8/30/10

Goddess of the Week: Baba Yaga

Sami Storehouse on stilts, displayed at Skanse...Image via WikipediaDaisy wonders if there is a goddess "for those of us who are getting all wrinkly and saggy of body." Hmm. I guess my profile photo fools no one. I hear you Daisy! I'm giving us Baba Yaga, the slavic goddess of death and regeneration.

Baba Yaga, whose name means grandmother death, is definitely wrinkly and saggy of body. She lives deep in the woods in a house standing on giant chicken legs surrounded by a fence made of human bones and topped with skulls. She flies around in a giant mortar, which is convenient because her head doubles as a pestle! In the days of Christianity, poor Baba Gaga was reduced to a scary witch. (Think Hansel and Gretel.)

In our youth-worshipping culture, it is sometimes hard to see older women as anything but witches. Indeed, in our youth-obsessed popular culture it is sometimes hard to see older women at all, and even when you see them they have the lips of halibut, as if somehow that's supposed to make us think they are mere guppies. I mean, have you seen Goldie Hawn lately?

Baba Gaga reminds us that sags and wrinkles are the victory marks of hard-fought lives. And believe me, if you've made it past 40, your life has been hard fought. You have worked hard, you have made sacrifices, you have learned that you can't help everyone, you can't even always help yourself. You've lost some battles, and you've won some, but -- like Gloria Gaynor -- you have survived. You've kept going, and you are stronger for it. You are wiser for it. You have learned things that 20-year-old you just couldn't know. Thank God! Do you really want to spend all your money on skinny jeans again? Do you really want to spend all your lunches eating low-fat yogurt.

No way. You have worked hard for those wrinkles, and -- damn it -- you deserve a house on chicken legs. You've earned the right to grind and grind and grind away at your old doubts and insecurities. Enough of them! Pound them into dust! Likewise, you have every right to grind and grind and grind away at your son until he gets a hair cut. He looks better with short hair. Everyone knows that. You're only trying to help.

Oops. Recent evidence suggests that the pounding away about hair cuts may not be in your best interest. Baba Gagas must use their mortars and pestles wisely. But see, you knew that didn't you? Time already taught you.

Channel this goddess: When you're feeling old, when your ass is flatter than your stomach and you feel like your neck is your best feature. If you do it right, wrinkles mean wisdom and the nerve to stare down uppity salesclerks. No shame, ladies. No shame.

Need a goddess? Let me help! Post a comment telling me what you need and I'll see what I can find.
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27 comments:

Olga said...

Oh, my...that is an unfortunate picture of Goldie Hawn. I guess no one can stop the clock forever. The funny thing about wrinkles is that they don't show up in the mirror, but somebody snaps a picture and there they are!!

Jean Spitzer said...

(If you do it right, you get offered a seat on the subway.) I definitely deserve a house with chicken legs. Love this.

altadenahiker said...

I'd like to rename my hairless cat Baba Yaga, but I don't think she'd answer to it.

phoebat said...

Baba Yaga yaba daba do!

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Lady Gaga in twenty years will be Baba Yaga

pasadenapio said...

I love this entire concept, including that great house! I could live without the bone fence, though.

Daisy said...

All of us "experienced" folks thank you, and we salute the great Baba Yaga. I've tried most of my life to train my wrinkles into smiles. But I find at this stage I really don't give a damn where they are! Ahhhh, Freedom!

TheChieftess said...

Why is it that age looks so charming on other people, but when we see it in ourselves, we freak out???

Petrea said...

Great post and interesting comments. Chieftess, good question. I admire the movie stars who don't get plastic surgery and can't stand to look at the ones who do. So I know I wouldn't want to do it myself. At the same time, I Feel Bad About My Neck. (Nora Ephron title)
I remember my mother telling me store clerks started yelling at her as soon as her hair turned white because they assumed she was deaf. It really irritated her. So far I haven't gotten that. It's only a matter of time.

Star said...

Each of my gray hairs is a witness to a milestone small and large in my life. I love each and every one of them. I used to color my hair for fun, but when the gray hair started to come, I stopped. It's my tiny personal contribution to the battle that not just men, but women, too, can look attractively distinguished with gray hair.

Shell Sherree said...

There's a lot to be said for character marks.

Deb said...

Amen, sister. Amen!

When Carrie was in high school we were having lunch one day and she said, "Mom, you like you're in your 20's." I smiled and said, "Thanks, Carebear" and she quickly added, "Oh...not when you smile..." Turns out when I smile there are "smile lines" and that's ok. I wouldn't trade one of them for the experiences that have put them there.

Coppertop said...

http://crazycoppertop.blogspot.com/2009/04/baba-yaga.html

Yay - My favorite goddess. This is why I love your blog.

Rois said...

I love your blog.Sometimes it is your witty writing and twists on things that make every thing funny but sometimes I come here just to read the comments because your readers can be just as funny and insightful.

Grey hairs and wrinkles are a sign of victory in my community,we women wear then with pride.(At least until we see a photo of ourselves and then we run screaming because we just saw Bab Yaga.)

Margaret said...

So I think we are in agreement: the problem is the camera. It is obviously distorted somehow. Clearly they are not showing the wisdom in our faces. Clearly they are making us look all Baba Yaga. How can that be? I blame the men who invented them. But I'm with Petrea, I'll take my wrinkles and sags and pass on the plastic surgery, which is not fooling anyone.

AH: The cat looks like a Baba Yaga. It's the perfect name.

Phoebat and PA: You made me laugh out loud.

Thanks everyone for especially insightful comments this time..

Daisy said...

Right Margaret!! It's the camera, and the mirror! :-D

claire said...

What an absolutely great post! I simply love it! Thank you!

Stacey @ Entropified said...

Does Goldie know she looks like that?

I'm such a Baba Yaga.

Desiree said...

I will never look at halibut quite in the same way again. Gotta run, gotta get my roots retouched--

... daisy... said...

I know it's not me, but I need her too! ;-)
Do you have a Goddess for luck (but real luck)? My car broke down again, I lost a lot of fuel and my mechanic told me I was lucky because I could've been blown up... I am still shaking and I know my English is crap at the moment but I needed to get my head somewhere else...

Pasadena Adjacent said...

My mother had a partial face lift. She left out the eyes and forehead lift. Somehow in her mind she equated the full job as unnecessary vanity. And she looked good.

My sister had her eyes done. Same surgeon who did Linda Tripp. Her logic was that it's easy to keep a pretty person pretty; not so easy making a plain person attractive. And she looked good afterwards too

If I had the money, I'd do it

Petrea said...

PA, you don't need it. You're pretty as you are.

TheChieftess said...

A little nip and tuck here and there I understand...it's the puffy lips I just don't get...don't they look in the mirror??? I'm always amazed when I see an actress who's had botox and lip collagen...they look like they're made of wax...don't they see themselves???

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Thanks Petrea
nice to hear once in awhile

Margaret said...

Daisy: Glad you're ok! That sounds scary, and -- of course-- you're English is wonderful, even when you're feeling scattered.

PA: Of course, you're lovely as you are. Petrea is right.

... daisy... said...

Thanks Margaret! I'm feeling better and I'm looking at the bright side... all those goodlooking policemen and firefighters that helped me! ;-)
Going to bed now... dreaming! eheheheh
Huge kiss!

MelRoXx said...

I like the name ;)I second with Pasadena! :)