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My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatches from Just the Other Side of Young

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  • Posted September 1, 2010

    I thought I was the only one out there...

    Who felt like I wasn't going through a "crisis" per se but a little bump in the road as I approached 40. This book made me realize that, alas, I am not alone! Whew! What a relief! Seriously, this book made me laugh out loud with stories I can definitely relate to. The author is spot-on with how "Formerlies" are feeling and gives the reader a humorous point of view. This is much needed for those of us who are starting to feel our age (or at least close to our age). I recommended this book to all my girlfriends. You WILL NOT be dissapointed!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2010

    Great writing, fun book!

    This is a great read. Stephanie Dolgoff is the fun, self-deprecating, intelligent, and witty friend we all hope to have - I felt this just a few pages in. So many parts of this book resonated with me, a 44-year old mom who can laugh at herself but also kind-of-sort-of wouldn't mind having that immediately apparent youthful glow, stamina, freedom, and general appeal like in the "olden days." I get what she's saying. It's not that we're whining about it. We're simply reflecting in a harmless cultural anthropological way. Is that so wrong? I've recommended the book to all my friends, most of whom discuss these very issues and think the same thoughts - but haven't articulated them quite in the same compelling, clever way the author has. She's a teriffic, seasoned writer and I look forward to reading more of her work.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 23, 2010

    Terrific writer with unique and original insights

    Dolgoff is one terrific writer with unique, thought provoking and original insights. I love how her prose sizzles and crackles, and she confronts important and sometimes uncomfortable issues with ease and wit.

    I don't always completely agree with Dolgoff's "formerly" premise -- I prefer to recall the insistence of my adorable Aunt Doris, who likes to say that the best years for a woman are when she's in her 60s. (My Aunt Doris by the way is now a vibrant 82.)

    So who's right, Dolgoff or Doris? Or does it matter anyway? Sometimes it's the dialogue that counts! And Dolgoff delivers this in a big way, with chapter after chapter that makes a woman look at her friends, marriage, career, and kids in novel and compelling ways. Plus she makes it fun on top of that! So, how great is that!

    All I can say: So Stephanie, when is the sequel?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2010

    Formerly yet still Fabulous!

    Stephanie Dolgoff coined the phrase "Formerly Hot" and uses it on her website and in her new book "Formerly Hot, Dispatches from Just the Other Side of Young", and has shown women (and some men) that we are all going through the same thing when we hit our 40's. We're not 25 anymore and we're being slapped in the face with it in little ways that all add up to one big laugh out loud read.
    Stephanie deals with the loss of certain things about her life, all the while keeping her sense of humor and by not taking herself too seriously. We should all take these life lessons from her. As "heartbreaking" as it is when you realize you can no longer wear a strapless bra, Stephanie realizes that being a Formerly is not so bad when know you don't need to drink yourself under the table and go to work with a hangover the next day to be cool. Stephanie finds the bright side to being "just" the other side of young and you'll laugh when you realize you've felt or done the exact same thing, which is when you realize that you really are a Formerly.
    If you're close to or over 40, you'll be amazed at how much this will book parallel your life or at least your thoughts about getting older. Read it, have a good cry, then laugh and just embrace your Formerly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    Finally HOT!

    It is so wonderful to find someone who writes exactly how you think! I have a feeling Stephanie Dolgoff is used to hearing this. There is not one person I know between the ages of 35 and death who have not felt and experienced most of the things she writes about in this book. The fun part is she helps us laugh about it and feel like we're not alone.

    I was never a guy magnet in my 20s. Unlike Stephanie Dolgoff, I was never asked the time for any other reason other than guys wanted the time :( I was attractive enough and even at times beautiful, but not in the Sex in the City way that gets you a night out without having to pay for a single drink. I actually get much more attention today as a 43 yr old mother of 3 than I EVER got in my 20s. I attribute that to knowing myself and being ridiculously confident (something I NEVER was) and all of those other things related to being a 'Formerly' that Stephanie talks about in this book.

    Even though I am far happier with myself now than I ever was when I belonged to that ever so desirable 19-35 demographic, I still went through all of those painful, slow motion at times, "bxxch-slap" realizations that I was no longer the age I felt I was. You know, when you realize that all of the hot new actors (the ones that you respect and can actually act) being touted as the next Pacino or Meryl, could actually be your CHILDREN!!! - NO!!!....yes...sigh.

    Well, thank you Ms. Dolgoff, for saying it and for helping me laugh about it and for still looking pretty darn hot as a formerly.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2014


    Mediocre. I thought it would be more insightful and longer.

