I am “a woman of a certain age.” I am flirting with peri-menopause and usually prefer an early night in with a cup of Earl Grey and a good book to a night out. But I would like to believe that I am still sexy. It’s just that my target demographic has changed somewhat, and the men who find me attractive are a touch grey about the gills themselves.
I am inspired by older women who look fabulous – and by fabulous, I mean more Nigella than Madonna. I love women who look comfortable in their own skin, despite the fact that it hangs a bit loose – like Helen Mirren, whom I think gets better looking with age, although she told the Hollywood Reporter that “the fact that I look good at the age I am is bloody irrelevant.” Which is just another reason why we love her so much, the feisty minx.
Which actually brings me nicely to my point: that surely our looks at ANY AGE should be about how we live in our skin and engage with the world, rather than how smooth it is? Yes, I am going to say it: our way of being really is sexier than how we look. And I think you’ll find that most men will agree with this. They might look at the big-busted, prancing porn star, (and make stupid “phwooaarrr” sounds) but in reality, that woman would scare the life out of the average Joe. In reality, most men (certainly any man worth his salt, and that’s the only kind we’re interested in, surely) love women the way they are: they love women who are comfortable and joyful and make them feel happy. We all know a woman like this: one who isn’t movie-star gorgeous by any stretch and yet the men love her anyway. It’s because she sparkles. And that’s the secret to being sexy at any age. Sparkle.
And so to this end, I look after my skin because I know that radiant skin is better than scarily unlined, stretched skin. I mean, who does Joan Rivers think she’s fooling? Although at least she’s not trying to pretend (like Madam Madonna) that her looks are all natural. She told the New York Times that she’s had so much plastic surgery that “when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.”
I look after my skin, but I won’t fill it or freeze it with stuff or stretch it till I’m barely recognisable. I want to look like an attractive, vital, vibrant 50-year-old, not a scary, shiny-skinned 40-year-old. And yes, Madonna, I do think there is such a thing as being (vaguely) age-appropriate, so I won’t bare my breasts to an audience (of more than one). Because a woman with sparkle (and CLASS) knows that a hint, a flirtatious suggestion of what lies beneath, is way sexier than putting it all out there. And it has to be said: I think that holds true for a woman of ANY age.