We’ve all heard the bitching and moaning, and it isn’t pretty. Most of us females over 40 have indulged in this bad habit ourselves: “I look old! I look fat! I hate pictures of myself!” Well, artist Helen Tansey got tired of all the negative self-talk going around, and she decided to do something about it.
Her new book, Sundari Women, published earlier this month, is her artistic and political statement, an effort to reclaim the narrative around women and aging. Sundari means beautiful in Sanskrit. And it comes in the form of a coffee-table book, a shiny Trojan Horse to disguise a serious message. “We women need to embrace the gift of aging and feel gratitude for the opportunity to do so.”
She put out a call to arms, got friends to ask friends, and made a few cold calls to people whose strength she admired. The casting snowballed, and she ultimately gathered together 42 Canadian women — between the ages of 40 to 96 — who were more than just pretty faces.
There are a few familiar names in the mix, including actors Jennifer Dale, 65, and Wendy Crewson, 63, and skin-care guru Elizabeth Grant, 96. “But we are all regular gals,” says Tansey, who appears on the cover, “all dealing with the same thing.”