In my life I am surrounded by fabulous women.
The kind of women that make me proud. The kind of women who make juggling modern life seem easy. The kind of women whom I know, you would all love.
One of my good friends is one of these women. She is beautiful, clever, talented, funny and kind.
She has it all. But she's worried about hitting the big 40.
Not so far off forty myself, I admit I have a few little niggles too about my next impending milestone. It's only natural I guess.
But why is a number so important to us? And why are we so fearful of ageing?
I looked at my stunning friend the other day and I listened to her fears. I heard what she was saying and I absolutely understood.
But it didn't half make me feel a little sad. Because she doesn't see what I see.
She doesn't see, that I see, a beauty of a woman in the prime of her life.
She doesn't see, that I see, a woman who is becoming wiser, more talented and more brilliant with every passing year.
And that a number, even one that starts with a four at the beginning, really won't change anything.
At forty and beyond I have absolutely no doubt that she will still be fabulous.
That she'll still make me cry with laughter. That she'll still be stylish and stunning and sexy.
So why does she fear it?
And why do all of us fear getting older?
The biological clock is probably part of the reason I guess. I sure can hear mine ticking loudly each day, in my mid thirties. But aren't we more than our fertility?
And of course, the media, don't help. What with all their photoshopping and criticising of all famous women, young or old.
Do we fear getting old because we think we may no longer be attractive to men?
We're continually told that the opposite sex prefer their women bouncy and youthful, with long locks and not a day over 25.
But if that's the case, how come lots of men think Helen Mirren, who's nearing seventy, is the absolute bomb?
As women, we are continually being made to fear getting old, as if getting older and living more, is the worst thing that can ever happen to us.
But I ask you ladies, isn't this horrendous?
Doesn't this just make you want to shout about the injustice of it all?
Doesn't it just make your blood boil that the world seems to think that us women are only valuable if we're young, beautiful and dare I say it, but preferably a little bit gullible or naive too.
Isn't it time we got rid of the fear and the dread?
We are continually told that ageing is something we need to fight.
We are continually given the message that we are worthless when we get to a certain age.
But do you know something?
We should be so lucky to get older.
We should be so lucky to acquire a face full of laughter lines.
We should be so lucky to still be here to see sunsets, enjoy hot sex, wear pretty things and watch our children grow up.
We should be so lucky!
Society has made us feel fearful of getting older.
Society has made older women feel invisible, forgotten and unloved.
But that doesn't mean we have to accept it. Nor does it mean it has to be our truth.
Isn't it time that we stopped actually caring what number we are?
This morning I found a single grey hair on my head and watched the light bounce off it in my bathroom mirror. Am I bothered?
Nope, not one bit.
I hope I get to be so lucky that I live to be a ripe ol' age.
I hope that I'm still here in my forties and fifties, eighties even, still telling my friends, that no matter how old they are, they're still bloody incredible.
To me, we have two choices as women when it comes to getting older.
We can either accept it, be grateful we're still here and choose to be and look our best, at whatever age we are.
Or we can fight it and try and run away from it, with surgery, lies and at great expense.
That's our choice. Right there.
And there's no judgement from me, either way.
But I can't help but feel that we'd all be a lot happier and calmer if we went for the first option. I can't help but feel that this option is the most appealing.
So yep, this morning I did remove that fine grey hair from my tired head. And I've no intention of succumbing to a barnet of grey hair anytime soon.
But you know one day, when I do get older and when I think the time is right, I'm rather looking forward to some silver locks.
And in fact, I've already planned that I will probably dye them pink.
Because I may then be considerably older. I may then be considerably wrinklier. But I promise you this.
Regardless of age, I'll still be doing my absolute best, to be me.
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