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Vanity Is Ageless

The WaPo notes that supermodels Kim Alexis and Beverly Johnson are holding a press conference at the National Press Club today to talk about the attitudes and spending habits of Baby Boomers. Now, like Americans of all ages, shapes, and sizes, I continue to find everything about Boomers infinitely fascinating--especially their propensity for navel-gazing. But here's what really caught my eye: Alexis and Johnson are using this event "to also promote their upcoming new reality TV series, 'She's Got the Look,' a kind of 'America's Next Top Model' for women older than 35." 

I realize that nothing about reality TV should surprise me anymore, but a modeling competition for women over 35 sounds truly depressing. Shouldn't women by that age have something in their lives to obsess about other than their looks?

This is not not to suggest that women in my age bracket don't care about their appearance. Hell, we all want to be pretty. And, truth be told, the onset of gray hair, crows feet, and other signs of aging can make a gal even more appearance conscious.

Still, there is something mildly disturbing about a fully functioning adult woman so wrapped up in her packaging that she wants to become a model--not an actress, not a pop star, not a go-go dancer, but a model--in her mid 30s or beyond. Who has time for that? More pointedly, who wants to own up to that level of arrested development on national TV?

Although, come to think of it, if I had spent the past few years toiling in the Bush Justice Department, I too might be desperate for a new career to make me feel better about myself.

--Michelle Cottle