We Hear You! Letters from Our May 2012 Issue

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MORE • Editors
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Loved the truth in your letter from the editor in the May 2012 issue. As I struggle with my chronological age, staying fit, deciding whether it is time for Botox, negotiating terms with a soon to be ex husband, saving for my children's education and my retirement simultaneously, wondering in this economy when and if I will retire, feeling both the best in my life and at times the most conflicted I thank the good Lord I am a woman! I am capable, confident and empathetic. I do like being more emotionally "fit" but am also going to keep applying eye cream so I can give the young ones a run for their money. Please keep showing all perspectives. I continue to strive to be evolved and wise and sexy as hell! Love your magazine!

Re: Clothing That Hides Belly Fat Article by Leslie Kenedy

Let's get real, More.com! It's hard enough when you can't wear the gorgeous outfits that most magazine models wear. But then the headline of a story reads finding clothing that hides belly fat. But check out the models sporting the clothing! SKINNY! Come on, More.com. Give us a little hope. I know there are beautiful models out there that can show us clothes that we can feel pretty in. It's insulting to use the skinny models that have NO FAT for this article.

Give us hope,
Gina Castro

I had picked up your magazine occasionally through the years at the Naturopath's office, admiring the "over 40" slant and bought the May issue expecting to subscribe. I'm sorry, but it won't be happening this month. Not even half way through the magazine, I gave up.

What's with the Notebook piece on "Lady Killers", with the newly divorced imagining their ex husbands on the shooting range target? Imagine it appearing in reverse in a men's magazine? At the age of 56, I have matured from a feminist to a humanist, angry sexism is passé. "Stray Goat or Hag Hairs"? What? How about just "banishing unwanted hair"?

The magazine is packed with negative depictions of those very women whom I presume are your target market. It's full of emphasized fear of aging, getting fat, and having wrinkles. By the time I got to page 58 and the chapter on "How NOT to look old this summer", I was done. Could it be too difficult to re-title the chapter "Looking Great This Summer"? Perhaps later articles were better, but the magazine was in the recycle bin.

The editor "Thrills to find a treatment to erase sunspots". Apparently, any sign of age is a horrendous failure. Face cream is just a "thing", like toothpaste. I get my "thrills" from family, career, friends, driving fast sports cars and my diverse interests. Ageism is perseveres through the negative words you chose for your headlines.

So, I'll continue to enjoy Vogue, In Style and Vanity Fair, for their witty writing, fabulous fashions and forward thinking, and leave More alone with its tiny size and even tinier content. The premise is good. The results are not. I hope the magazine improves before it disappears completely.

All the best,
Taimi Dunn Gorman

I am 74 yrs. young and a widow for ten years, 5 children (though I lost my youngest when she was 30) and 9 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren. I live in dry and sunny Colorado Springs and though I have many invitations to live in Texas, where all my family is, no thank you, because I am so happy in this climate which allows me to be outside all year around. I am blessed with a mother who had good genes and never really aged or got the dreaded gray hair. I walk at the local lake daily as I have for 30 years now, and dearly love all the people I come in contact with. I meet men of all ages, have no interest in dating, but am approached by men of all ages, and personality means so much more to me than their age. Older ones my age or above, don't know what to make of me, because I am so happy and playful, never acting my age. I stay away from the Senior center, but to volunteer, and try to get them out of their "oh whoa is me" moods. I eat and live healthy and take no meds, and just continue to love life and people. My wardrobe is very general and comfortable for outside walking and working in the yard. I have no interest in dating young men, though they do, me! I have an older man, 75 yrs. old who I know from long ago college days coming to live with me, who has so much more experience, knowledge and mental and physical vitality than any younger men I know. He is still running his own business in NYC. If woman would learn to be happy with themselves, and just live life to the best of their abilities and forget younger men, they will be much more content. I enjoy your magazine "More",but my budget keeps me from the many makeup's and clothing advertised. I never leave the house without protective make-up and always wear stylish hats with protective brims when I am outside. No, I never use sun screen, it's not safe or healthy. I have a feeling that when my 75 year, young/old man gets here he will look at the fashions in your magazine and want to take me shopping, and for sure my wardrobe needs help. :) Blessings to all you younger and hard working young woman. I did have my own business at one time, but now being one of the happy people out there, is my business. I walk 3 miles a day. every day! Being honest, I look least 25 year younger, so men tell me, than I am, but still have no interest in younger men. I was a jogger until I reached 65. Tell all these so called older women to learn to be happy with who they are on the inside and it begins to show on the outside.

