Hide your face, make a bucket list and know what you really want: Lessons for the next generation of Women at Forty

Earlier this month Reese Witherspoon, while accepting an MTV Movie Award, shared a few words of wisdom with young women who seem to think that nude cell phone pics and “leaked” home porno movies are now the quickest and best way to make it in Hollywood.

Witherspoon said, “I get it, girls, that it’s cool to be a bad girl. But it is possible to make it in Hollywood without doing a reality show. When I came up in this business, if you made a sex tape, you were embarrassed and you hid it under your bed. And if you took naked pictures of yourself on your cell phone, you hide your face, people! Hide your face!”

Although Witherspoon is a little shy of being 40, I wondered what advice other WAF had for young women in their 20’s. I put the call out on Facebook and of course, the WAF community responded loud and clear. We’ve been there, done that and bought the T-shirt and while you’re out there celebrating your 20’s and 30’s (which you definitely should), take heed to some of what we’ve learned over the years…

“Remember to be respectful to yourself and other women, you to will be our age in 20 very short years.” – Kimberly

“Know what you want before making huge, expensive mistakes: do you REALLY want to go to grad school for that? Consider what that degree might or might not give you. And if someone (a tiger mother-ish person, perhaps) is pressuring you to go to grad school right after college, don’t do it unless it’s something crucial to your career (law school, medical school, CPA, etc).” – Clare

“1)Looks may attract a man, but character and confidence leaves him wanting more. 2)Be honest with yourself… fooling yourself into thinking you can handle certain situations will only leave you with regret. 3)Learn the difference between friends and buddies no one really has LOTS of friends. 4)Sex is meant to be special. It’s one of the most special gifts that you can give. If you were a millionaire, would you give a million dollars to someone just because they asked for it?”  – Tamika

“Make a bucket list in your 20s of all the things you want, places to go, people to see & check it off as the opportunity presents itself. When you get older there are obstacles that will hinder your list (job, small children, finances, etc) until you are older. You might feel like you are getting too old or cram everything in to the point where you don’t enjoy the journey.” – Tanya

“If you are ever on the fence about having or not having kids, babysit or better yet, foster first. Try it out before it’s too late. Also, Google “I hate being a Mom.” Don’t ever let anyone talk you into having kids unless YOU REALLY want to have them. I fostered thinking I wanted kids, and believe me, I’m so glad I was able to get out of taking care of a baby for 18 years. Even with a husband who was willing to share, it still fell on me as the primary caretaker, and I wasn’t the type. If you really want to have kids, that’s great – more power to you. But if you’re on the fence – BE CAREFUL!” – Liza
I got more great responses than I could possibly fit in one post, so there’ll probably be a part two. If you’ve got words of wisdom to share, leave a comment, email us (contribute (@) women at forty.com), or post it on our Facebook fan page.