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    Waste of time and money

    Not worth it

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  • Posted February 26, 2011


    It was ok I guess. I am around the same age and have some of the same emotions. But this book just came off as whining. Yes she was formerly hot, now she is old. We get it. Read the sample and then move on.

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  • Posted January 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Enjoyable read for both sexes.

    Stephanie Dolgoff's MY FORMERLY HOT LIFE: DISPATCHES FROM JUST THE OTHER SIDE OF YOUNG is an enjoyable read for either men or women in their late thirties and early forties. While women may be able to relate a bit more to the specifics of what Dolgoff writes about, many men will also recognize the value of the author's message, best summed up by "You are getting older; it's ok. You are still you."

    The book is not laugh-out loud funny. It is more a mix of genuine emotion and irreverent personal reflection, but Dolgoff does a wonderful job of blending both so that the emotion is heartfelt and the humor doesn't feel forced. There's occasional profanity, but overall the book is entertaining and well written, with a good mix of long and short chapters mixed up so that there is always a decent breaking point.

    Guys, your wives and girlfriends will enjoy this if they are in the target age group. And when they are done, pick it up and give it a whirl.

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  • Posted August 18, 2010

    Funny and thoughtful-read it in one night

    I loved this book! It is a hilarious and honest take on this stage of my life. The author cleverly articulates and captures what so many of my friends and I are talking about and rather than feeling badly that I am no longer young I ended up feeling powerful and optimistic. I have already bought two more as gifts for my friends.

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  • Posted August 17, 2010

    Not just for Formerlies

    The beauty of Dolgoff's book is that while it speaks directly to the "formerly" demographic, its message applies and appeals to people of all ages trying to navigate the murky path between one clearly defined phase of life and the next. As someone in her mid-twenties, I continuously feel like a "tween" of sorts as well - no longer the fresh-faced recent college grad, but not quite the settled and satisfied adult I hope I'll someday be. Not only could I relate to this aspect of the My Formerly Hot Life, but I was also heartened by Dolgoff's assurances that life is so much more satisfying on the other side of young. In a youth obsessed culture that leads one to believe that life ends at the age of 35, My Formerly Hot Life highlights the upsides of aging, while still having a laugh (or 10) at the downsides.

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  • Posted August 15, 2010

    Eat Pray Pluck

    Dolgoff's book My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatches from Just the Other Side of Young is like Eat. Pray. Love. for people who can't go on a year long "finding yourself" journey to cool places. Dolgoff explores with tongue-in-cheek the transition from young to not quite old. If you remember that there once was a Berlin Wall and also can't figure out how Ace of Bace was ever popular you're going to laugh.

    Chapter 9 will resonate with many our fellow dieters out there. The Big Metabolic F*** You, or TBMFU, addresses the issue of being Formerly Thin. There's no denying that as we age we have to do more and more just to maintain the weight we've always been unhappy with. It was comforting to find that nature is in fact flipping the bird at every woman in their forties. Not just us.

    The book is getting a bit of backlash right now because who knows, maybe a woman can't lament about her looks without getting backlash. But Formerly Hot isn't all that different than the wildly successful Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. Both books are about women in their late thirties coming to terms with life.

    In Eat Pray Love Author Elizabeth Gilbert spent one whole year alone in exotic locations with gurus and stuff. The book is her quest to find out what the hell is up with carbohydrates, god, and relationships. It is so successful that now Julia Roberts plays Gilbert in the movie.

    But here's the thing. Most woman can't indulge in a year long journey of self discovery. Most women are like Dolgoff, navigating aging and the meaning of life while knee deep in Legos and permission slips. If Eat Pray Love is the inner journey of a woman going through major transitions My Formerly Hot Life is the outer journey of a woman at that the same point in life. Yes we're concerned about our soul's 'n junk, our purpose in the universe, and being in the moment but we're also concerned about the amount of time plucking stuff is suddently taking.

    Stephanie Dolgoff understands that "hotness" isn't the same as as searching for "the meaning of life." She treats hotness with a light touch. So go find your guru with Eat Pray Love and then have a little My Formerly Hot Life for dessert. The two books are nice companions to one another.

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  • Posted August 16, 2010

    Formerly hot? Nah, still smoking!

    This memoir/guidebook is a witty and wise companion to take with you over the hill--whether you feel you're headed up or down.
    Stephanie Dolgoff will not only make you laugh, but appreciate a new perspective on getting older, and better.

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    Im a FORMERLY---who knew?

