We Hear You, Part I for the September Issue

Readers respond to the September issue.

By the MORE.com editors

You Got a Friend
The “Friends Interrupted” article about old and new friends had me thinking about all the wonderful women in my life. From my mother, who has always been one of my best friends, to the woman who I have been fortunate to call friend and sister (from another family) since the age of six, plus the friends I made in graduate school over the last three years, they are all near and dear to my heart.
I have a feeling that I will be making lots of phone calls in the next couple of days! Thanks for bringing friendship into focus and reminding us all how very important our girlfriends are!
Lynn Gagne
San Diego, CA

Gray Debate
When I received my September issue, I spied the cover teaser “Is Your Hair Color Aging You?” and decided to flip to it immediately.
I’m immediately drawn to the color wheel showing celebrity hair colors. I note that Emmy Lou’s  is the only one strikingly void of shine and embarrassingly unattractive, compared to the other silky offerings. While Emmy Lou has a beautiful full head of glorious gray hair, you’ve selected the most unflattering photo for the gray hair section of the color wheel. Plus, your sub-headline reads “simple solutions, return to your roots (not the gray ones).” You made your point.  Gray is bad, and color is good! 
I’m 62 years old and have a full head of (what I’m told) is beautiful gray hair. I’ve been gray for over a decade.  I continue to be disappointed in those who have a forum to reach women continue to weigh in only on the "gotta dye your hair" bandwagon. My hair color IS flattering to my face. I never received compliments on my hair all the years before I went gray. I’m always pleasantly surprised when friends and strangers compliment me on my hair now.
The cosmetic industry’s advertising and American society has truly brainwashed
women into believing they can never give up coloring their hair without being pitied, 
or dismissed as old, haggard, dull and unattractive. While I heartily agree with points
made in the article regarding choosing colors most reminiscent of your childhood color; the message is still painfully the same sorry old song that you won’t look young, or attractive, without coloring your hair once those gray hairs start appearing. 
But those of us proudly displaying our old gray heads need your help in finding products to help keep the yellow out, and to make our hair more porous, manageable and shiny!  Here’s your opportunity to celebrate great numbers of us who still look pretty darn good at our age and are desperate to find products specific for our gray hair. 
Advertising revenue is the lifeblood of publications, but so are your consumers and we are tired of being overlooked! And I consider myself to be one of those "women of style and substance" your magazine banner claims to celebrate. 
Linda P. Ferguson
Savannah, GA

A Vote For Gastric Surgery
I just read Roni Caryn Rabin’s story “The Miracle Bonus of Weight-Loss Surgery” and I can relate to her experience. In 2001, I had gastric bypass surgery after I hit my all time high weight of 305. But, now my weight varies between 160-165. I am not skinny nor do I want to be. I finally figured I either needed a size 12 foot or a size 12 butt because my joints were killing me, and I could no longer bear all that weight. So, I decided on surgery, and the result is I am finally a size 12.
The whole trick to the surgery is a mind thing. Your body will adjust and you will learn not to eat ice cream, or pancake syrup, or lots of sugary things because you will pay for it, although, I do still occasionally have something sweet, but not often. Too much and I am paying for it later. I was one of the lucky ones, as my blood pressure and sugar had not been affected by my weight but I am sure it was only a matter of time. The only real negative drawback I have gone through is the hanging skin, which did cause major issues. I finally had most of the skin removed two years ago in Costa Rica by a private plastic surgeon. 
 I am glad I had the gastric bypass because I know I will live a longer, healthier life. At 56, I not only look great, but I feel great.
Debbie Dunn

Business Owner Bites Back
After reading your article “Attack of the Woman-Dominated Workplace” by Jennifer Braunschweiger, I have to ask what planet is she living on?  I am a woman who has owned and operated a manufacturing plant for a little more than 20 years. Jennifer is advocating adding yet another burdensome government regulation (The Healthy Families Act). Do you think we business owners aren’t smart enough to figure out that if we want good employees, we have to be good employers?
Jennifer evidently has no idea that business owners have to balance the needs of their customers with the needs of their employees every single day.  This economy has impacted the vast majority of businesses.  Has Jennifer seen the incredible glut of empty commercial space lately?  Consumers are buying less, so retailers are buying less, so manufacturers are selling less.  We are all trying to survive until hopefully a healthy economy returns.  The last thing we need right now is one more regulation!
I should point out that what works at one company doesn’t work at all companies.  Working at home from your computer is great, but try manufacturing products, boxing them and palletizing them from your computer. It doesn’t work. But there are other benefits that can make up for actually having to come to work. For example, having extremely generous paid vacation time that can be taken as a combination of sick time, family leave, vacation time, or cash.
I do not want some government bureaucrat who has never run anything dictating a policy that will not work well in my company.
Kim Peacock

Adopting From Africa
I’ve been reading Joyce Maynard’s words for years and I became teary-eyed when reading “Adopting at 55.” The girls losing their mom, dancing, and their happiness with the simple things like sparkly nail polish. In America we take our lives for granted sometimes and reading the article made me think about the things I’m thankful for.
Kathy Gipson
Chester, CA

