Celebrity Butterfly Effect

Doris Day

Last night I was talking with my Mum about some of the odd searches that lead people to my blog. For instance, ever since I put up a photo of a man wearing sock suspenders, not a day goes by without someone finding my blog by searching for old men’s socks, men’s sock suspenders, or 1950’s men’s socks etc. I never thought that item would be such a  popular search term. Yesterday the odd search term we fixated on was ‘Doris Day slutty’. We laughed a bit because Doris Day’s image was anything but slutty. Then my Mum wondered if she was still alive. So I checked Wikipedia, and yes, she is very much alive at 88 years of age. As I was reading her entry, it mentioned she had a son at the age of 17. He was her only child and his name was Terry Melcher. That name was ringing a major bell with me, so clicked on his name and realized why.

Terry Melcher and his, then, girlfriend, Candice Bergen

Terry Melcher was a well-known record producer for bands including the Byrds and The Beach Boys… but that’s not why he was familiar to me. In 1968, he was introduced by Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys to an aspiring musician by the name of Charles Manson.

Charles Manson

Melcher was living at 10050 Cielo Drive with his girlfriend Candice Bergen at this time. He befriended Manson and had plans to produce Manson’s songs as well as film a documentary about him and the Manson ‘family’. Melcher later decided against both projects and severed all ties with Manson, a decision which angered Manson. Fortuitously, Melcher and Bergen moved from their house on Cielo Drive shortly after this incident. Unfortunately, the house was then rented to Roman Polanski and his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate. There is some speculation to this day as to whether or not Melcher was the intended victim that fateful night, or perhaps the murders were a way of sending a message to Melcher.

Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate

After reading all of this, my Mum and I went back to the fact that Doris Day had a son at the age of 17. “So I guess she was a little slutty,” joked Mum. This began a game of Celebrity Butterfly Effect.

If Doris Day had kept her legs closed in her teens (no judgement), she would not have given birth to Terry Melcher, who would not have been introduced to, given hope to and subsequently rejected Charles Manson, setting Manson on a path that culminated in his ordering a murderous rampage in Benedict Canyon that night (though it’s likely something would have eventually set him off). Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate would have become parents, would possibly still be married and Polanski would likely still be living and working in America , having never been arrested for sexual abuse of a minor (though the tone of his films might have been slightly less dark).

Celebrity Butterfly Effect, a new game created by windupmyskirt (and her Mum), fun for all ages. Soon to be sweeping the nation.

A Certain Age

Like most women of a certain age, I detest the phrase, a certain age. It’s yet another way we have of holding on to our insecurities and doing all women a disservice. I have been proudly proclaiming my age since I was a child and my father tried to get a deal on a bus ticket by saying I was five and I loudly protested, “But I’m six, Daddy! Don’t you know how old I am?”

The other day, my mother, who is seventy, or will be in July (she hates having to say she is 69) actually said, “Our age” when referring to the two of us. I don’t remember what that phrase was in reference to because all I can recall is her saying OUR AGE and lumping me in with her generation. When I called her on it, she told me that it makes her feel younger to say ‘our age’ to younger women. What nobody tells you is that, though your body ages, your brain stops soon after you enter adulthood. If there were no such thing as a reflective surface to remind you that you are, indeed getting older, the only sign your brain would have is that your body is now incapable of doing the same things it used to do.

I have no issue telling people how old I am… I’m 47 this year and proud to say it. Most people are shocked to hear it and tell me that I don’t look 47. To which I respond, “What does 47 look like?”

For decades women have been lying about their age. In my grandmother’s era it was a sin to be over the age of 39, so she just started counting backwards once she hit 39 and pretty soon I was older than the age she claimed to be.

In movies and television, actresses have been playing younger parts for years. Doris Day was still playing virginal roles well into her 40’s. As a matter of fact, her age was lied about so much, that to this day, it’s not known what her actual year of birth was. More recently, actress Gabrielle Carteris, who played a 16 year old student in Beverly Hills 90210, was actually 29 the first season of the series. With examples like this, how are we supposed to know what 50 really looks like?

Doris Day

Gabrielle Carteris

Just last year, an aspiring actress sued http://www.imdb.com for posting her age. Her suit contended that, “If one is perceived to be ‘over-the-hill,’ i.e. approaching 40, it is nearly impossible for an up-and-coming actress, such as the Plaintiff, to get work as she is thought to have less of an ‘upside’ therefore casting directors, producers, directors, agents/managers, etc. do not give her the same opportunities, regardless of her appearance and talent.”

This kind of ageism is what leads women to be insecure about their age and their appearance even as they are gaining the wisdom that comes with aging. It’s yet another way we continue to be controlled. Instead of being lauded for our accomplishments through the years, we are being sold anti-aging creams and hormone supplements.

Women talk a big game when it comes to self esteem, but when are we actually going to walk the walk?