Have You Outgrown The Role Of The Ingenue?

2h-Pierre-Auguste-Renoir-French-painter-1841-1919-IngenueA time comes in the lives of all women, when they realize they can no longer play the part of the ingenue.Β  They’ve got to make a transition and it’s not always easy.Β  In fact, many women are scared to death to step out of this role and leave it behind.

When a woman does hit this stage, invariably she’s got a Saturn transit going. She feels pressured to act her age, which is no longer seventeen…or twenty nine for that matter.

As difficult as flipping this switch might be, it’s imperative that you manage. Otherwise you become somewhat of a caricature.

I work with a lot of woman in this process.Β  Basically, “Carol” has to morph to “Carol 2.0”

Have you outgrown the role of the ingenue? Have you successfully reinvented yourself or do you need to work on this? Could you use some help?

pictured – Ingenue, Renoir, Pierre-Auguste (French 1841-1919)



Have You Outgrown The Role Of The Ingenue? — 57 Comments

  1. I think this is one area where Saturn as a Chart Ruler shines!

    I was old when I was young. There was no “transition” as such =)

  2. Yes, *sighs* makes me kind of nostalgic.

    I am not sure whether it is linked with the emotional rebirth that the coming Full Moon is bringing… but it definitely feels like another step. And no turning back.

  3. Yeah, at some point a woman has to stop planting her head in the sand and get a clue.

    ( ^^ Blue Rose, I’m talking to you, too!)

  4. I went through this when Saturn was in Scorpio the last time although I should have done it long before. And oddly enough I am going through it again (a second time) but in a very different way.

    I went from innocent girl to woman last time. This time I have to accept that I am an elder. Not elderly… lol but I have to accept my age, position in my family and in the mirror. This one is actually a little harder than the first transition.

    This time I am winding up for the last part of my life accepting that I am no longer a younger woman, even though I continue to skate with the dog, exercise, bike, blah blah doing all the things right now I think I may not be able to do in years to come just because I may not physically be able.

    Its very hard to realize that you have only X amount of years left. Anything can happen after 50. So, I found I was trying to ‘fit it all in’ and that was very frustrating. Bucket-listing…jumping out of an airplane while I was young enough to avoid a hip fracture…lol

    You really have to be careful or you will look like a cartoon character. I see women fighting these changes with balloon lips and skin pulled up on their faces…wearing teenage clothes…and I feel sorry for them because we have to accept these changes as naturally as we did going from childhood into puberty. Its just a part of life.

    This doesn’t mean that I like it. There are days that I look back and can’t believe how much time I wasted on stupid things. I don’t have a lot of regret but I could kick myself for not getting busy with living a lot sooner than I have.

    Yesterday I spent the day with my 5 year old g-daughter. We were getting ready for our day. I was sitting in the mirror getting my self together and she opened a closet door to get her hair bows…this door has a full length mirror on it and when she opened it I could see myself in full view sitting in a towel …. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I had no real idea who that person was sitting there.

    Then, I looked at her. Fresh, pink, full of wonder with a twinkle in her eyes. She sparkles she is so fresh and vibrant. I immediately thought … oh to be 5 again. She gets to do it all…followed by, oh, I have so much to teach her…and the thoughts of what I look like fell away as fast as that.

    I have a new roll. She is helping me through it. In her eyes I am the *most beautiful woman* she has ever seen. She tells me this. She sees me as her soft place. I am her grandmother and the love in her heart for me ….whew… when I see myself as an older woman she sees beauty. (i remember thinking my grandmother was beautiful)

    My 5 year old g-baby is showing me something about myself that isn’t in a mirror. This is a beautiful thing. She is my mirror now. She is letting me know that my inside is showing and I am getting there… I am doing it right. I have this beautiful blue-eyed blonde baby with a Scorpio moon guiding me, teaching me, just as I am her. Her roll in this may be more important than mine.

    I have had many special relationships over the years. My grandmother helped me through childhood. My children helped me become an adult and this little 5 year old girl has me by the hand guiding me though the rest of it.

