These days, Jane Fonda is the television version of Judy Dench, as in, she’s old and getting tons of roles as she accelerates into her nineties. She’s featured with Lily Tomlin in Grace and Frankie, a sitcom about two aging women whose husbands leave them for each other so they start a business selling age appropriate vibrators. Fonda and Robert Redford have teamed up nearly a century after they starred in the film “Barefoot in the Park” in a new Netflix original romance for really old people. By that I mean only really old people will choose to watch the movie on Netflix. Of course I’M not really old, but my husband is older than I, so I watch these things to be agreeable. And I had to watch Grace and Frankie because my friend Sue who is two years older told me to. But I also watch Stranger Things, so don’t think I’m not hip.

We all know Jane Fonda has had plastic surgery. She’s eighty, or eighty-nine – who really knows, and she looks younger than my fifty-year-old girlfriends or certainly than my sixty-year-old girlfriends.  But it’s not her face that impresses me so much – that tight, yet dewy combo on anyone’s face who has had that much work makes me queasy.

The woman has worked out since she was a pre-teen (I know, I did leg lifts with her video for at least two weeks back in the eighties).  She probably has one pea for breakfast and a little almond for dinner. She’s a disciplined professional. It’s amazing she memorizes all those lines. I took an acting class recently as I hadn’t hit the boards for a couple decades (I won Best Actress at my local community theatre thirty years ago – a constant threat to Jane and Meryl) and I had a hard time memorizing a thirty second commercial. Fonda carries a hefty line load in both the film with Redford and the television series. Further, she seems to be getting even better as an actress, just like Judy Dench.  That itself is a miracle. The only thing I seem to be getting better at as I age is getting older.

What even more miraculous than all that is her body. I assume there have been nips and tucks there, though maybe not. She’s terrifically agile and flexible. I have to ask for assistance when rising from a sitting position if I am holding any kind of baby in my arms. Jane could probably throw the kid in the air from the same position, do a Burpee and catch it on the way down.

It’s not just her youthful and energetic presentation. Jane Fonda’s absolutely stupendous asset at her age is her ARMS. In the Netflix movie with Robert Redford (who is looking suspiciously like he didn’t have any tucks but likely dyes his hair), there is a scene where Fonda is driving while wearing a short-sleeved shirt. And her arms do not have any wrinkles on the inside. How is that possible? The year between sixty-six and sixty-seven, my arms were transformed from a partially toned, half flab lower area to a breeding ground for the same skin pattern found on elephants in the wild.  It wasn’t like wrinkles that show up on one’s face – a little one here, a slight line the next week. Seemingly overnight my inner arms went from slightly embarrassing to extraordinarily repulsive.  I had to give one of my daughters in law the sexy sleeveless white Ralph Lauren dress that has hanging placed front and center in my closet for ten years in case I ever get down to a size six (I’ve never been a size six) once I realized that wearing a sleeveless dress, unless I am on a cruise with a bunch of other elephantiasis sufferers, was no longer an option (nor is the possibility of being a size six).

Seeing Jane Fonda’s inner arms, all muscular and wrinkle free made me wonder if she’d been nipped there too, but how would that happen?  Wouldn’t there be a seam line? I understand that one can hide the scars from a facelift somewhere beyond the hairline but where would the revealing tightening evidence go on the arms?

I’m just going to assume that Fonda is, in one more way, Superwoman. She has managed to overcome that glorious rite of passage known as Arm Death. God Bless her. And please, go see her latest work. We only have another thirty or so years before she may consider retiring. Maybe, by then, she might sport an arm wrinkle or two.

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