.

Several months ago, I found myself in a situation where I had to work creatively with a gay man. This one had a reputation for being nasty to women. He belittles women and throws the F-bomb at them when he gets pissed. Over nothing of importance I might add, so I can’t imagine what he’d do in a real crisis!. He runs hot and cold which scared me because he was like a ticking time bomb; a real loose cannon. All the makings of a bully. Towards women only.

When I told my husband that this man used the F word towards me, my husband wanted to go talk to the gay man personally. “No one talks to my wife that way,” my super cool husband said in my defense.

The thing is, some gay men DO talk to straight woman that way. Just like some straight men are misogynist, some gay men are misogynist, especially if a woman isn’t up to his high standards. I mean, if you’re of a diva status like Cher, you’re in. But even if the gay man isn’t that attractive himself, he’ll stoop to the lowest level and trash on a woman he feels is “unattractive.”

Some gay men are both misogynist and ageist. I used to work in an editorial department with a gay man (who was in the closet). He harassed me on a regular basis. I asked a male co-worker, “What did I ever do to him?”

He said, “You turned 40.” (Funny thing, I looked him up on Facebook recently, and he looks older than I do–and I’m now 55 and he’s probably like 30-something! Heh. Karma’s an evil bitch, right?)

They thing is, women shouldn’t feel like they should be silenced because they fear they will piss off the gay community by speaking up. In all walks of life, there are assholes. And assholes should be called out for what they are — assholes. There are straight misogynist assholes. There are gay misogynist assholes. That is the truth. What is the demographic? I don’t know, but it’s certainly more than people want to admit because they are afraid if they speak out against the gay community they will be viewed as homophobic.

But ladies, please don’t be afraid. You know, in your heart you are NOT homophobic. So don’t let people pull that card on you for telling your truth. Just share eloquently as I am sharing, and the smart ones will understand. As for others who want to spew hate on your behalf and twist things around, you don’t need them anyway!

I’ll always view misogyny as vile no matter who is the one with the misogynist views — a straight man or a gay man. But if a misogynist crosses my path, I will NOT be silenced!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is the author of the memoir “I Don’t Want to Be Like You” which is about her experiences growing up being bullied. She now is putting adult bullies in their places and available for public speaking engagements! Links to the book are here: 

HGBM Store:  https://highergroundbooksandmedia.com/product/i-dont-want-to-be-like-you

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446696&sr=8-2&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta

Kindle:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07H6H4CY1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1536446756&sr=8-1&keywords=maryanne+christiano+mistretta+kindle 

Her next book, “Be (Extra) Ordinary: Ten Ways to Be Your Own Hero” will be out October 2019. Pre-order your copy today! https://kicamprojects.com/shop/be-extraordinary/

 

Older Women Look Younger Nowadays

Published December 2, 2018 by Maryanne

55 - 2

55 and proud of it! 

As a journalist, a few years I interviewed a grandmother who authored a book. She said she wrote the book because she was tired of grandmothers being portrayed as women with gray hair tied back in a bun. Those days are long gone, she believed. Her picture of a grandmother was modernized to represent her as a grandmother. This grandmother was a lady who was in shape, wore stylish clothes, and had long flowing dark hair.

Modern middle-aged women definitely have it going on. More so than generations before us. I can’t quite pinpoint why, but can only guess. Our stress factors are lower because we know how to take care of ourselves. We work hard, but we know when to take a “time out.” We treat ourselves by going to the spa, by taking time to relax and do creative things, and of course, retail therapy. We do it all, but we don’t forget to make ourselves a number one priority, therefore having the stamina to be able to give more of ourselves to others.

Even though I dye my hair, I can assure you that I have minimal grays. It’s not hereditary. My grandmother was gray young, and so was my mother.

The thing is, there is less tension in my life, as well as the lives of my peers. Because my generation has been independent — making our own money and marrying later in life — we end up with men because we truly love them, not because we need them. I’m proud to be a part of an age group that began the trend of marrying someone you could call your very best friend.

I’d also like to add, that by the time you are in your 40s and 50s, you know what looks good on you. You have the confidence you lacked in your 20s and 30s. You’ve experienced with different looks, changed your closet as your body changed, and now have a killer wardrobe, as well as great shoes. Maybe you now have a gut, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that you still have toned, rockin’ legs.

By doing more of what we want, dressing how we want, wearing our hair how we want,  by being with who we want to be with, and by surrounding ourselves with like-minded women with youthful spirit, the result is — YES, WE DO LOOK MUCH YOUNGER THAN WE ARE! And there should be nothing wrong with that.