    My god I am lucky. To have these people help me through. Often we don’t recognize our support system. I am so sorry this is so long winded but this post comes at a time when I am passing through a 2nd time…. its hard, its work, it can be cruel somedays….but I can do this. An angel has me by the hand…and she is showing me the way!!!!!!!!!!! I will not fail her.

    • Your post is incredible and touching. I became a grandmother when I was 42 and I now have a 21 year old granddaughter that I helped raise. It is the most precious relationship. She is a Scorpio Sun and is the most honest person I know. I am past my 2nd Saturn return….and now the Lord of Lessons is transiting my Sag Sun….more good times, LOL!

  5. ((((SnP))))

    Going to visit with Poppa at the homestead.

    Timely post, as always. That’s all I will say, except…

    Wish me luck! There are rumors of breakfast out, so I remain hopeful for a good outcome.

  6. It happen in these past 3 years during Saturn transit through my 4th house over my stellium in libra …venus, pluto, sun, mars, uranus and squaring moom amd saturn in my first house. It changed me completely…it was a tough cleaning lots of people desapeared from my life and i had to see myself in the true light to feel my age and be my age…and i had to become more responsable and my atention turned to my family. I had to change …it was like i had no other choice.

  7. yep, it resonates with me…I have a hard time with this because I have a teenage daughter and sons and another daughter in 20’s..they keep me young..i like their music, we do things and go places together with their friends and such,so it’s hard to see myself as the old lady I am.I do have a 2nd saturn return coming december 2014 along with pluto hitting my dc exact same time , so Elsa,I’ll be in touch.(need a reading.) .really worried about that one.

  8. I was just talking about this with my best friend on saturday. I swear, I said “I’m too old to play an ingenue.” I have venus/saturn so being any kind of cartoon is horrifying to me. Standards! It does get tricky in ways that are subtle. Howev

  9. i started doing this last year when i turned 30 and its something ive worked on all year (my bday is june 29). yes i’ve been successful, and it feels good. its a continued work in progress – my future self. but its a much improved version of the girl who still existed at 29. πŸ™‚

  10. It happened later than you’d think….Saturn was t-squaring my Sun and Moon and I aged about 10 years. I was 50 years old, and I realized that was that. Now, one year later, its t-squaring my Venus and Neptune and Saturn and hitting my IC exactly right now, and I’m dealing with it. Saturn oppose Venus never makes one feel too gorgeous! πŸ™‚

  11. Maybe not the ingenue, but dealing with middle age. It’s a weird transition and with Saturn hitting everything I’m learning to navigate it all. Saturn square Saturn is part of that as well.

  12. Yep, that second saturn return is al about elderhood.. not a popular topic in american’s media. I am slowly embracing what it means to be an elder. To enjoy the wisdom and experience of my years. I’d love to have fresher skin, less droopy eyelids, and naturally brown hair,alas,it is my turn to be a crone.I exercise, I pay more attention to y nutrition, and I color my hair. The skin etc will have to just age naturally as surgery is really not an option, in my book. Luckily I have a spouse who likes me as is!

    I am journaling, volunteering, and slowing down to the pace of REAL LIFE, no more hurry hurry..I retired. I shop less and read more.I make lots of ART! I spend more time with freinds.

    I DON’T take things as seriously as I did when I was younger, part of becoming a “wise elder” is knowing that “this too shall pass..”

  13. Natal Venus cj Saturn and Saturn chart ruler. When I was 25 I thot I was too old to wear a wedding gown so I got married in a suit! Of course my Virgo Sun/Asc sensibilities are offended by mutton dressed as lamb and the modern prevalence of what I call googoo girls by which I mean women who refuse to mature with grace.

  14. BTW if you haven’t read it, The Kepi, a short story by the inimitable Colette, is at least as telling as a cold hard look in the mirror.

  15. I have Cappy ascendant with Saturn aspects all over the place in my chart. What’s happening to me is that I am aging backwards. I was always so serious but that is starting to fall away. Maybe a little too much.

    I don’t want to be a cartoon but I don’t want to act a certain way because other people think I should. I try to take cues from individuals who seem ageless, not that they still look the same but there is an inner fire and grace with a big dash of non conformity–i.e. Patti Smith, David Bowie, Kim Gordon. I guess I like my rock stars. LOL

    Definitely an art to balancing it all.

