Dear Readers: Today’s sound off is about the unrealistic expectations placed on women.                   

— Heloise

Dear Heloise: The world is full of beautiful women. Some look like supermodels, and some look like me — an average-looking person, clean and neat but not a great beauty. Still, beauty magazines would have us believe that a 30-year-old woman can look like the retouched 18-year-old model if we buy what they’re selling. I would be more impressed with a 50-year-old woman looking the best she can with the manufacturer’s product. I don’t care if it’s makeup/shampoo, clothing or undergarments.

“Show us a real woman for a refreshing change. Choose a housewife with a couple of kids, a full-time job and a few extra pounds on her hips. Why? Because these are the real heroes of our society. These are the women who do the best they can with what they’ve got, and more than likely, they aren’t supermodels. They’re just your average American woman with little time or money to spend on herself. Let manufacturers show us how their products work on real women who haven’t been retouched.”

 — Valerie H. in Los Angeles

Where to write: Got a hint you want to share? Send your tips and tricks to: Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5000. Send a fax to 1-210-HELOISE, or email