A Faerie Haven: Living in Myth, Being Magic

For some people, magic isn't something they do, it is what they are. This blog focuses less on theory and more on lyrical mysticism, applied spellcrafting, experiential awareness of Divinity, and related topics. A haven for you who long to become your myth and live your poem. Faerie tales do come true.

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Older Women, Goddesses, and Beauty

I love the current memes that combine a photo of a gorgeous white-haired woman with text celebrating older women. These memes convey an important message.

But there's a serious problem: with rare exceptions, every photo is obviously someone who was blonde and fair skinned when she was younger. This gives the hurtful and disempowering message that only blondes can be wise, empowered, gorgeous elders.

We're all beautiful, inside and out. We're each a goddess with wisdom and power. 

As a dark-skinned, brown-haired child in the fifties, I was constantly told I was ugly. I didn't have the light hair or peaches and cream complexion considered ideal in my prevalently Irish neighborhood. In my teens and later in my 20s, I was told by more than one man I was not beautiful. A couple of them actually were cruel enough to then point out women they thought were attractive and, no surprise, they were fair women.

As a little girl, I wanted someone to see my beauty. I fantasized about it. Despite what everyone around me said, and despite media's reinforcement of that message by almost exclusively highlighting the attractiveness of light women, I somehow still knew I was beautiful.

Be clear, I'm not obsessed with the oppressive ideology that women must waste their time trying to be beautiful. We're beautiful already.

I am obsessed with Nature's power, sacredness, and gorgeousness. And each of us is part of nature, with all its amazing attributes.

Just as media, family, and society told me I was not good-looking, they force fed me constant messages about not being smart or powerful. 

Luckily, I long ago claimed my beauty, power, and smarts, knowing they depend on no one's opinion and are irrefutable fact. I repeat: we are all gorgeous and have within us Mother Nature's wisdom and power.

Now, as some of us are aging, we're again being told there's only one way to be beautiful, smart, and empowered: we must look like older blonds.

I do not want to go to the other extreme and turn this against my blonde sisters. We all rock! I simply want to honor and celebrate all older women.

Let's celebrate the beauty of elders dark and light, healthy and sick, with make up or not, etc., by posting photos of ourselves online and saying our age. Use a snapshot or a formal photo or a painting of you, whatever you prefer. Here's a picture of me taken about two weeks ago, age 66, on my front deck:


If you don't think you're beautiful, smart, and powerful, tell yourself you are anyway. It might be the first step toward seeing your true self and respecting your worth. I repeat: We truly are all beautiful, each of us bearing Mother Nature's wisdom and power.

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Francesca De Grandis aka Outlaw Bunny is the bestselling author of "Be a Goddess!" Founder of The Third Road, a Faerie Shamanism tradition that she teaches through both text and oral tradition, De Grandis says, "I'm a trickster working for benevolent chaos Gods, so I don't play mean tricks." Bard, painter, mystical innovator, and busy elf who works part-time for Santa Claus, she blogs here and on her own sites, www.stardrenched.com and www.outlawbunny.com


  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham Wednesday, 03 August 2016

    Yes! Thank you for your wisdom and your beauty.

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Wednesday, 03 August 2016

    Aw, tu so much, Lizann, for reading my post and for your kind words… and for your own wise and gorgeous self. ❤️

  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor Thursday, 04 August 2016

    Dear Francesca - As Billy Crystal says, “You look mahvelous, dahling!” You really do. I always had a deep affinity for brunettes, myself.

    Oh, to be 66 again. I'm 69 this year and Ravyn is 71. Since we both absolutely know, deep down inside, that we're still the same as when we graduated from college, I tend to go with the faerie tale proposition that someone has put a shape-shifting spell on us. This misperception will be cleared up, someday, when the proper wizard or sorceress comes along to remove it.

    I wish I'd been there when those guys said you weren't beautiful. I'd have offered the suggestion, “So what are you doing with her, then, asshole? Like you're some kind of prize? Maybe your need to control women by judging them as though they were in a pageant is just an insecure attempt to keep the critical eyes off of you!””

    I have to admit, though, that even I fell under the male-dominated assumptions of the 1940's and '50s. By the time I was 18 I believed that I was more worldly than my Mom, who was a very bright, spiritual woman and a talented actress to boot. But she couldn't have been as worldly-wise as my Dad and me, could she – because, after all, she was a female.

    I ask you - Isn't that the height of hubris? Mom was 38, had lived in Hollywood, and had given birth to four children, two of whom had died. I was still a virgin. But I believed I understood more about sexual innuendo than she did! And that can only be because Dad impressed on me the mind-set of the age in which he was born: that if a girl was good, she retained a naive purity which protected her from the grittier realities of life – those things which could only be acknowledged by men and harlots.

    We did not consider that to be a degrading insult, as it so clearly appears today. We thought it was a compliment!

    Kudos to you, for always knowing you were beautiful, smart and powerful. We just saw a fascinating program in which it was suggested that people's obsession with their looks didn't exist before craftsmen had developed a glass clear enough to make really good mirrors. It's hard to know whether that's true, but it makes sense. Our Medieval ancestors may have been less insecure than we, simply because they could just assume that they were as attractive as they felt.

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Friday, 05 August 2016

    As always, Ted, your insight, humor, and humility are all treasures.

    I think we all to some degree internalize the insanity of the cultures we live in. But not everybody's willing to admit that they themselves have done it. Good for you!

    And thank you for all your supportive words. Much-needed. Hug and love to you and Ravyn.

  • Elizabeth C
    Elizabeth C Friday, 05 August 2016

    What a beautifully written article, thank you for this. I find it amazing the experiences we all have. I was blond as a tiny one, and as I got older and my hair darkened a bit, everyone informed me that my dark blonde / light brown hair was properly termed "Dirty Blond", was quite ordinary and considered to by "mousy". (It was and is thin and fine) I always looked at those with true blond hair, or gorgeous brunette, red, or silky black hair as having something I didn't - as if my body couldn't quite decide between two colors and settled on some muddy, indeterminate thing in the middle. I thought this way for many years.

    I'm almost 52 now, and have grown to appreciate what I now consider to be just the perfect hair for me, and love how it's still silky and soft and takes on all of the colors of the sun if I'm outside for any length of time. I've got the beginnings of some shiny, white / silvery hair coming in, and I am very excited. I plan to keep it long as it is now.

    I absolutely LOVE looking at people and being amazed at their beauty. Now that I'm comfortable with me, I am just so happy celebrating all of my sisters (and brothers!) - we are all so varied and gorgeous and amazing. Sweet, gorgeous, humanity!

    Thanks for an enjoyable, thought provoking read, I enjoyed it.

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Friday, 05 August 2016

    Aw, thank you for your kind words, Elizabeth.

    I appreciate you sharing your story with me. People's stories are wonderfully powerful, and yours is no exception.

    Thank you also for sharing your wisdoms and victories. I love it when people share what's in their hearts.

    Blessed be.

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