    One thing I was thinking about the other day is that it seems everyone thinks they need to cut their hair as they age. Like long hair is off limits. WHY?

    I guess I’m saying nothing should be off limits if it really makes you happy and you feel comfortable. Isn’t that aging gracefully?

  16. Well…I am going to be 35 in a couple of days and I find it very hard to morph when I literally pass for a 16-year-old! Still! I haven’t done any of the “adult” things in life that one acquires that one has to “take care of.” No husband, no kids, no pets, no house, not even a car. So I have stayed young and immature.

    I am aware that that is bad, and you look ridiculous being a kid at 35 (it’s just embarrassing to have to admit my actual age around anyone since I come off as SO young), but…well, I am unlikely to acquire most of those things that AGE you ever. Okay, I could get a pet, but I am hardly ever home and I don’t think that’s a good idea. I don’t like anyone depending on me for their survival anyway and am amazed that my plants are still alive. I can’t even figure out how to buy a car at this point, sheesh.

    So…I dunno how to age as I am supposed to at this point. I don’t know if I am scared of it (though I admit to being terrified of being a caregiver permanently–that is my worst nightmare short of illness/insanity), but I don’t know how to do DO it without other people making me, if that makes any sense. I suppose the current Saturn in first house transit/eclipse will force me to do so on some level, but it won’t be through the traditional ways that a woman grows up and ages, i.e. through other people and dependents and financial indenture.

    Sara, my mom has a (very short haired) friend who insists that women can’t have long hair and it must be short short short once they get older. I think she’s on crack, honestly. And my mom has shoulder length hair, it’s not like she’s Rapunzel. Man, just do what you want as long as it looks good on you.

  17. OMG–jenfullmoon–we’re part of the same tribe!

    And I’m turning 36 in May (fellow Taurus!) so how about that!

    If it wasn’t for my hubby a lot of things wouldn’t get done. Like A LOT. I use all of my waking time reading astrology blogs, doing inner spiritual work, and exploring the world. I have always been serious but not about the daily life stuff.

    So yeah, I have a lot of growing up to do and I guess I’m a big little kid but it’s not ALL bad…most of it is really, really fun and good, actually.

    However I’m not adverse to being a bit more responsible in the future. Some of it is definitely getting a little ridiculous.


  18. Jenfullmoon –

    I am 35 and look about 25. I get along with people that are in their 20s. I am like you, a free spirit that doesn’t seem affected by peer pressure in the least. This is freedom afterall πŸ™‚ I was okay with all of it, until I threw one fit, that backfired and reminded me I was no longer a teen. So, maybe this full moon can help pass the stage and become just mentally, a fun loving stable, “Saturn figure” of some sorts.

    Last night I was talking to my brother who’s 32, and he said to me : “you’re 35, imagine you’ve got only 5 years left to do EVERYTHING YOU’VE EVER DREAMT OF. Then, at 40, well, it’s all in the head and you might naturally want to settle down”.
    Sighs* he’s probably right. It’s now or never.

    And also I love younger guys, but I threw one fit that was too much. it backfired at my face and now I’m dealing with distance. Way to learn to start acting my age.

    It’s probably going to be quite a harmonious transition anyway… thanks to good genes πŸ˜‰

  19. How funny … I came online to look up ‘Peur eternis’ to see what the equivalent is for a female. It is ‘Puella eternis’ and both are Jungian terms that’ve refer to the male or female eternal child, like Peter Pan who doesn’t want to grow up.

    I got distracted and started wandering the Internet (as one does) and ended up here.

    I actually did not know what ‘ingenue’ meant… had to look it up!

    With Saturn hovering on the cusp of my ascendant and next year my Saturn Return, I am thinking a lot of this theme.
    I am struggling with weight gain and grey hair and all the associations with growing old. Part of me wants to stay young forever! (Obviously I am not alone!)

    Part of that is is due to having a lot of responsibility when young and having to grow up fast (Saturn in first) then years of health issues that sometimes limited my worldly exposure.

    So although some would describe me as quite mature and deep as a person, I am aware of this other side that feels very young who has a deep resistance to stepping into my elder status (Venus in Gemini, Uranus conjunction Sun, Moon in Sag) all give me a young spirit even if I am an old soul!