However, lately I’ve been coming across some negative comments on articles about older women. Women of a certain age do not like that the models used in the articles are so “young looking.” They don’t feel these women represent their age bracket. But they DO!

Those who look their age or older are definitely in the minority. They can easily look younger with a good make-over, a little less stress in their lives, and giving themselves a little tender loving care.

If I’m making it sound “easy” well it’s not. I grew up during the 1980s and that meant that 25 was old. From that point, I took care of myself with the little info I had back then. I was into yoga from a young age. I stopped eating conventional meats. I avoided preservatives and additives 80 percent of the time (and still do, with cheats). And I realized from the time I started working that I’d always support myself and only marry if I was truly in love. But the biggest thing that makes me look younger, I think, is I do not smoke. Others are also giving up this stinky habit. And I’m a happy, non-gossipy person. Now people are finally realizing how ugly and stressful bad-mouthing can be. Smart women don’t do that; it’s actually frowned upon. It’s great because when we get together, we talk more about ideas and fun stuff in life. We aren’t bitter because we’re honestly in a happy place.

I’m sure other foxes over 40 and 50 will agree with most of what I am saying. Long gone are the Edith Bunker hairstyles for women our age. Long gone are the days of sneaking cigarettes when our husbands aren’t around because we don’t lie to our spouses, they accept us as we are. Long gone are the days of busting our asses cleaning the house. We either hire cleaning help or don’t mind a little mess. And long gone are the days of talking trash about other women — we are here to support each other!

So, next time you are reading an article about older women, and you think the model doesn’t look her age, think again. Most of us don’t! After all, pretty is as pretty does, and most of us are pretty darn awesome!

Maryanne Christiano Mistretta has authored four books and is working on her fifth. If you enjoyed this blog, you may love her fiction book “Love Cats” about love in the 1980s. It’s available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Love-Cats-Maryanne-Christiano-Mistretta-ebook/dp/B00YBGVJQS

She’s also a motivational speaker available for talks at schools, JCC’s, women’s clubs, rotary clubs, and corporations. Email her for pricing and availability at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com 

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adulthood

Published September 2, 2018 by Maryanne

DSCF2687.JPGSo this is 55?! (Photo taken on my 55th birthday) 

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is an author and a motivational speaker. Contact her at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

Thou Shalt Not Commit Adulthood

I grew up in a time where being “old” began as young as 22. In the 1980s when most of us started working, we were out of the house! No question about it. And if you weren’t married or engaged by 25 you were considered an old maid.

But now things have changed. People are living at home well into their 30s. Marrying later and having children even later. Or having children, then marrying. Even more inspiring are the women in their 70s, 80s, and 90s who are still modeling, dancing, and doing yoga! Don’t believe me? You’ll find them all on You Tube!

Therefore what was once considered “old” has changed.

I like to believe it was my generation that started the change. Everyone was getting married in their 20s, but I decided to wait. Nowadays women in their 50s and 60s who waited have the best relationships with their husbands or long term partners, saying things like, “I married my best friend” or “I met my soul mate.” Parties we throw are integrated with men and women mixing all over the house! But I’m sure we can remember our parents’ parties, segregated with men in the living room and women in the kitchen. Bah to that!

Even those of us who don’t get Botox (I don’t!) look younger than they are thanks to cool clothes and flattering hairstyles. Generation gaps are less “gappy” because we can be friends with women of all ages. I have female friends in their 20s, 30s, and 40s (all younger) as well as older women in their 60s and 70s!

We’re also more in tune with health and spirituality than previous generations, which also helps us to age better. Being in your 50s is a great time to be alive; I LOVE it!

Much younger people have told me I’m “stylish” and  I have “young energy.” I thought long and hard, why that is. Once I figured it out, I decided to make a list of Top Five Things Women Over 50 Should (or Shouldn’t) Do to Seem Younger.

