My celebrity crush: Gloria Steinem

by midlifecrisisqueen on February 7, 2013

The GenFab Blog Hop assignment for this month is to write about our favorite celebrity crush…  link to others at the end of this post!

Now I know most will write about rock or movie stars, but the first person who came to mind for me was Jane Goodall, my teenage hero.  Instead I have chosen to write about my all-time adult crush: Gloria Steinem.

Do you know how many times I have wished that she was my mother?  She is my own mother’s age and I don’t believe she had any children, but can you imagine having a mother like that?

If you don’t know who I’m talking about, you should learn!  She was and still is one of the most important figures in liberating American women from being second class citizens, and will be featured prominently in the new PBS series: MAKERS: Women Who Make America.

I was always impressed with her, but it wasn’t until I suffered my own midlife crisis at age 49, that I gained the fullest appreciation of Gloria’s brilliance and contributions to our world.  I had just lost my job and even my career, although I didn’t know that quite yet, when I happened to start reading her book Revolution From Within: A Book of Self-Esteem.

How this perfectly appropriate volume fell into my hands, even signed by Gloria herself, at the exact moment when I needed it most, I will never know.  As she says on page 242, Everything sounds trite before we’re ready for it.”  I just knew I was so ready to accept a deeper teaching about self-esteem and valuing myself.

Here I learned about Gloria’s own struggles with self-esteem, how she doubted the reality of her own inner voice: “not until sometime in my thirties did I begin to suspect that there might be an internal center of POWER I was neglecting…” 

Later on she says: I began to understand that self-esteem isn’t everything; it’s just that there’s nothing without it.”

Reading that book at that point in my life was a true life-changer. It helped to convince me that I was a valuable person with much more to contribute to this world, and the sooner I felt valuable intrinsically, the sooner I would begin to contribute.

I’ll leave you with a few more choice quotes from Revolution from Within:

“The conviction of being loved and lovable, valued and valuable as we are, regardless of what we do, is the beginning of the most fundamental kind of self-esteem…”  

“Buried somewhere within each of us, buried at varying depths depending on the age and degree of neglect or abuse, shame or coersion we endured, there is a resistant, daydreaming, rebellious, creative, unique child — a true self who is waiting.”

{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Sightings February 7, 2013 at 9:41 am

Yes, and Betty Friedan too. Just saw that actor Christian Bale is Steinem’s step son. Kind of amazing.

midlifecrisisqueen February 8, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Now you tell me… I’ve had a crush on him for years!

Carpool Goddess February 8, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Great post! I can see why you wanted her to be your mom. I wish she would have been mine too. I want to read her book now.

Sharon Greenthal February 8, 2013 at 6:09 pm

Great choice! What a dynamic and inspirational woman she is.

Susan Bonifant February 10, 2013 at 8:29 pm

I always love hearing about women having their crisis at 49 and what they did about it. I found 49 the toughest of all the transitional years. Good for you. And good pick in Gloria.

Karen D. Austin February 10, 2013 at 8:32 pm

Clever twist! Thanks for the insight about this dynamic person.

D. A. Wolf February 11, 2013 at 9:22 am

She does indeed make a wonderful crush! We all need those we see as role models, those with whom we’d like to identify.

Terrific choice!

Bonnie February 11, 2013 at 10:50 am

She is an amazing woman…and a true trail blazer for the rest of us.

midlifecrisisqueen February 11, 2013 at 11:15 am

I have so much more to learn from Gloria!

Haralee February 11, 2013 at 11:33 am

Gloria is so inspirational and has championed so many issues for women when women’s voices were not heard. Great choice!

midlifecrisisqueen February 11, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Yes, I think we all agree, Gloria is Glorious!

Brenda @ MyMidlifeProject February 11, 2013 at 1:10 pm

My first “grown up” magazine subscription was Ms. magazine. My mother gave me a subscription for YEARS! Very inspiring.

midlifecrisisqueen February 11, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Where would we be without self-esteem, Gloria and Ms. Magazine?

Donna Highfill February 11, 2013 at 1:59 pm

I’ve always loved Gloria, and will never forget her coming out on her 50th birthday in a beautiful dress, saying, “This is what 50 looks like.”

Excellent choice on celebrity crush day.

midlifecrisisqueen February 11, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Please keep cracking me up… I need a bit of that everyday, and you are very good at it!

Joy Weese Moll (@joyweesemoll) February 11, 2013 at 4:10 pm

I saw her speak and read Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions right after college — a tremendously powerful force in my life.

Renee February 11, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Especially loved the quotes. I love when the right book falls and hits me over the head.

lisa weldon February 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm

“not until sometime in my thirties did I begin to suspect that there might be an internal center of POWER I was neglecting…” – there is so much to this. Unfortunately, just now at age 60, am I realizing this.

Great, great post. Thanks for sharing.

midlifecrisisqueen February 12, 2013 at 8:47 am

In midlife I finally started paying attention to my intuition or inner wisdom. When I started doing that, the right book, message or person started appearing right on time! – Laura

midlifecrisisqueen February 12, 2013 at 8:51 am

I say there are two ways to interpret the timing with which we find our power… either we are sad that it took so long, or pleased that it finally happened. It all depends on our past encouragement to accept that power and our openness to change. Throughout most of my life I gave my power away as quickly as I could.
Rejoice in knowing your own power! Women throughout history had no chance to even know what we are talking about… — LLC

Yvonne Wray February 12, 2013 at 10:57 am

Laura, I agree with your celebration of what is possible now for women. The chances for a woman to be empowered and find others who will lift her up is MUCH greater now than ever before. Thank you for highlighting Gloria.

midlifecrisisqueen February 12, 2013 at 11:03 am

Yes, I’m afraid sometimes we lose sight of what a marvelous time it is to be alive! -LLC

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