The Crush Letter No 150: What to DEVOUR

. 14 min read

I'm Dish and I write a weekly newsletter about life, love, and culture for those 50+. Because midlife and beyond is so much hotter than they said it would be. Hell yes, sign me up for the Dish.


Hello Crush,

Thanks for weighing in on my dating life by taking last week’s poll. The results are below, but let me just say that they inspired our Song of the Week, one of my favorite “sorry, we’re not a match” songs — It’s Not You, It’s Me.

We’re DEVOURing this week. Lisa Ellex and I have pulled together some cool things for you to check out.



In This Letter. +Dish's Hot Thots. +DEVOUR: What to do, read, watch, listen to & know about this week. +Poll Results: Swiping Left On Dish’s Bee. +Social Media I Loved This Week +Our Song of the Week Nothing you did in anyway


Dish's Hot Thots.

Paulina Porizkova, 58, who identifies herself as an “accidental former supermodel” and current writer, continues to provoke on her social media feed. This week she posted a sexy photo of herself with her boyfriend Jeff Greenstein’s hand grasping her bared right breast:

@paulinaporzikov

Being desirable is having power,” she wrote under the photo. “You have what everyone wants, and it is in your power to dispense it to whom you want.” As a supermodel formerly married to a rock star (the late Ric Ocasek of The Cars), she knows what she’s talking about when she talks about the power of being desired. “So why is it that a sexy photo of a girl who doesn’t know anything about sex is preferable to that of a mature woman who knows all about it?“ she goes on to write.

I agree, of course, and published the article Heat vs. Warmth: Let’s Cool It With the Idea That Women Age Out of Hot in Chip Conley’s Wisdom Well in July 2023. “The irony, or course,” I wrote “is that for many of us, we are having the most open, fearless, enjoyable sex of our lives.“

When Porzikova initially started her opinionated and bare-all posting on instagram a few years ago, some friends suggested I follow her. “She’s strong and smart,” they said. I did. I was turned off by what I thought was a combination of too many posts of her in string bikinis (you go girl!, just not as compelling to me as, say, photos of rescued puppies) interspersed with posts that I saw as whining too much about not being as desired (for modeling, or dating) as she used to be. So I wished her well on her journey (as they say), but stopped following her. I wanted to keep my feed “empowered” as it related to the realities of aging, mostly to try to protect my own sometimes fragile mood over it.

And, the truth is, I didn’t see that what she was doing related to me in any way, who was never a supermodel, never married to a rockstar, never consciously deployed the “power of being desirable,” and who would no sooner post a photo of myself in a bikini (hot or not) as I would of myself putting on my make-up (sorry, @sharonsaysso, but why?). (Porzikova admits that a certain level of narcissism is a helpful characteristic for models and entertainers.)

And then in 2021 a friend forwarded a post of Paulina’s that turned me around on her. She was responding to (yet more) criticism of her string bikini posts. “At your age, you should be bathing in the love of your kids … instead of … parading around half naked and acting like a 16 year old,” one hater wrote (in part). She replied “By what standard is it ok to ogle a nude teen, but not a mature woman? I have done the same photos since I was 15. Back then, I couldn’t be proud of who I was because I didn’t yet know who I was … I posed for others. An older woman is allowed wisdom, humor, patience — but not sensuality. Not sexiness. This is a major societal taboo which is precisely why I post what I post.“

So I started following her again. I not only began to see things from her perspective — having bared her body nearly her entire life to applause, what drove the sudden, aggressive opprobrium? I also saw that she was doing more than I had thought at first. She was, in fact, taking on the mantle for the rest of us. She had embraced a role at the leading edge for all of us who insist that the world reframe how it sees us, women over 50. And, at the leading edge, she was putting herself out there repeatedly, knowing that she would be personally attacked, criticized, heaped with hatred. For the benign act of posting pictures of herself in bikinis not dissimilar to what she had been doing since she was a teen.

I realized that it is not Porzikova these haters hate. It is us. She is just a symbol of the rest of us. A particularly hot one, for sure, but a symbol for the idea that women can be and feel sexy at any age. And for the more subversively powerful statement that underlies her posts — she is no longer doing it at the demand of others or to please others, but as her own choice and to celebrate herself. A year later, in 2022 she wrote “When I was a young model exposing my body, it was because someone else approved of it. Someone else decided it was to be celebrated. I didn’t know enough to have an understanding of consequences. Hence, objectification. Now, when I expose my body, it is with my full knowledge and consent. Hence, celebration.”

And now I follow Porzikova religiously. I like every damn post. All the modeling ones. The contemplative ones, the bare-faced, skin regimen ones, the ‘feeling down today’ ones. Even the political ones. All the string bikinis. (There are so very many.) All the ones with her boyfriend Jeff. (There are so very many. (So happy for you, Paulina!)). Why do I make a point of liking everything she does? Because it feels like offering support in her battle against sexism and ageism, which is a battle against a hateful, insidious and pervasive enemy. She deserves it, for her sake. But also, it is an act of self-love, a statement of self-worth, in a battle also being waged on behalf of the rest of us. She may be impossibly hot but she is also, improbably, me. And if you are a CRUSH Reader, probably you, too.

