What's the secret? One thing we know is that these contemporary actresses are taking very good care of themselves. In fact, American women in general are taking advantage of a physical youthfulness that has been biologically possible for a long time. And they don't want to sink into the "Age fifty plus spends her life in the doctor's office" syndrome.
We're on the side of looking good at any age. We believe there is such a thing as healthy vanity. Wanting to look and feel beautiful is a woman's right. Some women have defensively embraced the idea of an old age with wrinkles and without sex. That's certainly an option. But any expectation you may have that after fifty you will turn into an old woman sitting on a park bench talking about her ailments is the function of an acculturated image. It doesn't have to be that way.
But the first step in taking full charge of your "second spring" is getting on good terms with your hormones--that is, understanding how they work in your body, and what you need to do to keep them balanced--and most important, learning how the plant-based diets and herbal medicines have supported human life for millions of years and are crucial to the well-being of women.
1. Egon Diczfalusy, "The Early History of Estriol," Journal of Steroid Biochemistry 20, no. 48, 945.
2. Alvin H. Follingstad, "Estriol, the forgotten estrogen?" Journal of the American Medical Association 239, no. 1 (January 2, 1978): 29-30.
3. B. Sherwin and L. Kampen, "Estrogen Use and Verbal Memory in Healthy Post-Menopausal Women," Obstetrics and Gynecology 83, no. 6 (June 1994): 979-83.
4. Reuters news release, November 5, 1996. Premarin described as "most widely prescribed drug in the U.S."
5. Sheehy, The Silent Passage, 207-8.
6. Herman Aldercreutz, et al., "Dietary Phyto-estrogens and the menopause in Japan" (letter) Lancet 339 (1992): 1233.
7. Margaret Lock, "Contested meanings of the menopause," Lancet, May 25, 1991, referring to K. M. Weiss, "Evolutionary Perspectives on Aging," in Other Ways of Growing Old, P. T. Amoss and S. Harrell, eds. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1981), 25-28.
8. Jeanne Louise Calment, born February 2, 1875, living in Arles, France.
9. Honora E. Wolfe, Menopause: A Second Spring (Boulder, CO: Blue Poppy Press, 1993), 26-28.