    I find myself resenting younger women and struggling with status of being the slowest on hikes etc. I want to enjoy ageing and not resist it. Getting older has many benefits. Just have to deal with this Peter Pan part of myself.


    So now I have a new name for it. Engenue!

  20. SnP, thank you again for your beautiful post, especially how your granddaughter sees you. You reminded me of something special there. Love your wisdom.
    I would have said I was fine with aging in my 30’s. Then my mid-life transits hit me (spectacularly) and the reality of it. That’s the thing about Saturn, you just can’t prempt his lessons. They have to be lived. Endured even.

    I’m hoping for a Cap effect – I appeared older when I was younger and am hoping I’ll appear younger as I get older…but gently notice how that ‘hope’ is clinging onto an illusion. Some things have happened with my body that have made me realise how little of it is in my control. And yes, I get a profound shock at times when I look in the mirror. Is that really what other people see?? I’m a bit lighter with it all now but some things continue to be a puzzle. What’s my style now? Where’s the line between dressing as a characature and dressing youthfully.
    I have more gravitas and authenticity, I’m glad of that.

  21. @jenfullmoon, sara etc

    I’m 33 and totally relate. I have Saturn/Virgo/4th right on my IC. I moved out of my parents house for the first time roughly 1 year ago.

    Several years ago, after seeing how my parents sunk their $$ into a house that’s falling apart and they cannot afford to fix, and still have 2 mortgages, I concluded that I would never own my own home. Unless I came into A LOT of money.

    I’ve never had a pet! I don’t know how to drive!

    I didn’t really have my first boyfriend until I was 28 and that was only a few months. I’ve been with the 2nd one for nearly 5 years, and we are now living together.

    Not particularly interested getting married (not to him, anyway) and don’t want to have children.

    Being back in school, I meet a lot of people in their early 20’s and they think I’m their age, which is nice.

    I spent so much of my teens and 20’s feeling like shit and not meeting people/having fun, I’m making up for it now! I don’t “party”, but I go to shows regularly and things like that.

    Until I start to turn grey and have visible wrinkles, I’m going to embrace my youthfulness.
    However, Saturn is transiting my 5th so I figure that’s going to reign me in a little.

    My Saturn return was happening at the same time as Pluto was passing over my Venus when it first went into Cap, and I went kind of crazy, but I didn’t pay much attention to Saturn at the time.

  22. I would like to say when Saturn was in Virgo going through my 12th and now that Saturn crossed my Asc and on into my 1st whilst in Libra. However It’s gonna change some more when it comes to my Saturn Return in 2015… so I’ll becoming more womanly by the time I’m 30. 4 more years of transformation.

  23. Sun in Capricorn, so I never felt particularly drawn to the role of ingenue. Back when I was in high school theater productions, when the other girls wanted to be the ingenue, I wanted the dense, dramatic roles. Why be Liesel warbling “Sixteen going on Seventeen” when I could be the Mother Superior and blare out “Climb Every Mountain.” I went through a bit of age angst when my dad died; he was only 67 years old, and everyone expected him to live a lot longer. But during the grieving process, I had two realizations that were very valuable for me:
    –No one gets to be the kid riding in the backseat of the car forever (and no one would want to be).
    –Growing older isn’t the worst thing that can happen; it is much harder to die before you have come to terms with your life.
    And so I am one of the happiest forty-four year old women around. I feel beautiful, I love the life I have built for myself, and I am ready to be pleasantly surprised by whatever comes next.

  24. Around 36 years of age I gave it up. Two men tried to pull it out of me again after that, but I just couldn’t get it up.

    And yes, exercise and fitness has a whole different purpose at this age!

  25. @Scorpioandproud: Yours is such an elegant response. I am well into my second Saturn Return and am going through reinvention at 65. There are no grandchildren to sit with me in front of the mirror but I am a myth-maker and writer and the characters of my stories help to tell the story of making peace with Saturn. I need the myths that translate truth so birthing or re-birthing comes with the storytelling.