Chelsea Handler is not "naughty but nice." She attracts attention by acting rude, crude and immoral--not a role model I want for my granddaughter. Please cancel my subscription to More. Thanks.
--Ann Borger, Fishers, IN

I am 44 and for the past 4 years I have read every issue of More magazine. I think the articles on career, health, fashion, global issues and politics are researched well and informative. So much in them has helped my business and personal life.

I do find a liberal political bias in general in your articles. I never see features on Liz Cheney, Laura Ingram, Condoleezza Rice, or heaven forbid, Ann Coulter. These are strong, successful women who worked hard for their achievements and may not have liberal beliefs but they are brave women nevertheless.

I did appreciate the mention of Julianne Moore supporting Planned Parenthood. That was to be expected. Planned Parenthood purports to "help" women but does abort female babies so I don't think that helps the woman's cause at all. Its founder was a a racist so how can anyone support this organization in good conscience? If you don't believe this, have someone on your research staff do the research on Margaret Sanger's writings and what she thought about the black race.Then have them see how many black children are aborted in comparison to Caucasian children by Planned Parenthood. The Centers for Disease Control has the official statistics.

Thank you for your time,
Mary Beth Burke

I have been a big fan of your publication for many years now. I like how it targets women of my genre, but is still stylish. I am a 52 year old freelance makeup artist, I work for a few upscale lines, mainly BB and Chanel. Of course, skin is very important to me as an artist, I believe the makeup will only look as good as the canvas it is put upon. This being said, I gravitate towards skin care articles first and was eager to learn the "#1 skin care trick I haven't tried."
It was disappointing to read it was all about lasers, especially since, a) that is nothing new, laser technology has been around forever, and b) to have it about Dr. Brandt's practice, since he looks like a wax dummy, with all the plastic surgery procedures he has had! While you are one of the lucky few to have gotten it for gratis, since you wrote an article about his office, how about teaching the masses a real skin care trick, that the majority of women can afford? Not everyone has 800. to spend on skin care treatments.

I think this article was an oversight on your part. Please think twice about your audience and those who support your magazine. Thanks...
--Yvonne Hogue, New Jersey

Every month I am inspired and motivated by your insightful magazine. However, in the May 2012 issue you really missed the mark with the article “Broke But Not Broken”. From beginning to end I found that it completely misrepresented the reality of what the overwhelming majority of women are really living. Working mothers today do what they need to do to keep food on the table. We travel by bus train or car an hour or more to that "grueling menial" job to support our family. That job is a godsend and we appreciate the opportunity for work, no matter what the position. To help in hard times, working moms apply for assistance such as the mentioned food stamps when needed. Food stamps are for those in dire need when there are no options or all options have been exhausted. A reason, such as the author writes, as not wanting to be inconvenienced to travel by bus for one hour to work does not warrant food stamps. I can honestly say that I, like many working mothers, crave that creative outlet. We need it. It feeds our soul but we do not let our family suffer by our selfish desires. We find time after our kids are safely in bed, or in school or even taking advantage of that bus ride to write, knit, design and create. As a woman who struggled to have children my fantasy was to become a mom and have a family of my own. Now that the dream has come true, I will not put anything before my family and I will do what I need to do to support them. I do not see the author as being the poster child of the recession. That article is not the face of reality. You may argue that there are two sides to a coin but in these hard economic times there is only one side - the real one.

Yolanda B., Sacramento County, CA

This is my first copy of More and if your letter from the editor reflects your magazine, then I'm already a fan. I am 43 and happier with my life and my body than I ever have been and I cherish the experiences that have brought me to this point. That being said, there is nothing wrong with looking and feeling as good as possible. I am not in search of eternal youth, we all know that "youth is wasted on the young", but I will actively (without invasively) do all I can to be all that I can. Life is too short not to.

