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.
A longtime New York journalist (Glamour, Self, Parenting) underscores in colloquial, self-congratulatory fashion the injustice and salvation of being considered over-the-hill. At what point does a woman formerly regarded as hot (i.e., "young, attractive, relevant, in-the-mix") stop getting the once-over by interested observers and should she care? By her late 30s, early 40s, Dolgoff, a late-married mother of twins, recognized the signs telling her that she was in need of a new self-definition: her body's ability to stay fit had diminished; she was in danger of becoming one of "those women" who choose comfort over style in clothing; and she had lost patience with wasting time on "froth" and trying to please. Ambivalent about donning "shapewear" and undergoing plastic surgery, Dolgoff still professes a desire to look sleek and attractive, happy to have gained distance from her self-loathing as a teen and also nervous because she had to work among hip 20-somethings. In the end, Dolgoff fashions her tight, tongue-in-cheek memoir into a kind of humorous self-help manual to getting by in life.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Just what I needed!
LOL funny and so true! Just what I needed at my age. I'm going through a divorce and I'm becoming reacquainted with the "Hot life" I barely had when I was younger. It's a whole new world, knowing "I'm not dead. I still got it & I'm going to use it to get what I now know I want!"
What a funny, true account of life for those of us who are not as young as we feel. I could relate to so many things that she said. Great read.