Older Ladies - Donnalou Stevens
www.donnaloustevens.com - Donnalou Stevens has struck a world-wide chord with her first ever music video, ‘Older Ladies’. Instead of complaining or trying to cover up the things that typically associated with getting older, these ladies proudly show us thighs that jiggle and wiggle, cellulite and aching feet, eyes that bag and skin that sags with an air of self-acceptance that so real and fun, it’s utterly contagious. The message that getting older is somehow a ‘bad’ thing is turned on it’s head and Stevens delivers a positive, playful and potent invitation to older women everywhere to feel great about themselves.
To many, it may look like I am an overnight success with ‘Older Ladies’, my first ever music video, but there’s a lot more to the story and the woman behind it than meets the eye. The joie de vivre that is seen consistently in my photos was hard won and well deserved.
Born in Austin, TX, I came into this world with a fiery spirit, a gypsy heart and a creative streak that made everyone who knew me well think I was bound for fame. We all thought it would happen a lot earlier in my life and for years I was resentful it hadn’t. What I did not understand is that all along, I was being taught about what to sing.
As a child, most of people closest to me didn’t understand me and were completely overwhelmed by my wild, fully-expressed nature. Many tried everything possible to tame me and make me fit into a paradigm I neither understood or liked. I put up a big, big fight for a long, long time but in the end, it was a battle I couldn’t win.
Conforming to who other people wanted me to be was like walking around in a coat that was many sizes too small. I was constantly agitated and deeply uncomfortable. I had this massive amount of powerful, raw energy that wanted to be expressed, but it was repeatedly squashed into a little bitty body and had nowhere to go. I didn’t have the eyes to see it was the coat that was the problem, not the person in it, so I came to believe there was something terribly wrong with me and I grew to hate myself.
All that energy that could have been used to create magical things and express love turned in on itself and was used to fuel a false story of great deficiency, a 20 year eating-disorder and 35 year bout of intense, physical pain. The incredible gifts I was born with to be of benefit to the world became devices I used get something from it instead. I used my talents to feel better about myself, to get attention, to feel special, worthy and loved because I had completely forgotten I already was.
This seemingly tragic journey became so intense and the physical pain so difficult to bear, I walked around for two months deciding whether to take my life or dedicate it to figure out how to love it.
I did not have the courage to do the first and chose the latter. I could not physically work so I made my full-time job dismantling the limited beliefs that held my suffering in place. The journey of running from pain turned into one of turning towards it and coming home to self-love. This is what I sing about now, that journey home to love. There was and is no room in my artistic closet for giving voice to anything limiting. I will not lend it to sing of pain, sadness, heart break or what’s wrong with the world. My promise is that when my songs are heard, they will be songs of what I now know to be true, that we are all incredibly beautiful beings, worthy of love, no matter what.
People have always said they cannot get my songs out of their heads. I heard that so often, I took responsibility for what I wanted to put in there! The answer is joy. The answer is love. The answer is worthiness and celebration. That’s what I want for myself and everyone on this planet. I was a butterfly all along and thought I was a worm. I believe everybody has wings and most everyone has just forgotten like I did. My job as a performer and musician is to remind people of that fact.
I reckon that’s the best job in the whole wide world. I am so grateful.
Artist website: www.donnaloustevens.com