I got my May issue of More magazine with Chelsea Handler on the cover. I have never heard of Chelsea Handler, and she doesn’t look like anyone I want to read about. After seeing some reader comments on the More website, I am confirmed in that opinion.

Why not profile Vanna White? Ms. White has survived decades on a daily TV show, where many others have been replaced with younger women. I recently saw Vanna in person when Wheel of Fortune came to Portland. I think she’s great!

Also, I’d love to see more articles on coping with retirement.
--Margaret McGilvra, Portland, OR

I read with great interest your editorial about the "joys and freedoms of maturity" and Anna Quindlen's piece on aging gratefully. Coincidentally, I've been reading quite a bit recently about women's three "ages" in life and an ancient concept referred as the Three Goddesses -- maiden, mother, and crone. Crone is not a pejorative term, but rather in its ancient meaning simply meant a woman who had the gift of time and thus knowledge, things the maiden and mother have not yet acquired. From what I'm reading, there is a small, quiet movement afoot to return to ancient practices of celebrating each of these ages of a woman's life, including "croning ceremonies" that are held either when a woman reaches the age of 50 and/or when she is menopausal. Considering your audience for More, that might be an interesting topic for an article. I'm just saying. : )
--Eileen Drust

My name is Elaine Morgan from Marietta, GA (a suburb of Atlanta).

I read most of the May issue while treating myself to a Saturday morning pedicure after an hour in the gym. I tabbed more pages in this issue than probably any issue in the past.

Yet, one item turned my blood cold and seemed inherently wrong for MORE to highlight. On page 17 in the "Notebook" section was a reference to a Nevada shooting range that encourages newly divorced women to imagine their ex- husband's face on the target. More's editorial in-the-margins comment of "Now that's what we call a parting shot!" was absolutely unacceptable. There were 7 items on the page, yet this was the only one with an editorial comment. If the genders were reversed and this comment appeared in a men's magazine, the outrage would be extensive and rightly so. Yet More has chosen to make light of this, even placing an exclamation point at the end. Intentional, or even imagined violence against another is not what we are called to do in this world.

Please do not let your standards slip so low in future issues. The stories of strong women who give to this world, and who have survived tragedies, and who change their lives and those around them are why we read More. Remember your own headline regarding "women of style and substance". It's not "angry women wanting revenge."

All the best,
Elaine Morgan, Marietta, GA

I am 55 and received my first issue this month. The May 2012 issue of MORE was just totally relevant! I shared it with my 25 year old daughter and we agreed the articles were ALL on point! My granddaughter Laylah is 5 and she saw the magazine sitting on the table and asked what does MORE mean? I told her the definition and she came up with this : You are more when you share giant size...to have more you must began with something. I also thought up an acronym, "Desire to see more, do more, Have more love, peace, wisdom, empathy, wisdom and self knowledge. MORE - Making Our Reality Epic! Thanks and continue the great work.
--Sharon Richmond, Bolingbrook, IL

I agree wholeheartedly that we are only midway to acceptance of growing older. Emotionally, I'm the best I have ever been: proud of my journey in life so far but constantly doing self-talk about the effects of aging on my face, body and hair. My mantra has been to look the best I can for my age.

I love your magazine! I am 55 and still in great shape.

I was reading the issue about fearless women and thinking about gifting subscriptions to my sister, niece and friends as the new Ms. And then I read about your treatments. How old can you be? Do you really want young white women to think they can sun and play and it can all be fixed for a few thousand? "Worth every penny"?