DEVOUR {things to watch, read & listen to}

In our monthly DEVOUR column, we share all the things we think you should eat up.

Watch. Taste of Things (in movie theaters). An extended metaphor on the ‘food is love” theme, this is the love story of two people who share a passion for the art of fine cooking, which is inextricably intertwined with their passion for each other. It is a story of profound, nuanced, mature love that unfolds slowly, like a long-braised coq au vin. The opening is a 38-minute montage that follows the two main characters as they wordlessly, sensually select produce, prep and cook all the elements for an eight course feast, working side-by-side with a well-oiled rhythm that doesn’t require discussion. (Hint: if you find yourself nodding off during the opener, this film is not to your taste, as the deliberate pacing continues throughout.) It is situated in the French country in the late 1800’s and is beautifully filmed in amber shades. For those of us who find the making of a subtle veloute engrossing, this is a remarkable story of radical love.


Watch. The Crime Is Mine (Prime Video, Apple+). A stylish, mischievous French crime romp set in 1930’s Paris, this is a light, entertaining film that would be perfect for capping off a long week. It is the story of Madeleine, a beautiful but not terribly talented and thoroughly broke actress who gets caught up in a high-profile trial after a run-in with a predatory producer. It is more light froth than substance, but it is delicious froth.


Watch. Crash Landing on You. (Netflix). This is the unpredictable, utterly addictive series you didn’t know you needed. While paragliding, a South Korean heiress accidentally drops into the demilitarized zone in North Korea, and into the life of a military officer who is also the son of a leader in the Korean People’s Army. He agrees to hide her; they fall in love. It was aired starting in 2019 and a huge hit in Asia, and made its way to me by word of mouth (from two separate friends) in the last couple of weeks. With 16 episodes, it is an entertaining distraction to keep you going for a while.


Listen.  A Love Supreme. Bring Me A Higher Love. February has been chock full of celebration. In addition to Black History Month, the calendar is spotted with notable days such as Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Groundhog Day, Presidents’ Day and, of course, Valentine’s Day. It’s the perfect time of year to listen (or re-listen) to John Coltrane’s masterpiece, A Love Supreme.  Recorded sixty years ago, the four-part jazz suite is considered to be among Coltrane’s greatest works. The four tracks ("Acknowledgement", "Resolution", "Pursuance", and "Psalm") materialized after his awakening following years of addiction, and is his acknowledgement that his talent is owned by a spiritual higher power.

Coltrane’s quartet is masterful here.  With McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums, one cannot imagine a more suitable personnel. In Eric Weservelt’s 2012 NPR interview with the late, great Tyner, the pianist speaks to the freedom and communion that transpired when performing the piece. 

The Story Of ‘A Love Supreme’
John Coltrane presented ‘A Love Supreme’ as a spiritual declaration that his musical devotion was now intertwined with his faith in God.

Watch.  The Last Repair Shop. (Disney+). In their documentary short, The Last Repair Shop, Oscar-nominated filmmakers Kris Bowers and Ben Proudfoot take us inside The LAUSD (Los Angeles Unified School District) Music Repair Shop where dedicated technicians have been repairing and providing musical instruments to L.A. public school children – free of charge  – since 1959. The personal stories of how music shaped and – in some cases – saved the lives of technicians and students will truly move you. 

Streaming now on Disney+ and Hulu but you can access it at no charge on the Los Angeles Times’ YouTube channel linked above.


WatchCurb Your Enthusiasm (HBO Max). Sunday Will Never Be The Same. There’s a little Larry in us all. Perhaps that’s why we tuned in for 12 seasons, but it’s the last stop for Larry on this final season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. What started as a one-hour HBO mockumentary in 2009 has grown to the long-running series that garnered 47 Emmys, thanks to the neurotic persona of creator Larry David and the talent of his stellar cast of regulars that includes Cheryl Hines, Jeff Garlin, Susie Essman, and J.B. Smoove.  


Listen. Crime Junkie. If you’re obsessed with “who-dun-its” (and who isn’t?), you won’t want to miss a single episode of this t podcast.  Each week, hosts Ashley Flowers and Brit Prawat cleverly recount chilling real-life cases that let listeners play detective. This podcast takes crime seriously.  So serious that it invites the listening audience to fill out an “If I Go Missing” form because, well, you can never be too careful.

Episodes | Crime Junkie Podcast
Be Weird. Be Rude. Stay Alive.

