Picture this, you have excitedly accompanied your friend to the set of the live, TV show This Morning. Eamonn Holmes is interviewing your companion. He then decides to invite you on set and in front of thousands of viewers, introduces you as your friend’s mother! You smile bravely but die a little inside.
Someone once said, pretty women die twice. I’m not talking a physical death. The first death a woman experiences is that of her youth and her womanly wiles. Time stealthily creeps up on you, then a defining incident will occur, signifying your first passing is complete. I think it’s safe to say Eamonn Holmes defined the moment for that poor woman being mistaken for her friend’s mum in front of the nation.
I have recently experienced confirmation that I too no longer hold the same youthful allure I once did where the opposite sex is concerned. Thankfully, it was a low-key death not witnessed by the masses and happened in my local shop. There stood a Ross Poldark look-a-like behind the counter. His rugged looks and muscly torso had me all-of-a-quiver. I smiled at him admiringly. Evidently he was blind to my charms and immune to my womanly wiles.
“Will that be all Ma’am?” he asked as he packed my Werther’s Originals and Woman’s Weekly into a plastic bag. My face froze, I spun around thinking Her Majesty had just entered on a Winalot run for the Corgis, but no, it was me he was referring to! For the first time in my life, I had been referred to as; ‘Ma’am!’ The title conjured up visions of myself in a head scarf, tweed skirt and sturdy lace-up shoes. My ego and pride landed on the floor in a heap. That was the moment my sex appeal and youth were pronounced clinically dead – RIP (Realisation Is Painful!). It was like a middle-aged Brexit from attractiveness. I pulled up my little, elasticated-waist, jeans defiantly and schlepped off home in my orthopaedic insoles to lick my wounds. After an hour of grieving my first demise, I thought, enough! I’m a fifty-year-old woman with a nine-year-old son, a loving husband, good health and I have achieved my dream of becoming a published author twice over. I have looked after my late parents who both had Alzheimer’s. I’ve defeated panic attacks, overcome agoraphobia and defiantly refused to hand over my purse when confronted by a balaclava-wearing, gun-wielding, robber. Quite frankly, I’m fifty and I’m chuffing fabulous!
I’m a woman of a certain age, an age of strength, resilience and determination. So what if Poldark look-likes are immune to my charms? I have my own hunk at home. Other than for the physical attributes, in all honesty, I wouldn’t want to be young again! I like where I am in my head at fifty, as do many mature women, women like Carol Vorderman who is fronting P&Gs ‘women of a certain age campaign’ and is the face of www.victoria.co.uk, a site dedicated to celebrating a new generation of timeless women.
According to a UK study of women aged between 50-64, today’s 50 plus females are a new generation of timeless, inspirational individuals embracing their years and breaking boundaries in all aspects of life, with over 70 percent saying they feel more self-assured than ever.
After the death of youth, we must learn to stop chasing it, making way for a rebirth. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, we reinvent ourselves.
If I had to make a list of people in the world I most admire, there would be no skinny, young, whippersnappers there, so there’s no point in worrying about not looking like them. My list would be filled with women in their fifties, sixties and beyond, inspirational women like Oprah Winfrey (62), J. K Rowling (50) and Carol Vorderman whom at the age of 55 has bought a plane and has learnt to fly it. The sky’s the limit for women of a certain age these days. We may be momentarily knocked off our perches by unwitting comments by the likes of a Poldark look-a-like or an Eamonn Holmes when youth is gone, but we must climb back up there and learn to love ourselves and our lives at every age, because it’s the only life we’ve got!
No matter what age you are, there’s always someone older who would love to be as young as you!