How about spending a few thousand to help people who have bigger worries than how "old" the results of their ignorant youth makes them look? I will not be picking up any more copies of this magazine.
--Linda Cromartie

Perhaps Anne-Christine Strugnell would have had an easier time with her stepdaughter if she had demonstrated an ounce of compassion, empathy or even interest in Cassie. Her approach to stepparenting appears to be modeled on the wicked stepmother in Cinderella. An 11-year-old girl is looking for a role model, not a cold, judgmental, selfish woman who is poised to complain about everything. Possibly, if Strugnell ever thought of anyone other than herself and how put upon she was by Cassie’s presence, she might have been able to appreciate Cassie. Including Cassie in her walks with the dog instead of trying to escape from the child would have been an easy start.
--Marybeth Kass

I thought that Anne-Christine Strugnell was far more tolerant than I could have been in the same situation (“Stepdog”), and I give her credit. However, I detected yet another significant message in her story: the importance of teaching children responsibility for their pets. Far too often, adults permit youngsters to acquire animals that become unfortunate victims of neglect.

It's a shame that young Cassie didn't exhibit the same compassion toward her dog, Roxy, that she herself received from Ms. Strugnell. It's up to us, the adults and role models, to teach future generations about relationships and caring about others—whether they be humans or the innocent animal beings that depend on us.

Good work, More, for including thought-provoking articles such as this one.
--Annoula Wylderich

Love, Love, Love, your "letter from the editor" article in the May 2012 issue. So well said . . . Thank you.
--Renee Jones

Upon finishing the Anna Quindlen piece, I said (to myself), Bravo. Lesley, we may never achieve total acceptance on aging, but the day your magazine has the courage to put Anna Quindlen on the cover and not Chelsea Handler (really? Chelsea Handler?), we'll all be a bit closer.
--L. Fontana

Dear Ms. Seymour:

It struck me as ironic that in the middle of an article celebrating women's courage ("The Fierce List"), you praise actress Laura Dern by saying she has balls. Women don't have balls—and we don't need them. Implying, even tongue-in-cheek, that courage comes from body parts that only men are born with sends the message that women aren't inherently brave. If you want to use a visceral term, why not "guts"? It's punchy and gender free. (And don't get me started on women telling other women to "grow a pair" or "man up"!) Thanks very much for listening.
--Eleanor McNamara

Hi, Lesley,

Love MORE!!! I’m sorry I tried to submit this at more.com/aging but couldn't figure it out. My thoughts about wrinkles and sunspots do not match the measures I take to diminish them. When I see a woman my age (45) or older who has clearly had no work done, I immediately like her. Her wrinkles actually make her more beautiful for all the obvious reasons: her lack of vanity, her own self-worth, etc., but also because a few wrinkles at 45 look better on your face than none at all.

I was just visiting my mom in Alabama who is now 80, and she is the most beautiful woman I have yet to meet. I know she's my mom, but she's obviously been a great one for me to feel this way. I can proudly say that my mom has never had any work done, not even a facial. More astonishing is that growing up and throughout my entire life, I have never heard my mom complain about aging or anything else, for that matter. My mom has always been content.

So I question myself, why do I pay astronomical amounts of money to erase a few lines between my eyes? Sadly and ashamedly, I think the shallow society we live in (me being one) has actually had more influence on me than the woman I hold in highest esteem, until now!!!!

I'm hoping to turn over a new leaf and a new face to the world. I want my daughter to remember me content.

Side note: My dad also tells my mom every day that she is the smartest, sexiest and most beautiful woman in the world. Could that be the secret???

Thank you,

I expected a response to my concern that I mailed in on my renewal form. I repeat: I, amongst many others my age and over 70, have loved MORE until all we saw when articles recommended and suggested aid in different areas of our lives were age ranges that NEVER included 70 and over. Does that mean NO HELP FOR YOU ALL--YOU ARE TOO OLD??? Thus, choose not to renew unless we are guaranteed inclusion in articles for our age--70 and over.
--Sandy Crowe

Thank you for this well-written, comprehensive article that addresses so many of the emotional aspects that siblings face in caring for our aging parents (“Quibbling Siblings”). I am responsible for my parents and my mother-in-law--they all live on our property and their health conditions vary. I have three siblings, all male living 1,000 miles away. The challenges are great. Your article validated as well as helped me understand why I have the feelings I do and what I can do to face them in a healthy manner.
--AnnMarie Mecera, A. Mecera Communications

How is Chelsea Handler empowering to women? The only reason she is famous is that she slept with a powerful man she used to become famous. What kind of message does that send to women?
She wrote a book about casual sex and one-night stands. She encourages casual sex, drinking alcohol in excess and makes jokes about drug use and sexually transmitted infections. She has the audacity to put down another woman—a mother no less—when she herself is a prostitute screwing her way to the top for money. I am beyond disappointed that you would feature this disgusting and classless person in More magazine.

