Martha, Martha, Martha, did you really have to pose in a skimpy bathing suit for the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 81? Isn’t it enough to know how to fold fitted sheets into a neat square, make a perfect cherry pie and set a table fit for Louis the XIV while getting rich promoting your brand? Why is looking perky at 81, and showing off unclothed body parts (albeit in discreet glimpses) something anyone would want to do at your age?
You know you’re only going to make the rest of us old ladies--wrinkly, saggy, non-botoxed and non-plumped with fillers--feel inadequate.
I was on your side when you went to jail for insider trading which shouldn’t be a crime anyway because of course rich people give each other stock tips. And they only picked on you because you were female and an easy target.
I was on your side when you started your own line of affordable household goods. I even bought some of them because I knew if you endorsed them they’d be really nice. Unfortunately they disappeared from stores quickly, I’m not sure why. A fight with Macy’s was it?
I was on your side when I watched you cook, wishing I could make a souffle or pot pie so effortlessly—or at all. But your soothing voice, encouraging me to give it a try, was motivating. Maybe I really could arrange flowers to look like they grew out of the table and arrange place settings where there were more than one fork and spoon. When it seemed like too much trouble, which was always, I’d just watch you do it on TV.
You were always a bit of a regressive figure feminism-wise because you made your millions promoting activities we feminists thought was women’s work, such as cooking, baking and decorating. Of course you were also running the show, which was men’s work, but you never bragged about it—or even let on that you were doing it.
Your unflappable façade never faltered. Even when in prison you made apple jelly out of apples you picked on the prison grounds, experimented with microwave recipes and lost weight doing yoga.
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The one aspect of your life that always bothered you was not being “hot.” You were miffed that the photographers didn’t hit on you when you were a model and, as you told People mag "I didn't know that I was beautiful. That was my only problem. I was not sexy, and I was not provocative. That feeling never came. "
So there it is, you finally got to feel hot at 81.
I find this a tad pitiful. It makes you a lousy role model to the rest of us old ladies who thought we could give up the perennial battle to be sex objects at some point. Maybe when we’re dead.
Hotness at 80 is exhausting (all that makeup and pilates) expensive (all that surgery and fillers) and faintly ridiculous. We might once have aspired to make the perfect dinner party for twenty without breaking a sweat like you, but this is a bridge too far.
Enjoy your late life fantasy fulfillment! Go ahead and be sexy at 81—just don’t expect us to admire you for it.
I actually think it’s cool that Sports Illustrated put an 81 year old woman on the cover. Yes I know she’s an exercise fanatic and she’s had work done but so what? She looks good.
Unlike Martha, I was hot when I was young and I knew it and enjoyed it.
Now that I'm 68, I'm not hot and I know that and am enjoying that too.