Life never looked so good as it does through 40-year-old eyes.
Not everyone agrees with me apparently. The article ’40 Effed Up Things about Being 40’ went viral and I suppose that means a lot of people could relate.
I read the article and felt grateful that I don’t see the world that way. I suppose many readers appreciated the humour in the article (at least I hope it was meant to be humorous). Still, I just didn’t relate to most of it and I’m writing this for women who do – or need to – realise that the benefits of being 40 far outweigh the negatives.
With the aim of being succinct, I won’t go through all 40 points in the ’40 is Effed up’ article here, but let’s review a few…
“11. Any girl can look cute like Rachel on Friends in her 20’s. Only Jen Anniston looks cute like Rachel on friends in her 40’s”
A comment like this is just bad for everyone’s self-esteem and a blatant lie. Sure, a 20-year-old looks like a 20-year-old. But let’s be clear, 40-year-old Jen Anniston looks like a 40-year-old. Have you looked at regular photos of J.A. with no makeup on? Well, she looks amazing and beautiful, and she looks 40. Let’s stop comparing ourselves to women who’ve been photo-shopped or improved by professional makeup artists before the camera starts rolling.
“8. I’m probably never going to be a Solid Gold Dancer”
Yeah, me either and at 40 I’ve stopped giving an Eff about that because I realise that life is short and if you want to dance, then just dance.
“5. If I eat chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, I’ve gained a size by dinner time”
Likely an exaggeration and no more valid than saying, ‘If I get out and exercise, I’ll be healthier’. At 40, I cherish my body and usually feed it healthy food. And if I’m going to eat dessert, I’m going to do it guilt-free’. For the record, I’m still in the process of accepting that my smaller size jeans are never going to fit me again (and still reluctant to get rid of them just yet) but, at 40, I’ve never felt sexier.
“1. Other than Teen Mom, I have no clue what’s on MTV”
So what? How is that any worse than a teenager not being able to name all four of the Beatles?
“20. Other than the Kardashians, I don’t recognise anyone in the tabloids”
Being 40 means I don’t care about tabloids and realise I should never have.
At 40 you’re just getting started. In our 30’s we wised up to all the socialisation and expectation placed on us; all the rules about what we should and shouldn’t do; how we should and shouldn’t look; and we said, “Eff that”.
In our 40’s we’re selective about who we put in our inner circle. My 41st birthday was dinner with 10 of the most extraordinary women I know; the best birthday I’ve ever had.
In our 40’s we know we ‘look older’ and we’re confident enough to not let that mean we are inferior in some way. In my twenties, I dated men who felt entitled to make judgements about my appearance. Now, in my forties, my man looks at me like I’m the freakin’ Mona Lisa, regardless of the time of day or how long it’s been since I shaved my legs. That’s because I used my thirties to developed standards, educated myself about what healthy relationships look like and vowed to accept no less.
My women friends, if you have more negative than positive associations about being over 40, I suggest it’s time to reevaluate.