Last night as my friends and I gathered around to watch the Oscars, all but one of us in our 40s (the one who is not is the Samantha Jones of our group…older, not by much, but very much young at heart), I realized how fabulous all of us look. We may not be movie-star perfect, but we’ve kept it together despite having careers that require us to work a lot, children, husbands, doctors appointments and school commitments, nightly dinner decisions, and house projects that never end.
No, we may not be accepting Oscars and wearing designer clothing (“Versace made this for me,” said Jada Pinkett-Smith), but you know what they say, the 40s are the new 30s.
I sometimes say to my students things like, “You won’t remember this from the 1980s, but I do because I’m old,” and I’ve decided I will no longer say things like that. I will no longer put myself down because I am … getting on.
Brad Pitt doesn’t make those types of apologies, and he’s older than I am; Jared Leto—stunningly gorgeous at 42—doesn’t apologize for being older; and certainly four of the five women nominated for Best Actress who are in their forties or older do not make apologies: Cate Blanchett, the winner in the category is 44; Sandra Bullock is 49; Judi Dench is 79; Meryl Streep is 64, and Amy Adams is just a few short months away from turning 40.
The truth about being in our forties is that we get amazingly better with age. We are smarter, funnier, sillier, and more compassionate than we were when we didn’t know better. Sure our bras may need to be better fitted and our Spanx have to work a little harder, but I’ve looked at aging as something that is to be sworn off and dreaded, when in fact, it should be embraced as it is a part of becoming a better, more mature and wonderful version of ourselves.
So there are more lines around the eyes (we have been laughing longer than some of you younger folks); so we don’t have time to commit to certain exercise routines (we are busy increasing our minds by reading and going to the theatre and attending our children’s sports games); so we drink one more glass of wine than we should when we are counting calories (shut up, sweeties, we are enjoying ourselves).
Seriously, who gives a sh—.
We’re in our forties, and we’re fabulous.