The main thing I learned is that if you write a column about Christie Brinkley and then post it online with photos of her, you will get a BOATLOAD of page views. And I do mean a BOATLOAD. So the takeaway here is that I should figure out how to mention her name every week and also substitute her headshot for mine.
I also learned (again) that people's reactions are hugely varied. And even surprising. What surprised me the most were the spirited defenses of Brinkley from other women--how she's so much more than a swimsuit model. And I agree. I remember reading an article in Seventeen Magazine about her a million years ago, which talked about how she's an artist who went to a French immersion school, and even then I was impressed with her intelligence and drive. But it wasn't Brinkley's art that appeared on the cover of People Magazine. It was herself, Christie Brinkley. In a swimming suit. And so I think addressing the subject of appearances and expectations of appearances is fair game.
The other reactions didn't surprise me much. I knew a lot of people would accuse me of being all sour grapes and other people would tell me to lighten up and other people would tell me I'm a prude. And they did. But plenty of people--women mostly over the age of 50--were enormously happy with the column because they find it unbelievable that at even THIS age there's pressure to aspire to a stereotypical notion of beauty.
It's a lot of fun when a column gets this kind of traction.