Tall Poppy Diaries

Observations and musings on life as a happy high-achiever (or what the Aussie's call a "Tall Poppy" ). "Unless you choose to do great things with it, it makes no difference how much you are rewarded, or how much power you have." --Oprah Winfrey

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


  Are Middle-Aged Women the New Tall Poppies?

Network execs are calling it The Fall of Mommies--as in Fall TV Season NOT Fall from grace. Unfortunately, judging from this NYT article, Fall From Grace seems more like it. Trading Spouses, Wife Swap, Desperate Housewives, and a TV movie based on the book Revenge of The Middle Aged Woman are indicative of what's to come.

In our culture, we tend to belittle and make fun of those issues that scare us the most. We also cut down those people who we perceive as being "too successful" or "too powerful". Judging from this Fall's TV line-up, there may be a group of middle-aged men (dealing with "competition" from strong middle-aged women at home AND at work) who are showing their vulnerabilities.

This morning, as I'm writing this, I'm also watching The Today Show (yes, women are proven superior multi-taskers, as well) where they are about to show a story about how the 50's are the new 30's for women. In other words, where as women used to peak in their 30's and go straight downhill from there, women now peak in confidence, power, status, and freedom in their 50's.

The middle-aged women I know are neither scary, nor obnoxious, nor are they hormonal freaks. Yet, that seems to be the message that some execs want to get across to viewers this season. The Fall line-ups of recent years have been awash with young, scantily dressed 20-somethings. Yet, this season, when 40-50 something women hit the screen they will be vicious, nasty, and outrageously annoying. So I wonder, are Middle-Aged women our culture's new Tall Poppies?

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