The Approach to 50: the cold hard truth

I only have 10 rows to go on my neon cowl, but I have set it aside today to respond to recent media coverage of women of a certain age.


 Emma Thompson hit the headlines after the following was published in the Guardian:

Appropriate clothing for a woman over 50 (Fifty Plus Catalogue) – it came with The Guardian
I thought 50 was the new 35?
“Can I just say, very loudly, bollocks. If you look after yourself and you’re healthy, then you’ll have the energy to do things. But not to recognise getting older for what it is? I do think the infantilisation of our generation is one of the huge issues of our time. People wanting to be 35 when they’re 50 makes me think: why? Why don’t you be 50 and be good at that? And also embody the kinds of choices that are sustainable at that age.”
Suitable furnishings for the Fifty Plus reader
In the same Guardian article, the interviewer observes:
She looks like a graduate student in a Greenpeace sweatshirt, torn jeans, owlish glasses and trainers, her face fresh without makeup – an observation that, after spending an hour with Thompson, one hesitates to make for fear of letting the side down. Still, she is an actor, and pulls another version of herself out of the hat when necessary,
I bet Emma Thompson would wear this outfit at 55 (Plumo)
Meanwhile… over at The Times this weekend, Shane Watson published an extraordinary piece on “How to Look Good Over 40:  The New Rules”.  I was shocked to discover that Shane is a woman after reading this comment on over-40s in low-rise jeans:
“Don’t care if the area between your tummy button and knicker line is exemplary. Don’t want to see that womby outline.”
Whooof!  There’s a phrase I’ve never seen before and never want to see again!
Before I realised the truth about what I was reading, she had made me question my own clothing choices over the past 10 years when she wrote:
“40 is the age when women get a boost of positive body dysmorphia.  Get past 40 and you think:  I am hot for 40!  I am wasted in these regular clothes; I am going to get a bloody short skirt and a really filthy low-cut top right now.  This is fine.  Confidence is good.  But ask yourself, why have I not worn this stuff before?  Am I having a Forty Flush?”
Shane is the author of a book called:  “How to Meet a Man after 40”  I won’t link to that.  Because everything I read about it suggests it is more of the same sort of girl-on-girl misogyny.
Wow!  That’s what I call a womb-covering cardi – love it! (Plumo)
But when you (I) find your(my)self approaching 50, you (I) start to question the image you (I) present to the world.
My perfect armchair – when I am a grown-up I will buy one like this (Plumo)
The chin hair, the yellow teeth, the frizzy grey stragglers, the sagging jowls:  they are all real.  They are not fun things to find in the mirror in the morning.  
That 10-year window between 40 and 50? When it feels OK to wear purple velvet shorts or skinny jeans? That is to be treasured my friends, because one day soon, it won’t feel right anymore.
It doesn’t feel right anymore.  And I feel kinda lost.
Seasalt dress found on ebay.  Too short for the office?  I wore it anyway.