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My Formerly Hot Life in Styles (NY Times)

I’m just trying to get through the day with something to cover my sun-deprived mom bod like most other Formerlies. But I love love love this piece. Feel free to rebut any of the snarky comments (I stopped reading after the first three.)

Currently Struggling as a ‘Formerly’

Joshua Bright for The New York Times

The author Stephanie Dolgoff may indeed have a pair of shoes perfect for her “formerly hot” life.

GIVEN that most young people would prefer to be older and most old people yearn to be young, coming up with a new in-between life stage is an inherently thankless task. Many would be all too glad to be rid of dicey concepts like “tweens” and “adultescents.”

Joshua Bright for The New York Times

Stephanie Dolgoff sorts through her closet at home.

But Stephanie Dolgoff, the author of a new book, “My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatches From Just the Other Side of Young” (Ballantine Books), is undaunted. According to Ms. Dolgoff, women in their late 30s and early 40s fall into a “new category of person: adult ’tweens, not quite middle-aged, but no longer our reckless, restless, gravity-defying selves.” Their new moniker: Formerlies, as in formerly hot.

“It’s obviously self-mocking,” Ms. Dolgoff said. “I was no supermodel to begin with.” Instead, she was a born-and-bred New York cool girl: raised on the Upper West Side, high school at Bronx Science, college at Wesleyan, followed by glittery jobs at women’s magazines, including Self, Glamour and YM. She resembles an earthbound cross between two Julias — Roberts and Louis-Dreyfus — not a terrible combination, with one floral tattoo on an ankle and another atop her shoulder. READ THE WHOLE THING HERE


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  1. I just saw this on Jezebel and can’t wait to read it. Even though I’m 34, I definitely feel the lack of male attention that I was so used to only a few years ago. I notice the 16-year-olds getting the looks which of course, disturbs me on more than one level. In any case, I’m hoping to look to the Europeans who seem to appreciate an older woman’s beauty a lot more than we do. Have you seen “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone” with Helen Mirren? A great flick to watch when the very young seem to be the only contenders for The Currentlies.

    Also, I’m going crazy veering between Talbots and Forever 21. I’m not Lohan and I’m not Aniston. I have no idea where the hell I’m supposed to go, ha. Will check out Rue La La…

    Thanks for writing this!

  2. Don’t bother with the NYT comments — it doesn’t seem like any of them put aside their preconceived notions of what you meant by “formerly hot” long enough to read for comprehension. And a large number of them appear to be humor-challenged to begin with.

    As someone who has been struggling to articulate all the ambivalence, bemusement and discovery of this period to her therapist for the last couple of years, I totally get it! It’s not bad, it’s not upsetting, it’s just … funky. And definitely not quite what I expected. So I enjoyed the NYT article and came here to read more on the blog.

    Good luck with your book launch!

  3. When the attractive man asked you for the time and did not say anything further, were you wearing your wedding ring? If so, he is still ogling you, but that ring is keeping him from doing anything more.

  4. I am a recently unemployed, now married sahm with a home that we own by the skin of our teeth. Not rich, not extremely poor, just right. All those NYT folks have it wrong~you don’t have to be rich, skinny or completely obtuse in order to feel a need to belong.
    I struggle with this often, as I think most of us do and yet are afraid to own up to. Thank you for “labeling” us as what we are~confident but wavering, cautious but outgoing and happy but still sometimes searching for that “something”. I appreciate now being a formerly in so many of the ways you describe. And yet I must say, and think you might agree, that formerly hot does NOT mean formerly happy!

  5. This is just the warm-up for your 50’s when you become totally invisible.

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