Davina McCall On Why Ageing Is Empowering: 'I Genuinely Care A Lot Less About What People Think'

'It doesn’t all end at a certain age.'

28/04/2017 00:06

Davina McCall is living proof that age is nothing but a number and as she approaches 50, she wants to tell other women that ageing can bring you confidence. 

“There are lots of things that I am beginning to enjoy and realise are okay. I genuinely care a lot less about what people think of me,” she told Good Housekeeping magazine.

“As you grow older, I think you’ve earned the right to wear something that might divide people.

“I want to take risks! When I was younger I would be upset about it [being criticised in the media]. Now I couldn’t give two hoots. I’m wearing what I’m wearing. Get over it!” 

Stuart C. Wilson via Getty Images

The TV presenter said self belief is the key to her confidence.

“When you’re not feeling very sure of yourself, the temptation is to shy away and not be seen or heard. But you shouldn’t be embarrassed to put yourself forward for things,” she said.

“I am annoyingly enthusiastic and a bit like Marmite – you either love me or hate me. So it’s about putting yourself out there. That’s frightening, as you may think you’ll get rejected or laughed at. But if you are, you’ve got to brush it off.”

McCall highlighted that there are plenty of kick-ass women over 50 out there, saying 82-year-old Dame Judi Dench is one of her biggest inspirations. 

“She’s having fun, living life and enjoying herself,” she said.

“It’s so important for women to be out there showing other women that it doesn’t all end at a certain age. It keeps going on as long as we keep going on.”

Good Housekeeping

She also takes inspiration from her Dad who is battling Alzheimer’s disease and from her grandmother who is struggling with dementia.

“My dad’s positive attitude is quite extraordinary. In certain aspects he is getting worse – his short-term memory is really a struggle. But he is living a great life and has the amazing love of my stepmum, who I call Mum,” she said. 

“When you see the way he is dealing with it, you realise you can’t mope around. My lovely granny is very confused now, but she is happy. They are both pretty inspirational.”

But, her family’s health problems have made her question her own and she admitted having called her doctor twice in floods of tears, saying “I’ve definitely got Alzheimer’s disease”.

“She [the doctor] is so nice to me and says: ‘If you had Alzheimer’s, you wouldn’t be calling me about it.’ She has told me I’m only forgetful because my inbox is full and I have cognitive overload,” McCall said. 

“I don’t drink, I don’t smoke and I am in good health. If I get ill, I get ill – it’s a lottery. None of us knows what’s going to happen around the corner. You just have to enjoy life.”

She went on to say her approach to motherhood is very different to her mum’s own way of parenting.  

“My daughters borrow my clothes and look miles better than me, which is exactly as it should be,” she said.

“My mum used to borrow my clothes and look better than me. I remember thinking to myself: ‘When I have children, I am not going to do this. I am going to let my children shine.’

“I feel no hint of jealousy towards my children. I have lived a very colourful life and I don’t need to do that any more. I will bask in their glow.”

 Read the full Davina McCall interview in the June 2017 issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale 3rd May. Also available as a digital edition.

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