You fancy Monty Don, make-up makes you look older and you have no idea what 'peng' means… Mimi Spencer's signs of middle age
Fabulous at 46: Cindy C puts it down to her no-make-up make-up
A survey has established that 55 is now considered by many to be ‘middle aged’. This means, if you’re still alert enough do the maths, that we can expect to live to 110 or thereabouts – which seems way too long to me.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of anything I’d particularly like to do between the ages of 100 and 110, apart from snooze, suck on barley sugars and peer at great-grandchildren wondering who on earth they may be. Still, there you have it: if you are in your 40s like me, you’ve got more than a decade of fun before you hit the greying middle. Yippee. Let’s go canyoning!
'In an era where your mum wears skinny jeans and great-grans tweet, it’s hard to define where middle-age starts'
What rot. In my view, middle age descends, as it has done for decades, at around the age of 45 – although recognising the signs of its arrival has become something of an art. In an era where age is just a number, where your mum wears skinny-fit jeans and great-grans really do tweet, canyon and tune into Nick Grimshaw’s breakfast show – sometimes all at once – well, you have to look for subtle hints about where you reside on the great timeline of life. To help, then, a few tips.
You know you’re middle aged when…
• Make-up makes you look older. Cindy Crawford tweets that ‘As I’ve gotten older I wear less make-up. It can make you look older, and hopefully we get more comfortable in our skin.’ If you can forgive Cindy the new-age blather and the word ‘gotten’, you’ll see her point. When foundation starts to highlight the cracks, rather than disguise them, you know you’ve hit the middle zone. Eyeshadow collecting in the crepy crinkles of your lids Mac’s Lickable pink lipstick making you look like Grayson Perry Eye bags immune to the radiant kiss of Touche Eclat Middle, people. Middle.
• You refuse to try skateboarding, wakeboarding – in fact, any kind of novelty boarding. Though you are considering FitFlops.
• You have reduced your wine intake to Friday nights only. As a spokesperson for Nigella put it recently, ‘Miss Lawson attributes her weight loss to discovering exercise and reducing her wine intake to Friday nights.’ Very middle-aged.
• You don’t really fancy a Christopher Kane Frankenstein T-shirt. In fact, you don’t really fancy anyone any more. Apart from, maybe, Monty Don.
• You’re older than the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
• You know, deep in your soul, that you’re too old to wear the cap-sleeved broderie anglaise dresses that the Duchess of Cambridge wore in the South Pacific. Yellow Hell no.
• Sam Cam is younger than you. So is Nick Clegg. Though he does look tired…
• You walk into Topshop and all you can see is a sea of man-made fibres. It used to be a glorious cavern of fabulous must-have trends!
• You have the same hair dilemmas as Fiona Bruce. Though sadly not the same hair.
• You have no idea what ‘peng’ means.
• You think Kate Moss is looking raddled and it secretly pleases you. She’s younger than you!
• You don’t really recognise your hands any more. They’re starting to look like an OS map of Nevada.
• You realise that you’ve had these teeth for 40 years! You worry whether they’ll last.
• You are considering pilates, but wonder if it’s too late now.
• When you walk past a market trader and he whistles, you realise he is directing a delivery van into a tight parking spot.