I am very disappointed that you would choose a 37-year-old cover subject for this month's magazine. The reason I subscribe to your magazine is to read about women who are actually over 40 and full of "style and substance." There have been months when I felt the ad models have been too young, but the cover—seriously? Are we out of mature women of style and substance to feature on the cover? I have liked every issue until this one. Let people like Chelsea be on Cosmo or the Sports Illustrated bikini issues, but please, not here. We need pioneering women over 40 (preferably over 45) to lead the way for the rest of your readership. Don't flaunt a young thing playing on a child's rocking horse as someone we're supposed to look up to or emulate. I think of her more as someone I used to babysit, not look up to! Thanks.
--Susanne Mathis

I like the ads for different means of disguising wrinkles. I am 56 and have a few wrinkles around my mouth and chin. (I do not smoke.) When I was younger, everyone said I looked young for my age, then all of a sudden I wake up and look old. Wrinkles everywhere! I hated to look at myself in the mirror, let alone have anyone else see me. It took me a couple of years to accept (not totally) the wrinkles. In the last few years, we have been through several deaths in our family, lost half of our crop two years in a row (we farm) and had my mother living with us for a year. (Bless my husband!) So now I figure I have earned those wrinkles and have better accepted them. Don’t get me wrong; I still look for better ways of looking younger (no Botox or surgery for me), but now I go on with a better understanding of growing older. I hope you have a wonderful day!
--Deb Lanter

I recently canceled my subscription to More magazine because I was tired of the airbrushing, Botox ads, spreads of clothes that I couldn’t afford worn by models who looked anorexic (and much younger than 40) and constant tips on how to look younger. Then you zapped me with the May 2012 edition! It is the best edition in a long, long time. I loved the feature on one of my all-time favorite singers (and hero), Bonnie Raitt. Also, the Fierce List was terrific: I was born in the U.K., and Queen Elizabeth II is always in my heart. The other women featured in that article are all amazing and wonderful.

Thank you for an outstanding issue. I will now renew my subscription.
--Edna Cox

First, I want to tell you how very much I enjoy More. It is so refreshing and interesting, and I love the fact that it is for mature women. I find the beauty, hair and fashion advice invaluable. More has a sense of humor, and it is so informative. I know you know that there is the proverbial "but" coming. The article in the latest issue written by Corbyn Hightower, entitled "Broke but Not Broken," caught my attention. I would say that your magazine is a beacon for empowering women, celebrating their successes and showing how they overcome obstacles in their lives. This article, in my opinion, did the opposite. I am a small-business owner. My husband and I own and operate a lawn service. We started our business 15 years ago, and until two years ago we were the only employees. I can mow, weedeat, blow and chainsaw with the best of them. We are up at 5 in the summertime to try to beat the heat (we live in the South). I handle all customer service, including new sales, project management, equipment purchases, billing and collections, and do the actual work as well. Now our son works with us part time. I'm telling you this for this reason. Ms Hightower is not an example of someone who has survived the recession; she has let herself be made a victim of it. Celebrating getting food stamps is a sign of laziness and failure to me. I think that her relatives are right to question why she is writing stories in coffee shops instead of working there. I would never let my children get used to having the lights turned off or the Thanksgiving dinner left at the grocery story because my debit card was rejected. Her pride in being poor and choosing to be when she could clearly do something to remedy her problem is just beneath the standards of the More magazine I have come to love.

One last thing: I have always wanted to make a living writing and am writing my first novel. But I am doing it in my spare time while we continue to run our business and keep the lights on.

Thank you so much for letting me send you this e-mail. Despite my feelings about this article, I am a forever loyal More reader.
--Shelley Murphy

I've been enjoying the complimentary copies of More that have excited my mailbox over the past few months. However, this one (May 2012) knocked my socks off and may, definitely, convert me to becoming a subscriber.

