Why would the editors of Esquire assign Tom Junod — or anybody else, for that matter — to write “In Praise of 42-Year-Old Women”? And, having made that assignment, why would they not demand a re-write after he turned in a horrifying mess that begins thus:
Let’s face it: There used to be something tragic about even the most beautiful forty-two-year-old woman. With half her life still ahead of her, she was deemed to be at the end of something — namely, everything society valued in her, other than her success as a mother. If she remained sexual, she was either predatory or desperate; if she remained beautiful, what gave her beauty force was the fact of its fading. And if she remained alone … well, then God help her.
What is the purpose of publishing this? Never mind. Here’s some advice for magazine publishers everywhere: Before you assign or publish an article, ask yourself, “Will this article be more enjoyable than the Gawker blog post viciously mocking the article?”
Tom Junod, according to Wikipedia, was born in the Eisenhower Administration, and is currently either 55 or 56 years old. Nevertheless, Tom Junod is gracious enough to admit he’s capable of wanting to f–k women who are within 13 or 14 years of his own age.