Bailey or Jennifer?
Straight American males of my age know exactly what this means and the majority will pick Bailey. Bailey is Bailey Quarters, the promotions manager on WKRP in Cincinnati played by Jan Smithers. Jennifer is Jennifer Marlowe, the receptionist, played by Loni Anderson.
While Anderson got the posters and cultural references and the privilege (?) of sleeping with Burt Reynolds, almost everyone I knew thought Bailey was significantly hotter (just like Mary Ann is hotter than Ginger and Lily is hotter than Robin–though that last one’s pretty close).
So today, when I saw a picture of Jan Smithers on my Facebook feed, I was shocked. Shocked, I tell you! My first reaction, was “Wow, she’s looking kind of rough.”
I had the same reaction when I saw Maria Shriver on television last night.
This just in…it’s 2015, not 1985. Maria Shriver is 60. Jan Smithers is 66. And honestly, if they saw me, they’d say the same thing, except for my name. “I don’t know who that is, but he’s looking kind of rough. Dude, more hair would be your friend. It would cover things up.”
Okay, they don’t have to be mean about it.
This isn’t a post about political correctness. It’s not a post about how men shouldn’t objectify beauty. The simple fact is, women are attractive sometimes and men are visually oriented. But time goes by and people don’t–and shouldn’t–always look like they’re 30.
As much as I dig Tony Horton and wish I could spend time with his workouts, aging isn’t for idiots. It’s something that happens. And while it’s good and important to be active and fit, aging’s a part of life, just like ear hair and forgetting where you put the car keys.
Expecting otherwise is silly and self-defeating.