Listen: Pre-Loved Podcast. Poppin’ Tags. Do you sift through the thrift?  If so, you won’t want to miss Pre-Loved Podcast with Emily StochlIn this weekly vintage fashion interview show, Stochl talks with guests from all walks of the thrifting community, from thrift and consignment shop owners the world over, to stylists, luxury resale outlets, authenticators, dealers, fashion writers, and fellow thrifters.

‎Pre-Loved Podcast with Emily Stochl on Apple Podcasts
‎Arts · 2024

Read.  Glimpses: A Comedy Writer’s Take on Life, Love, and All That Spiritual Stuff by Matt Williams. What The World Needs Now... Matt Williams, best known as the writer, producer, and award-winning creator of the television shows Roseanne and Home Improvement, can add yet another feather to his creative cap.  Never one for the hubbub of Hollywood, Williams was in constant pursuit of finding a higher purpose in everyday life.  In this thoughtful collection of stories of humanity and humor, Williams shares with readers the “glimpses” that allowed him to see “goodness (and God) in the small, everyday moments of kindness and grace.”

Bonus: All proceeds from the sale of the book will be distributed to children in need. 


Why Jake Tapper made a new series about pre-Trump political scandals | CNN  Politics

Watch. United States of Scandal with Jake Tapper (CNN). Falling From Grace. Beginning Sunday, February 18th, you can be front row center as CNN anchor, Jake Tapper, interviews the subjects of some of our nation’s most outrageous scandals. Tapper gets inside the heads of figures such as former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, actress Rielle Hunter, and former New Jersey Gov. Jim McCreevy to find out just what motivated them to risk their careers, their families, and in some cases– their freedom.


Watch. The Greatest Night In Pop (Netflix). Our Lips Are Sealed. Quincy Jones can keep a secret.  So can Lionel Richie, Michael Jackson, and 40 other of the greatest names in music as they so brilliantly proved when they conspired to write, produce, and create the single, “We Are The World”.

In this new documentary chronicling the clandestine recording session that immediately followed the 1985 American Music Awards, filmmaker Bao Nguyen uses original footage and interviews with some superstars of music to tell the story of how Harry Belafonte’s vision gave birth to the single “We Are The World” and created a charity that has raised more than $214 million (to date) for humanitarian aid in Africa.

Featuring our era’s greatest musicians including, Diana Ross, Cyndi Lauper, Bruce Springsteen, Dionne Warwick, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Billy Joel, and so many others, this improbable, feel-good story is not to be missed.


Dearest Crush Reader: Do you have something that you’ve devoured that we should know about? You probably do! Share it here.

Poll Results: Swipe Right or Left on Mr. Cheetos?

The results were dead even! 50% of the CRUSH Readers who responded said Yes, Swipe Right. The other half said Mr. Cheetos is a no go. Thanks for weighing in, CRUSHes. I‘m a sucker for a great sense of humor, so part of me wanted to swipe right, but given how few background facts/interests he shared about himself in his profile I first shot him a note. I complimented his cleverness and wit, and then wrote “I am a military brat who grew up all over the country and have been living in the area for a year. I’m currently trying to finish a biography on Kissinger and perfect my grilled pizza. What about you? I’d love to learn a bit about you.”) His response was essentially uninformative and non-responsive (“I like my pizza with a thin crust” was all he wrote), so I swiped left. Since you were split, and I was in a “if he’s not a fuck yes, then he’s a fuck no” mood, that was that.

Song of the Week

It’s Not You, It’s Me by The Little Willie’s

I always felt like the line “It’s not you, it’s me,” as a break-up message was such a cop-out, but this song has turned me around on its value. This is off the Little Willies’ 2006 record.

Live at The Living Room NYC in 2007

Social Media I Loved This Week

@newyorkermag

@dr.manahilriaz


@sexwithemily


@jeanie3legs


@itsaruffliferescue

It’s gonna be a good week end, CRUSHes, I can feel it. Enjoy!

Dish Stanley XO,
Dish

Heat vs. Warmth After 50. By Dish Stanley
Let’s Cool It With the Idea That Women Age Out of Hot A close female friend over 50 recently told me about bumping into a former high school boyfriend. They shared a friendly conversation catching up. As they parted, he commented that while she wasn’t the “hottie” she
Three Things I’m Crushing On
In this series, readers like you share recommendations for the things they love the most, right at this moment. SHARE THE 3 THINGS YOU’RE CRUSHING ON HERE Three Things I’m Crushing On: Jerry 1. The new Weleda line of face creams. I have been a big fan of Weleda ever
Ask Dish: Answers to Your Stray Questions
From the sublime to the ridiculous, I get a lot of random questions. I answer some of them here. Got a stray question? Submit it using the link below.

If you love me as much as I love you (and I really do love you!), then please help me grow by forwarding this {love} Letter to a friend! And I'd love to have you join us on instagram.

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter from Dish Stanley curating articles & intelligence on everything love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. If you’d like to take a look at some of our best stories go to Read Us. Want the Dish?


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