Here’s what I came up with …

  1. Don’t Obsess Over Your Hair. I’ve noticed that the women in my own age bracket who look youngest don’t always have perfect hair. They don’t have hair that is all one color. They are more free-spirited with highlights, even with some gray peering through. They also tie their hair up in a bun, wear hats, ponytails, or braids. And they never use hairspray. I go by this too and I think this is just half the battle of having young energy.
  2. Don’t Obsess Over Your Weight. Over the past decade or so I’ve noticed a very sweet trend among younger women. They love each other just as they are! They tell each how beautiful they are and are oblivious to weight gain. Older women can learn a thing or two from these youngsters! I’m not saying run out and eat White Castles every day. What I am saying is don’t worry about your gut, your boobs, or your thighs. Once you reach 50, there’s no doubt that it is harder to stay at your perfect weight. So why not just embrace your weight gain? Most guys love those extra pounds anyway. Nothing says “What an old stick in the mud!” more than a woman who constantly bitches about her weight and fat-shames other women. Young women have evolved. They don’t shame each other or gossip about each other. Let’s evolve too and be friends; not beat each other up by being catty.
  3. Do Seek Out New Music. When people say there’s no good music around nowadays, I have to laugh. There’s a whole big wide world full of music and if you can’t find something good, maybe you just don’t like music! Instead of scrolling past things on your iPhone, why not stop at something your friend recommends? Sometimes I’ll post new music on Facebook and only one person actually listens to it. This is why you THINK there’s no good music, because you’re too damn lazy to seek it out! I’d challenge anyone on this, but haters can be so stubborn they will find something wrong with something new without giving it a chance. But trust me, if you liked Queen or The New York Dolls back in 1974, there are more than one indie band that sounds just like them. Young people groove on the retro and emulate the ground we grew up on. Don’t discount their ability to deliver!
  4. Do Give Compliments to Other Women. Back in the 1980s when I first started out in the workforce unfortunately people were still homophobic. I’ll never forget being nice and telling another girl her new hairstyle looked “cute.” Then she got all bent out of shape falsely assuming I was hitting on her. (Wow, how self-absorbed was that?!) Thank GODDESS times have changed! Young women of today are extremely supportive of each other and that is acceptable. They are generous with hugs and even hand-holding. Inspired by young women, I do all this with my middle-aged female friends. Why? It’s sweet, it’s fun, and it means we are warm people. We tell each other how beautiful we are and we say “I love you” to each other. Gone are the days, at least in my world, where women are at each other’s throats and giving each other the jealous green-eye. Young girls are kind and sweet. If you smile at a young girl, you’re much more likely to get a smile back than if you smile at a middle-aged woman. Ladies in my age bracket (and a little younger and a little older — you know who you are!) let’s change all that! If there’s one thing the younger generation can teach us is how to be more loving towards each other. Love, love, LOVE!
  5. Thou Shalt Not Commit Adulthood. Since I first became really old, at the age of 30, my motto was “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adulthood.” I continued to challenge myself, talk to younger people, do fun things, not worry what others thought about me, dress the way I liked, speak my mind, and so on.  I sing. I act silly. I pose for photographs with toys and on children’s rides at amusement parks. My goal for each day is to do something fun that I could tell my grandchildren (if I had any!) This is the biggest rule of all when you want to stay young at heart!

Mentions in “Model Mayhem” and “The Italy Daily”

Published April 3, 2015 by Maryanne

Maryanne by Steven RedfernMaryanne Christiano-Mistretta (photo by Steven Redfearn)

It’s always cool to log on the computer first thing in the morning and see that others are digging what you’re doing.

First, I was thrilled to go on my Twitter page and see that The Italy Daily (http://paper.li/GoodBlogPosts46/1318252792?edition_id=8ddff650-d99f-11e4-b0cf-002590a5ba2d) shared, in their Arts & Entertainment section, my WordPress blog about my lecture “Italian American Food Family & Community” at the Carlstadt Library, Carlstadt New Jersey: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/italian-american-food-family-and-community-at-carlstadt-public-library/

I immediately signed up for updates! Oh, the food on this page is to die for!

Next, I was equally as excited to see that my picture on Model Mayhem was put in the “Killer Mature Models” section: http://www.modelmayhem.com/list/3457

I dabbled in glamor modeling since my 20s. Glamor modeling means you don’t have to be super tall or super skinny. In my 20s to early 40s I modeled swimwear and lingerie — also ice skating outfits and a guitar ad.

SAM_2786Me, in an ad for Guitar Giveaway at Long & McQuade Music, circa 1992

Now at 51, I decided to put my profile up on Model Mayhem and see what kind of results I’d get. This was two days ago and I’m getting some great response already! I am so honored to be a part of Model Mayhem! My goal is to illustrate to all women that life just keeps getting better! We have no expiration dates on us (as you can see, checking out the other lovely Killer Mature Models on that link!) And to work with some awesome photographs, continuing to make great pictorial art!

So my shout outs for today are to the Italian Community and all ladies over 40! Stay busy and happy!

SAM_6498My favorite picture at 51 so far, taken in December!