The best article was the gift from Anna Quindlen. She has topped my list of favorite writers for a long time, as she continues to forge bonds through her thoughts and words that make me feel like her "soul sister." I've made it a point to follow Anna's personal appearances when she's spoken at bookstores and on university stages in our area.

As I approach 65, I am looking for signposts to guide me along my way. Her article, sparkling with its wisdom and acceptance, felt like a "commencement speech" to me, reinforcing conclusions I've reached on my own and offering insights for my future.

Now I feel prepared to switch my tassle and hurl my graduation cap high into the air as I celebrate my entry into this next, wide-open stage of my life.

Also, if you pass this letter on to Anna, please tell her that my mother, too, was a devotee. My mom was an avid reader who never purchased a book but beat a well-worn path to our local library. After reading One True Thing, my mom actually purchased two hardback copies and had them sent to my sister and me.
My mom's been gone now for 10 years, having lived to the age of 92, but this gesture late in her life made an indelible impression on me.

--Barbara Holleb

I have been very disappointed in More magazine as it was not what I expected. I don't have a problem with other magazines, but for some reason, More is printed in smaller type, and it is hard to read. Obviously, very young people are making the decision about the layout and look of More. The print is too small, and I find it difficult to read, so I skip most articles. I am NOT renewing my subscription because it is not user friendly and it is a waste of money.
--Patti Waitman-Ingebretsen

While I'm not a fan of her or her husband, I was shocked to see in your blurb on Ann Romney the description of “Mrs. Mitt.” Really? As if she's nothing but “the little woman” standing by the side of her man? Honestly, in this day and age? Shame on you.
--Sharon K.

Of late, I bought a variety of women’s magazines I hadn’t bothered with in some time, and it made me appreciate MORE all the more. Let me preface this by admitting that I am 63 years old, want to stay young, vital and fit, but seem to appear that way naturally. Most men think I'm in my forties. As a matter of fact, I’m trying to let down a “younger” man over half my age, who is smitten with me, because not only do I know he will totally freak out if he were to know my age, but ultimately I want a worldly man with greater life experience and I don’t want to hurt him. Young men hit on me all the time, yet if that ultimate man isn’t in the picture, sometimes a girl has to let herself have some fun, and yes, I mean sex with vitality. I think the obsession men have with me is that I love to have fun and I am totally me. I never become the woman I or other woman think that men will want. When you are being authentically you, it’s a magnet that draws them to you. If they don’t adore who you actually are, why waste their time or your own? Being sassy doesn’t hurt either, nor that I’m slim and don’t hide my small waistline. But what I hear most from men of all ages is that they see me as a light. My current young friend told me that he looked across the bar and saw “a light through the darkness.” He also said that most people in bars are depressed, but I was having so much fun that he couldn’t resist approaching me. A few of my lady friends and I stopped there after an art opening. I wasn’t looking for a man, just dancing and having fun. I think when you enjoy life, it radiates and is a magnet, regardless of the facial life lines. When you’re diligently searching for the right man, it colors your presence. Being blind to what is around me is not the case. I noticed him looking, and he was so cute, I couldn’t resist his advances. I hear all the time about the lack of men for women of my age, and true, there may be fewer in number, but there is no lack if you are one of the ones who embraces life fully and can have fun regardless of whether there is a man on your arm or not.

That said, I love how “real” your magazine is and especially appreciated your retort to the contradictions of being of a certain age and wanting to look younger. You embraced truth as it is, and I applaud you for that. To run a magazine, you have to have advertisers so there is no fault in providing a range of age-defying products, especially if they work! Beyond that, I love how you interview many categories of people, share varying points of view and stimulate mind and awareness with book reviews. Keep up the good work!
--Sharon Gerber

All right. Once again, I discover that I can learn so very much from other women!

I entered your Beauty Search Contest and logged on to check out the other entrants. Now, keep in mind I entered not because I think that I am so extraordinarily beautiful . . . I entered because I wanted to share my story and joy with other women who may need a little inspiration while facing a similar set of circumstances.

