The Trouble with American Women

We’re not really trouble, are we?  Sometimes we act silly and drink too much wine, but trouble?  Nahh..


By now, you know my age.  There is exactly one month left until my 40th birthday.  One Month!  About a year ago I started to think about 40 as being “mid-life.”  What I mean is that about half of the women in America will be younger than me and the other half, older.  Statistically, I passed that point about 5 months ago, but who’s counting.     

Being in the middle, I have friend of all ages.  Regardless of the age group, all women I spend time with seem to have some sort of mysterious and unspoken bond.  Sort of like, I know you’re secret and it’s safe with me.    

© Ioana Grecu

What’s the secret?  I want to know.  Don’t you?

Where better to turn for advice on American women than (cue the drum roll, please…da-da-da-da-da-da-dum!)….Cosmo.  After all, this month’s issue proudly states that “Cosmopolitan is the lifestylist for millions of fun fearless females who want to be the best they can be in every area of their lives….”     

I don’t read Cosmo, but since I am feeling fun and fearless, I decided to give it a shot.  There’s gotta be some unspoken secret that’s bonding American women together, from the very young to the most wise, including ladies as old as my grandma.  This month’s issue didn’t do much to help.  I looked up the headlines.  My grandma wouldn’t be interested in:    

  • Having a sexy hair day.
  • Breaking a toxic love pattern,
  • Where all the hot single men are, or
  • Non-bitchy ways to say no.

I dare not give a copy to Grandma – she’d be shocked…or, perhaps she’d show up to the next family dinner with seductive, smudge proof eyes.     

Cosmo has been around since 1886, so Grandma must have seen it on the shelves in her younger days. What did it say back then?  I had to know.   Probably no articles on implants, self tanning cream, or how to fight cellulite.  After some research, I found a 1921 Comso article called The Trouble with American Women.  What it said amazed me…    

This is the age of the body.  All interests are centered around the body, its wants, its feelings, its preservation, its covering, its emotions.  No one is interested in the spirit at all.    

eBay  Image 1 Harrison Fisher cover - 1920 Cosmopolitan magazineSource    

The 1920s were a period of great dissatisfaction and unrest.  I think American women are coming to another age of unrest.  At least it seems to be so in conversations I have with my friends.  After more than 90 years, isn’t it about time we start focusing on the spirit again?  The real us that Cosmo can’t cover with clothes and cosmetics.  After pondering this for a while, it might just be the unspoken secret among women – we know that our spirits are hidden under many layers, and they’re ready to come out.    

Are you hiding your true spirit?  Has it changed as you’ve aged, or stayed the same?      

This weekend, do something to show your spirit to the world.


4 responses to this post.

  1. I am working on removing the layers that hide my true spirit. At 37 I think it’s long overdue but I think that Catholic school stunted my growth. 😉


  2. What a wonderful post. Really so true. So often I think our spirits get lost with so much of the “keeping up with the Jones”. Instead of embracing our souls and spirits of who we are and what we want in life I think we lose it somewhere between the latest fashion in Vogue that tells us what we should wear to be beautiful and the soccer Mom we’re sitting next to who is going on and on about their $70k kitchen remodel.

    In the last couple of years I’ve been working on being who I truly am and I have loved not caring about the Jones. I have a long way to go, but I feel much better about who I am today at 38, than who I was at 35.


    • Great, Laura! My grandma’s 1940 style kitchen blows the socks off any fancy kitchen remodel. Why? Because that’s where the family gathers every Sunday. It’s who’s in the kitchen that matters, not the granite countertops.


  3. Posted by Renee on August 21, 2010 at 5:19 pm



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