While I applaud the compassion and dedication shown by Joyce Maynard in her decision to adopt two Ethiopian sisters in her memoir "Adopting at 55," it saddens me that Ms. Maynard apparently never considered adopting one or more of the thousands of children who languish right here at home in U.S. foster care and institutions. Many of these American children are minorities from difficult or disadvantaged backgrounds, and part of sibling groups who want to stay together, just like Almaz and Birtukan.
For some time, the shortage of healthy white babies in the U.S. has impelled prospective parents to search abroad for their newborn son or daughter. Plus, even those who want older children seem to prefer adopting from other countries. Maybe it’s the sometimes onerous U.S. adoption laws and paperwork; maybe it’s a trend given momentum by celebrities such as Madonna and Angelina; or maybe it stems from middle-class guilt about our comfortable American lives versus those of children in third-world countries. But no matter what the reason, it is disappointing that the majority of older children in the foster care system will never find a permanent, loving adoptive home like the one created by Ms. Maynard for her new daughters.
Keri Weaver
Poulsbo, WA

Fair to Farmers?
There is so much that I enjoy about your magazine. For example, the Christiane Amanpour interview and the book reviews among other articles–but I was disappointed and saddened after reading “The Corn Fed Toxic Avenger [More Now].  As a 60-plus woman, I have been in the professional world, but I’m now working fulltime with my family dairy farm/ice cream/milk bottling business. The tone of the article reminded me of the sort of thinking which promotes such attitudes as "all Muslims are terrorists" and "all Germans during WWII must have been Nazis."  Your piece did a great disservice to all the family farmers out there, some of which are CAFOs, who work hard every day to ensure that their manure is handled properly, recycled and used as fertilizer, so they don’t have to use commercial fertilizers. I guess I expected “more” from you.
Phyllis Kilby
Colora, MD

Cover Conundrum
As a woman of color over 40, I have loved reading your magazine and have been inspired by your fashion features, and interesting articles on health, wealth, family, and career. In fact, your past story about a woman who went to medical school at 50 partly encouraged me to enroll in law school at 40­ (and I graduated last year).  I have also enjoyed seeing many of my favorite actresses and celebrities on the cover— Kyra Sedgwick, Diane Keaton, and Katie Couric.  The monthly editorial from Lesley Jane Seymour is refreshingly honest and the redesigned look seems in step with modern women over 40.  So what’s the problem?
With the exception of Angela Bassett, Anne Curry, and Michelle Obama, I can’t recall seeing a woman of color on the cover of MORE.  On a fairly regular basis there are women of color featured in the magazine, but rarely is one front and center on the cover. Why is that?  Aren’t there any Latino, Asian, or African-American women celebrities and personalities who have something meaningful to share with your readers?  Are white women and in particular Jamie Lee Curtis (who has appeared on the cover more times than I can count) the only women with interesting life stories of triumph, self-discovery, or humor?  I don’t believe that to be the case.  There are women over 40 in every hue, shape and size who have lived full, rich lives and who have thoughts to share.
Before I cancel my subscription and cease recommending your magazine as a must-read for my over-40 friends (who are from various races and ethnicities), I am asking that you consider broadening the scope when selecting a woman for your cover. Some suggestions for future covers are: Lucy Liu, Salma Hayek, Ruby Dee, Alfre Woodard, Vanessa Williams, Khandi Alexander, Veronica Webb, Iman, Rosie Perez, or Debbie Allen.  These are only a handful of the beautiful women of color whom I would imagine have something to contribute to the conversation about how fabulous life is after 40.
R. Jackson
Memphis, Tennessee

She’s a Believer
I knew I hadn’t subscribed to MORE, so when I received the September issue with a subscription invoice attached, I was about to toss it into the recycle bin. Then I noticed the picture of Laura Linney on the cover and I thought hmm… a person who has just started a new show, which I happen to like!
I saw the editor’s letter “Can Friendship Last Forever?”  How novel–a second hmm.  An article about friendship, and not love or sex. Since the letter was so interesting, I decided to keep looking. I read the book reviews, looked at some advertising, Christiane Amanpour’s interview and then I read the attitude article “How He Found Me” by Delia Ephron.  I was intrigued by the way Delia drew out the story from Susan and the way that Susan told it so matter-of-factly, with heartfelt remembrances. Of course that got me to thinking about some of my stories, the paths we all choose and the memories we make! It was such an enjoyable article.
I had the renewal form already in the envelope with “cancel” written across the invoice. I remember reading the offer, which was to subscribe for $19.97 and I could send a gift subscription to a friend.  It was then I realized that this is probably how I came to get this wonderful magazine! I have some really great friends and whomever it was, must have enjoyed your magazine as much as I have.
And of course, I’m not going to send the cancellation!
Christina Bushman
Oklahoma City, OK

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First Published Mon, 2010-08-30 13:53

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