When I saw this picture, my first thought was that it looked a good bit like my sweet paternal grandmother -- and probably a bit like me. Then I saw that it was Colleen McCullough -- author of THE THORN BIRDS (which has sold a gazillion copies) and that she had died. I don't remember if I ever read the novel -- I did see a bit of the mini-series but all I can remember of it is that I really disliked Richard Chamberlain.
But that's not what I'm here to talk about. It's the obituary one Australian newspaper published. In the headline they note that she was a novelist and a neurophysiologist -- and then open by calling her a charmer -- despite being 'plain of feature and certainly overweight.'
Predictably, there was a bit of backlash from many who felt that this was inappropriate and that a male novelist of a similar standing wouldn't have had similar treatment. Maybe so, maybe not.
I do know I admire McCullough for being comfortable in her own skin.
We all have different approaches to aging and appearance. And it's more difficult for those in the public eye. At the other end of the spectrum there was Barbara Cartland, the best selling author in the world with sales of over a billion. She cultivated her image as Queen of Romance and was known for her hats, her clothing, and her jewels. I haven't read her either.
But the more I look at McCullough's face, the better I like it.