Women over 40 SHOULD wear bikinis, says Nancy dell'Olio, aged 50 (and she should know)
16:57 GMT, 24 July 2012
Nancy Dell'Olio has hit out at a growing band of Britons who claim women over 40 should not wear bikinis.
Appearing on breakfast show This Morning the 50-year-old Italian star insisted that contrary to recent findings that suggested 70 per cent of Brits think women over 40 should ditch the two-piece, ladies of all ages can wear bikinis. 'It's about how they look and feel, not about an age limit, she says.
'And it's about how confident you are,' she told Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on the show today.
Fifty and fabulous: At 50, Nancy Dell'Olio looks better in her bikini than many women half her age
'You can look in the mirror at the age of 20 or 25 and think you don't look nice in a bikini. Or you can be 55 and have a body much better than you did when you were 25.
'It's true that some young girls shouldn't wear a
bikini. But you can be more
beautiful aged 50 to 80 than you might have aged 20 to 30.
'I certainly I don't think there is
anything wrong with my body – I look good in a bikini – and the Daily
Mail would be very upset if I stopped wearing them,' she joked.
Charming: Nancy Dell'Olio on This Morning's bikini debate, with etiquette expert William Hanson, 22
But 22 year-old etiquette expert William Hanson, Nancy's fellow guest on the breakfast show, had other ideas, believing that all women over 50 should banish their bikinis to the bin.
'There needs to be a cut-off point,' he insisted. 'I'm not talking from a man's point of view, but from the point of view of etiquette.
'As a society we like rules. Most women over the age of 50 don't look as good as younger people in bikinis. Their skin has lost its suppleness.
'To have a clear rule that says at 50 everyone should wear a one-piece would mean that we would all know where we are.
'In the privacy of their own home, women can wear what they like. But out in public, they should cover up,' he added.
'Some women are deluded,' he went on. 'Men
too. They should cover up at 50 as well – I'm all for equality.
Popular appeal: Nancy won the debate hands down, gaining a huge majority over William Hanson, who trailed way behind with 12 per cent to Nancy's 88 per cent on the This Morning debate
'Etiquette is all
about not offending other people,' he said. 'If you have all your wobbly bits
hanging out, it can be offensive to people who have to look at you.
'I'm 22 and I wouldn't go around parading my body in my Speedos. It's not appropriate.
'As women age, they become older
and more respected. They shouldn't show off their bodies. As for getting a tan, well, you don't show off your midriff usually, so why do
you need to tan it'
If we don't have a cut-off age, are we going to have a 99 year old walking down the beach in a bikini
'But I'm completely unconventional,' Nancy said in response. 'Rules don't need to be
respected all the time. We are in a liberal society.'
'I know you
have to be conscious of what other people feel, but women shouldn't cover
up just because others might be offended,' she went on.
'There's nothing wrong with my legs,'
Nancy added, flashing an expanse of smooth thigh. 'Playboy came to me and
asked me to do a photoshoot. It's not about age.'
No qualms: Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford were all for women over 40 wearing bikinis
William disagreed, saying that as a society we have 'forgotten to look at ourselves subjectively.'
'People go out in their bikinis, or leave the house looking awful. We don't have mirrors by our front doors any more.
'There are all sorts of horrific sights walking down the street. People
need to check themselves.'
For her part, Ruth Langsford, 50, who admitted to wearing a bikini when she goes on holiday, said: 'In a swimsuit, the only
part that is covered up is the midriff. So what's the difference
'I don't feel I'm offending anybody in my bikini. I feel I'm not doing badly for
The last word went to Eamonn Holmes. Sitting on the fence – and fearful of
a clout from wife Ruth – Eamonn said he knew
where Andrew was coming from, but that he appreciated seeing all sorts
of women's figures.
'I believe in beauty of the female
form whatever age,' said Eamonn. 'I love the idea of a 50-year-old or a
60-year-old who is young at heart.'