    I see that this 2nd Saturn Return is about letting go of the habit of mothering a child who must transform himself … he is stuck in the process and to grow, we both need to let go. At my first Saturn Return career-building and balancing mothering was the challenge: Public life vs. Home life.

    So Elsa, you asked about the successful reinvention of roles. I’ll have to say, I’m still a work in process and glad I’m still here to give it what I’ve got!

  26. Well! This explains what that stellium in Leo is doing for me these days. Sun, Moon, Mercury, Saturn, Pluto in Leo with Gemini rising and Venus in Cancer. I’m 65, feel 35 and look somewhere in between. This girl just wants to have fun and it’s not happening! Finances, health, and relationships are all upside down and I find myself in the process of re-identifying myself for ME. I’m done with conventions that are expected of me but my friends are not. Can I really find new friends at this stage of the game? Should I have to?
    And then there’s men. For the past year, I’m insanely attracted to 40 something men. They’re attracted back til they learn my age.
    Lots of work to do here and sometimes I’m not sure how much I’ve done or what there is left to do.

  27. @ScorpioandProud, what a wonderful post. It was heartfelt. I’m 45 with no children but I could FEEL your story.

  28. As I posted on the Moodiness Thread, I’ve been crying ALOT over the last three days, basically because of where I am at in my career. I had to take a job a year ago, which I’m still at, that pays me much less than I made in high school. I’m 32 this year, and in my saturn return πŸ™ so it’s making me take stock of where I am, as an ADULT WOMAN, not just the “young girl” struggling and just starting out in life. Definitely feel myself growing, and moving in to a new phase. It doesn’t help that I have five planets in Libra in the 2nd house, and had a nightmare of a time when Saturn was transiting through Libra! Keep it moving Saturn, keep it moving, get out of my signs, pleeeeeease!

  29. Saying Yaayyyy and love, Love, LOVE, Scorpioandproud’s post!!! I am not quite there yet with all her transitions, but sooooo looking forward to experiencing all of it. Thank you for the uplifting post!

  30. *raises hand* Yessss! This is me!!

    Saturn Return, right now! 29 years old!

    Thank GOD I’ve got a group of SUPER inspiring WOMEN to learn from.

    It was all sprung on me faster that I could comprehend, becoming a Mom, a wife and participating in social groups with women who are all AT LEAST five years ahead of me and come from families of MEGA WOMEN.

    I got a lot of valuable things from my Mom but domestication and being an active member within the community were not part of the package. Totally fine with that but… I’ve got a lot to learn.

    It’s like battling the runaways, taming the wild child within, stomping on idealism… just gotta lean into the pain a lot a bit and I’ll get used to it. I’m getting used to it. I’m even… enjoying it! …but sometimes that remembrance of freedom and innocence creeps back around and I falter.

    However… I’m pretty far into my Saturn Return, I’m far enough “ahead” that I can see a new freedom on the horizon, a different kind of goodness.

    It’s worth leaning into.

    I’m going to keep on working on this.

  31. Re-reading this. I’m coming up to this certainly. My family says ‘quit calling yourself a girl you’re a woman.’ I know men who aren’t 15 years older want a ‘girl.’ A wispy, beautiful, mysterious girl. I have the eyes of a child and wear drab clothing like Diane Keaton once made me look quirky. I’m no Sofia Loren style ‘woman.’ I always want to be quirky and girlish like Jane birkin or Audrey tautou or francoise hardy. So I don’t know how to do all that woman stuff, the seaweed wraps, the lash extensions, the creams. I play the woman in dusty, frumpy clothes who’s also a bitch. When I want to be some kind of high minded Joanna newsom or jenny lewis.

  32. I guess in refusing to learn the trappings of a woman, instead of being all fairuza balk in the craft, I became some old lez looking awkward bitch in a motorcycle jacket and combat boots with no feminine touches. More Clea duvall or Sarah vowell

  33. As a result, the attention I tend to get is from men who I paranoidly observe to be chub enthusiasts or men old enough to have sired me or something. Then I come home and cry

    • Yeah, I am living this. I almost never generate sexual interest from men I’m attracted to any more and knowing it’s only going to get more difficult as I keep getting older makes me pray I lose my raging libido to menopause so I don’t have to be tormented any more. Yes, some women do meet partners they enjoy great sexual chemistry with later in life. And some don’t. I’d rather prepare for the latter even though I ache for the former.