    Im the first to admit that INITIALLY I wasnt sure about this book. Im rocking my forties, happier than ever and pretty damn sure that the fact Im finally comfortable in my own skin makes me more attractive than ever. From the INSIDE out.
    That said, I love the author's humor (Im a big fan of her blog) so I gave the book a chance anyway.
    I laughed. I cried. It was better than my therapist.

    Stephanie writes about what so many are thinking and yet with far more humor than the majority of us could.

    I devoured her book and was (am?) ready for the second half.

    Dispatches from the definitely no longer young.
    Ill need the levity then Im sure.

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  • Posted August 14, 2010

    funny and insightful

    In her new book, Formerly Hot, author Stephanie Dolgoff vividly relates comic and poignant anecdotes from her life to pin-point a transitional phase in life that many of us felt, but have not put into words. The reader ends up feeling that they have had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with a hilarious, warm and smart friend.

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  • Posted August 12, 2010

    A Humorous Reality Check for Women

    Stephanie Dolgoff writes with outspoken certainty and brings a reality check to women who are denying their maturity. It's time to wake up and smell the roses, and she puts them right in the face! Stephanie knows just how it is to realize that aging has snuck up on a woman, and she gives encouragement to those who are scared to admit it has happened.

    Many women are still beautiful even though they feel their best years are behind them. Stephanie helps them see that they should appreciate their beauty, inside and out, and get comfortable in their new stage in life.

    As I read "My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatches From just The Other Side of Young", I was thrilled to see that someone else had thought similar thoughts and felt similar emotions. It helped me relax about my own fears and gave me courage to accept myself in my new self.

    It's a fact of life that we are going to age, whether we have botox, tummy tucks, or whatever crazy ideas are out there to help women keep their youthful looks. Actually, some women would do better to accept their aging looks as aging has been known to even enhance looks. But life isn't all about looks, as much as it has been pounded into our psyche by the media. We can't stop the aging process simply by having cosmetic surgeries.

    There is a pride to being an older woman that can only come if aging is accepted and embraced. Stephanie does an excellent job of pointing this out with her humorous take on her own changes. Be the best of who you are and do it with a smile and a laugh at your own insecurities seems to be her message.

    This book was a good read and much appreciated.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2010

    Review: My Formerly Hot Life

    At first glance of the title, you may believe that My Formerly Hot Life: Dispatches From Just the Other Side of Young by Stephanie Dolgoff is a book packed with superficial notions about aging women, how age (and age alone) determines a "hot" life and that this book will only perpetuate the ageist and sexist societal ideologies towards women over the age of 40. I know that was my first impression without even reading the first page. However, as someone who should know better, I quickly learned something: don't judge a book by it's cover.

    Although you're going to find the cliched quips about aging sagging skin, slowing metabolisms, newly developed crows feet, and the trial and errors of clothing a middle-aged body, My Formerly Hot Life goes beyond skimming the superficial surface of growing older and explores the other side of young in much more in-depth way. Dolgoff tackles the important issues like parenting, marriage, "having it all," and healthy vs. unhealthy friendships with a good dose of wisdom and wit.

    As we age and take on other lifestyles and responsibilities we say goodbye to our old identities, hence we become what Dolgoff coins as a "Formerlie" - formerly hot, formerly wild, formerly single and childless, etc... But while many of us may look back at our former selves with bittersweet nostalgia and wonder what happened to our youth, Dolgoff reminds us that the best part of life is still to come. With age comes more confidence, more wisdom, and a more carefree attitude about the ridiculous things in life, like trying to mold ourselves to the ideal standards of our youth-obsessed culture. "Formerlies" are neither young nor old. Their priorities and values have shifted from their younger days and they have a much better sense of who they are and what kind of life they want to lead. They have discarded unhealthy relationships and have a close circle of beloved family and friends that brighten their days with love and laughter. Formerlies are women like me and probably like you, women trying to navigate our way through lives that are filled with countless responsibilities and pressures and just doing the best we can. You can longingly look back at the hot life you once had all you want. But, if you look back too often, you'll likely miss out on the fabulous life you lead today.

    Via Aimee @

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2010

    Entertaining and Thought-Provoking!,

    I would highly recommend this book by Stephanie. It is funny, enlightening and really makes you think about different experiences as you age. The chapters are an easy read, and this book can be read in one sitting or easily picked up when you have free time. The author writes about her own experiences, but most of us can relate to so many of the stories as we blast through our twenties and finally settle into careers, marriages and families. The way she examines the reasons behind why we do certain things are funny, but also though provoking. There is always a touch of humor in each new chapter in the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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