Halle Berry. Demi Moore. Jennifer Aniston. Salma Hayek. This is not our grandmothers’ 40s, my friends.
Today women in the four-oh’s are boldly embracing the singular beauty, wisdom and sensuality of their age and experiencing a renewed joie de vivre. Many are having children. Many are dating men that could have been their children. Overall, I would have to agree with those that say 40 is the new 30 – but a sexier 30 with ten more precious years of self-exploration and divinity of knowledge built-in. I personally was excited to turn 40. It was the first birthday that I felt I earned. It took a lot of love, sweat and tears to get here, dammit, I thought, as I belted out karaoke in my living room until someone more sober than me (my husband) cut the mic after what I thought was a stellar Single Ladies/Milkshake medley. Now that I’ve settled in for a year and have had time to muse over this meeting of chronological age and me, there are some newfound, not exactly empowering ticks arising that my sexy 40-something celebrity peers have not been quick to divulge in Vogue. Like the addition of two brand new “PMS” stages to each month: post-menstrual syndrome and present-menstrual syndrome. And having to stop eating things you really enjoy, like food, in order to wear your pants again from just last year. A few days ago I discovered another otherwise non-disclosed joy of the swinging years. Sneeze inflicted muscle seizures. While bending down to retrieve my dog’s leash, I sneezed and felt the unexpected equivalent of an instrument of torture ripping into my lower back and lodging there for a few good, deep twists. A weekend down for the count. So, while forty is definitely fierce and fabulous and this decade one I intend to fulfill with my heart’s desires, it is life’s little sprinklings of merde that certainly help keep it real – and growing.
© Jennifer Dowd
(Jennifer Aniston feature photo from W Magazine, credit: Steven Klein)