When men stop making lecherous catcalls and Spanx get comfortable in your lingerie drawer, when marketers target you for Activia instead of $200 premium denim, when you have to start wearing makeup to get that “I’m not wearing any makeup” glow and are “ma’amed” outside the Deep South, it may dawn on you that somehow you have crossed an invisible line: You are not the young, relevant, in-the-mix woman you used to be. But neither are you old, or even what you think of as middle-aged. You are no longer what you were, but not quite sure what you are.
Stephanie Dolgoff calls this stage of a woman’s life “Formerly,” the state of mind and body she herself is in now: Her roaring twenties are behind her, but she’s not in hot flash territory, either. My Formerly Hot Life, showcasing Dolgoff’s wacky and wise observations about this little-discussed flux time, demonstrates that becoming a Formerly is intensely poignant if you’re paying attention, and hilarious even if you’re not. From fashion to friendship, beauty to body image, married sex to single searching, mothering to careering (or both), Dolgoff reveals the upside to not being forever 21—even as you watch the things you once thought were so essential to a happy life go the way of the cassette tape. You may be formerly thin, formerly cool, formerly (seemingly) carefree, formerly cutting-edge, but in reading My Formerly Hot Life you are reminded that you are finally more comfortable in your skin (formerly obsessed with your weight), finally following your instincts (formerly ruled by the opinions of others), and finally happy with where you are (formerly focused on the guy or job you thought would take you where you thought you should be). While you may no longer be as close to the media-machine-generated idea of fabulous, you can do many, many more things fabulously.
Wildly entertaining and inspiring, My Formerly Hot Life proves that once you let yourself laugh about that which is passing, life is richer, more fun, and more satisfying. Despite what you’re led to believe, growing older most certainly means growing better.
From the Hardcover edition.