  34. I have passed through my second Saturn return – thank God. Still there’s plenty of planets out there to play with my head, heart and health. You know what I love life. I love to dance, I love to kiss, I love to wear less make-up because too much enhances my laugh lines (not frown lines), I love my children who are now old enough to know better but do it anyway (they got that from me), I like my husband and may fall in love with him again someday, if not, then what? I stop growing? I don’t think so.

    My mother use to say “Women don’t mind getting older, they just don’t want to be ugly.” If you feel ugly then change rooms, change friends, hang out with toddlers or go to the nursing home and spoon someone soup. You’ll feel so much better.

    I have nothing profound to add, as son many above have. But you only get one life. If you want to botox do it. Its your face. If you want to wear red with purple do it. Its your body. If you can take a boot camp class and kick ass…well sign me up with you!

    • I am with you a hundred percent on helping other people to feel better about life, but I will always hate no longer looking young. NOTHING gives a woman more power than youth and beauty. Peer. Eee. Udd.

  35. My second Saturn return is happening now…its a hard one compared to the first. With the first, I think I became more of a woman instead of a girl. This time, I seem to be losing traction and sadly, hope. Very hard time for me.

  36. I’m staring down my second Saturn Return in my Sagittarius 11th House, too, Melinda. It climaxes the entire month of December this year – at least it won’t be retrograde! I’ve pared down my life in just about every area so I don’t know what to expect. I think I’m suppose to take a leadership position in my astrology group. That would actually be fun. An aside, I loved ScorpioandProud’s entry as well.

  37. I think Taylor Swift is the poster child for this these days…

    I don’t know about me in this. I am slowly growing up, but SLOWLY, at turtle pace. I still look young (people thought I was in high school last weekend)…if anyone can be an ingenue forever, it’s probably me, but I don’t think I act it so much as I just look it. But then again, short with a round face will do that to ya. Taylor Swift isn’t going to be able to manage it much longer…well, at all now.

  38. I read that story mentioned in an earlier comment. Yeah. We do tend to so coldly judge others age and imperfection that confidence and swagger seems a poor way to guard against it. I think aging is painful because men find women undesirable quicker than they lose their own physical power. I don’t think Carol two point oh is necessarily a good look. She won’t be able to get advantages. Some people have an ingenue vibe. I’m thinking of Annie Hall. Not everyone has Capricorn in their chart and can pull it off.

  39. I think some of us air or non earth women have less resilience to aging and freak out. Or throw a fit. Cause we don’t want to believe it’s come to this Or we’re not ready. Or maybe I’m speaking for myself. Plus I have a tendency to spin out and think the worst if I don’t have someone to comfort me

    • Kri you could be right. I absolutely hate getting older and letting go of the ingenue role but anguished rage is my lifelong default setting anyway. Saturn in Sag is transiting my Sun demanding I grow up or face the consequences. I know fighting it won’t help so going with it but joylessly. I am mostly fire with a water moon.

    • That spinning out when no one is there to comfort you is a hard place to be Kri. Tough feeling and reality, feel for you.

  40. I’ve definitely made the transition. When I was around 34, I realized I was no longer a young woman but a fully-fledged mature woman with battle scars, thicker skin, and an attitude to match.

    I stopped letting things bother me that my younger self would have cried about for months or years. I own myself completely now, whereas before I allowed others to have more power over me and my emotions than they ever should have. This includes my marriage too. I drew a line in the sand and told my SO that they aren’t to cross it and if they did, there would be consequences. I don’t apologize profusely for being myself. I just am.

    People seldom even try now to take advantage of my energy or my time. What I have to offer is quite transparent and pretty much a take it or leave it. I’ve enjoyed this phase a lot more than the one of the ingenue.

  41. I hope not birthday July 31 Saturn return last year lived it worked it for all I could now to be the real engenue I never was ..At all.. w/ my 10 degrees Sagg rising I enjoyed the feedback wish I saw it yesterday you just can’t fit it all into one lifetime it seems you have to wing it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *