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(http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/nancy-grace-older-mothers/nancy-grace-twins/)Love her or hate her, Nancy Grace is a very public role model for motherhood over 40. From the day she became pregnant with twins at 47, it was inevitable that—to some extent—we’d be branded in her image as a subculture of motherhood.

Whether in front of the camera or on the street, Grace’s conduct would influence public opinion on the fitness—from soup to nuts—of older career women to become mothers.

In fact, over-40 mom celebrity behavior is the ball and chain we must all wear in the sisterhood of later life motherhood. Anytime a celebrity gets pregnant after 40, the collective of older mothers are all judged by her behavior.

If she is perceived to act on the basis of arrogance, selfishness or folly, then we all stand to be prosecuted and condemned along with her in the dock of public purview.

And, while women like Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis—who are admired and respected in their field—did us a favor, Nancy Grace is like the whirling dervish of midlife mom celebrity.

Ever since her national TV breakthrough during Scott Peterson’s (http://en NULL.wikipedia NULL.org/wiki/Scott_Peterson) trial-by-camera in 2003, she’s been the leading legal lady of broadcast grand-standing, who inspires ambivalence so profoundly as to divide the house of public opinion.

When she scored her own show (http://www NULL.cnn NULL.com/CNN/Programs/nancy NULL.grace/) on HLN, the formula for championing the victim—followed by the ritual hunting down and front-and-centre-of-the-coliseum barbeque of the perp’s hapless carcass—became cast in stone for perpetuity.

Personally, my ambivalence rides the two horses of whether Nancy possesses the courageous zeal of a lion or the predatory urges of a zealot.

Occasionally, you catch a glint of The Madness of Queen Nancy. It’s that same little soupçon of “Mrs. Whippy” I once glimpsed in the ocular depths of Joan Crawford during a TV interview from the black-and-white era.

Like the words to Led Zeppelin’s 1971 tune, Stairway To Heaven (http://www NULL.youtube NULL.com/watch?v=w9TGj2jrJk8), “Ooh, it makes me wonder….”

And then, yesterday I had one of those epiphanies—the kind you get at the gym when you’re forced, à la Clockwork Orange, to soldier through another silent-captioned episode of Rachel Ray while glued to the treadmill of pointlessless.

I chalk it down to my new midlife masochistic fitness yearnings. (It’s either that or get a job as taste tester for Food Incorporated).

Then, there she was—Nancy Grace, limping on stage with a broken foot and a crutch, ready to plug her new syndicated daytime program, Swift Justice (http://www NULL.swiftjustice NULL.com/).

When “Rache” enquired as to the cause of the injury, Nancy replied that she’d gone outside of her house to secretly “surveille” the twins’ nanny through a window and fell.

(If she felt that strongly, she might have invested in a spy cam, but that’s only my opinion)

In any case, Swift Justice—where participants hand over the whip and sign a release form—made its debut in September 2010, earmarked to topple Judge Judy (http://www NULL.signonsandiego NULL.com/news/2010/sep/21/hlns-nancy-grace-goes-to-tv-court-field/) from her Queendom of daytime court TV.

Scintillating, I’m sure, but still. No one on “Rache’s” show made mention that mugging the nanny from outside the garden window might be a trifle Three Stooges—all Grace needed to make the scene complete was Curly and Larry. It must have been lonely out there.

Indeed, far from branding the rest of us older moms as a little slap-happy, it’s the sort of behavior that sets her up for individual distinction.

Nancy Grace is as profoundly unique as a mother as she is as a person. That she’s 51 while her twins are 3 years old is a fact that pales in comparison.

Her lifestyle reminds me of one of those knick knacks for ex-smokers that have a single cigarette encased in glass beside a tiny axe, and a sign that says: “In case of emergency, break glass.”

You might look at it longingly now and then, but you never want to touch it.  A moment’s joy means a life of hell. And Nancy, who dared to break the glass, will never be free of her public image.

And poor little “Age” plays only an understudy on the stage of her maternal notoriety.

Notes for this blog:

Angel La Liberte is the founder of the website Flower Power Mom—The Truth About Motherhood After 40 (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/) (www.flowerpowermom.com (http://www NULL.achildafter40 NULL.com/)), a regular blog featuring news, commentary, real mom stories and expert advice about motherhood after 40.

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