Of course, I could have guessed this, but I am so inspired by all the women who have entered that I printed out all their profiles. Every single entrant (I have read them all) has a good point, an inspirational story or a great piece of advice. I wish that I could have all these women over for the weekend. They are all so dynamic! I am going to share these incredible stories with my kiddos . . . one story, one day at a time. And now I see the good intentions of More's editors—who cares who wins? We all benefit from reading about one another's beautiful lives. Genius!

--Jill Lynch Graham

The magazine is MORE, but I can do with much LESS of highlighting the traitor Jane Fonda. She is in great shape and looks wonderfully young—how about the poor POWs she screwed up during the Vietnam war? Guess you are too young to remember the harm and beating these poor guys endured after her jaunt around. It may help to do some research to educate the readers about her past. Doubt if any of our military is laughing with her. I will now cancel my subscription. Please remit a refund.
--Eloise Champi

I enjoyed the piece on Chelsea Handler, but I wish that just once, when a journalist notes that the subject of an interview "doesn't consider herself a feminist," the statement is further explored. Does Handler believe that men are superior to women? Does she believe that a woman's place is in the home? Does she believe that the world would be a better place if women didn't have the vote? What?

Feminism at its base is about self-determination. Journalists need to stop accepting the "I'm not a feminist" line at face value and dig into what women really mean when they say that.
--Amy Richards

I am on the train from NYC to CT reading your Letter from the Editor entitled "The Contradictions of Aging." I am 44, and my mom is 85. To this day, people stop my mom in stores, etc., and ask if they can photograph her. She is so beautiful inside and out. I credit my mom with teaching me, by example, how to age gracefully. (On a funny side note, I have given her More magazine to read a few times. While she likes it, she wishes there were a magazine like More for her age group! If I had the gumption, I would try to pitch that idea, but I'm too tired. I said I reached “total aging acceptance nirvana,” but I didn't say I'm not tired!)

The line I learned from my mom and will carry with me for the rest of my life is, “Aging ain't for sissies!”

My mom has taught my sister and me (and two brothers :) ) to be content in whatever stage of life we are in. Both of my parents encouraged balance in our lives. In all things, moderation. They taught us to laugh, pray, get plenty of sleep and enjoy a glass of wine or a sweet when needed.

I have watched my body, skin, hair and nails change ever so slightly each year, but feel it is perfectly balanced with the casual confidence I have found at 44 vs. 24. Each year seems to get better and better, as my emotional struggles seem to melt away.

Don't know if you will even see this message. I just felt compelled to share. You did say to contact you if we have reached “acceptance nirvana,” so I figured I'd take you up on that. Maybe I should check back with you at 50, 60, 70 and 80 to see if I am still in acceptance, but so far so good!

Thanks for such heartfelt Letters from the Editor!
--Ruth Swift

“Letter from the Editor is my favorite page in More magazine. It's similar to Oprah's back page, but I relate to it more.

Thank you,
--Barb Gustafson

I like More magazine and the idea of having a magazine for mature women. Because you are marketing a magazine for women over 40 (I’m 51), the print size needs to be larger. Some of the articles contain small print that doesn’t even read well with prescription reading glasses. As we age, the ability to read very small print decreases for most people. Think of trying to read the small print on a pill bottle! I have normal vision for my age but struggle with some of the articles. Please consider making the print size slightly larger because of the age of your audience. Thank you for your time.

--Mary Denault

I have been a subscriber for two years plus and love your magazine—I have included two of my friends in my subscription renewals. I almost want to cancel my subscription in protest because of your choice of Chelsea Handler on the cover. More is about women empowering one another and those around them, about great women doing great things, big and small. Chelsea Handler is about bringing people down and stomping on them in the name of "entertainment" and foremost to line her pockets.

