Braving a Botoxed World: A Mother’s Tale

In the recent Disney/Pixar film, Brave, a young princess defies an age-old custom and fights to make her mother understand that she is not ready for marriage. I know you’d rather not think of the Disney princesses at all, but we live and breathe, and shop at Target, so I contend—if forced to choose among that whole pastel-clad, sugary lot, you’d want your daughter to be more independent, courageous Merida, less Cinderella waiting for her prince to come, right?

We of the generation who held out on having children until our careers and our relationships were adjusted according to our own specific tastes and more or less secured in place, yes, of course we want our daughters to grow up to become whatever they want to be—doctors, lawyers, athletes, writers–-and to take their time before “settling down.”

We waited to have children until our thirties or forties, and we are glad. We are better. Better mothers. Better women. But there does appear to be one small kink in all our planning and waiting: According to our society’s emphasis on the beauty of youth, we don’t look better.


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