Any woman who has ever used the C-word to describe another woman has no right to be on the cover of More. Handler is not a girl's girl; she is not pro-female or pro-woman but an unrelenting mean-spirited person who thrives on degrading others to make herself feel better. She is the last person I would ever look to as a role model for girls, women or humankind. To add insult to injury, she's not even funny—never has been. I will forgive your lapse of judgment this time, but if Gwyneth Paltrow (another vapid female who likes to use the C-word) appears on your cover, I will no longer subscribe.

Thanks for hearing me out. Here are my suggestions for future covers: Rachel Maddow, Melissa McCarthy, Hillary Clinton, Cecile Richards, Gwen Ifill. Call me if you need more ideas!
--Ginger Ladd

Hair removal for grownups: There was no mention of epilation! There are some good epilators on the market, and they are much less costly than laser removal and less painful than waxing and last longer than shaving, even completely removing most hair over time. They are great for underarms, legs and face (haven't tried other areas), and I now only require maintenance every two to three weeks as opposed to every day with shaving. Shame on you for not mentioning the most cost-conscious and efficient method for hair removal.

I was very disappointed to see Chelsea Handler on your cover. I thought your magazine had more class than that. If I wanted to read about people like her, I would subscribe to Cosmo.
--Ellen Pilch

I am disappointed More seems to be concentrating on a much younger demographic. I started reading More in my fifties, and now, at 64, there seems to be less and less in More that addresses concerns for someone my age.

I have never seen an article or demonstration on makeup choices, colors, application for someone with gray hair. I can only recall one article ever related to gray hair. Hairstyles, clothing styles all seem too young for me. As we age—no matter how fit we try to be—our bodies change and styles, colors, etc., need to change, too. More isn't addressing these concerns. There are women out there who want to remain stylish without looking foolish.

I loved the “baby boomer merit badges”! I was a Girl Scout as a child and still have my sash with all my badges on it. I feel like I’ve earned every one of the baby boomer badges and need a sash to put them on! What a delightful article!
--Malenda Pugh

I began writing this in response to your views on aging, and it almost wrote itself, so I apologize for the length of it here.

It seems to have happened overnight: showing my age on my face, my body, my life. In actuality, it happened much more slowly. I just wasn't paying attention.

It started with pain. Daily. Chronic. Pain. Degenerative disease in my neck and spine. Add to that: losing a parent, both of my husband's parents and a severe family trauma with ongoing consequences, and stress began changing my quality of life.

I continued to work, commuting 63 miles each way. I spent a considerable amount of time crying every day. I began making errors in my work, which caused irate customers. Huge, corporate, irate customers.

My appearance was not a priority for me during this time. I'd quit wearing cosmetics and neglected my hair. My work wardrobe became long-sleeved T-shirts and pull-on pants. Mirrors were forgotten.

Each thing in my life was causing stress. The pain became unbearable without daily prescription drugs for pain and muscle spasms. Just walking was accompanied by stabbing, gritty misery. I suffered an unbelievable and total exhaustion.

Finally my concerned supervisor asked me to go home to take care of myself. So I stayed home and slept. I slept 10 hours at night and five or six hours in the daytime. This sleeping pattern continued for five months until I could see a neurologist. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in addition to type 2 diabetes and worsening arthritis. I had become sedentary and obese.

After several months of "tweaking" my medicines, I began to feel better and needed less sleep. That's when I looked in a mirror. My face and body were puffy. Wrinkles and lines were evident around my eyes and lips. My skin was dry and flaking. My eyebrows had disappeared, and my eyelashes were sparse. My hair was thinning and breaking off. My whole face had slipped south. I kept thinking, I'm too young to feel this old! I was 51. I bought line fillers, "magic" makeup, and expensive creams and tried to regain the face I was familiar with.

Today, three years later, I'm no longer shocked when I see myself in a mirror. I'm taking better care of myself, and my stress level has been lowered exponentially. I've added meditation to my daily regimen of face creams and vitamins for healing and acceptance. I still have pain, but I'm able to deal with it a little better. I've learned not to compare myself with another woman my age, and that's a critical point we should all strive for in order to accept ourselves and have inner peace.

I can look in the mirror today and I see my familiar face again, along with the indelible markings of a life lived.
--Cindy McPeak

First Published Wed, 2012-04-25 15:59

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