Act your age not your shoe size: It’s ok to grow up

mariah carey memoirs Prince may have said it best, but it’s a sentiment many of us can relate to – Act your age, not your shoe size.  Lately, in the rush to proclaim 40 as the new 30 – or even 25 – we’ve noticed a trend of 40 year old women who seem, frankly, afraid to grow up.  While the phenomenon is most clearly evident in celebrities whose attire, song lyrics and on-stage movements mimic those of pubescent teens, it’s evident in everyday life as well.

We see it the cliquey group of friends who brag about who they’re wearing and what they’re driving in the never ending effort to best their own circle of friends. It’s evident in discussions about relationships that sound like they’re being had by naive 16 year olds, not 40 year olds who’ve been around the block a few times. And it’s hinted at in conversations that center around who likes who and who’s not our friend anymore (insert pouted lip visual here.) Life, relationships and our own insecurities are difficult to navigate for sure, but at some point, it really is ok to grow up.

The idea of it being ok to grow up came up several weeks ago with the start of awards season. It was a comment made on a frhalle berryiend’s Facebook wall in response to Jennifer Lopez’s appearance at some awards show. The comment was something to the effect of “J, it’s ok to grow up,” no doubt in response to a barely there outfit and song lyrics that had many of us scratching our heads. And we were a little taken aback when even our beloved Halle Berry, who if any 40 year old body can do it successfully, she can, appeared on the Tonight Show, looking beautiful as usual, but in something that looked more like a mini-dominatrix outfit than a dress. She apparently was attempting to dispel pregnancy rumors. We believe you Halle.

We’re all for working it at 40. There’s something to be said about a woman confident enough to show her curves and strut her stuff on stage and otherwise. But at what age does it become ok to put our intelligence, wisdom and charm on display more than your …other assets? In a society where sex sells, at 40 aren’t we old enough to stop buying?

When we watch performers (male and female alike) desperately “copying” youthful trends, lyrics and clothing of today’s younger artists, we want to scream “You’ve been there, done that and did your thing in the process! The younger ones should be emulating you, you shouldn’t be clambering after them!” Alas, with a few exceptions, we don’t think they hear us.

Are we being too hard on them? What’s your take on growing up? Share your thoughts in the comment section or on our Facebook Fan Page.

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  • You can always recognize the women who have made this decision. They're the ones who look so comfortable and confident in their own skins. Everyone has to ease into it in their own time but I think once we do, we're a lot happier!

  • womenatforty

    We agree that it's a process and it comes to each woman at a different place and time – if at all. Do you think we're being unduly hard on the ones who haven't made the decision?

  • That's an excellent question. I try not to be judgmental but I have to admit that my eyebrows definitely go up when I see someone my age in tight pants, or a mini-skirt and a low-cut blouse doing shooters at the restaurant bar. I'm working on that.

  • womenatforty

    You make great points as usual – we try to reserve judgement for the judicial system too, but sometimes even we have to do the occasional double take!

  • Starof214

    The “is ok to grow up mentioned in the article…was not at J Lo but at Mahiah C.

  • KB

    Just because you have a great body, doesn’t mean everyone has to see it. The “if you got it – flaunt it” saying is something i do not undetstand. isn’t that WHY we wear clothes? so, if you have a pretty cooch should you be flaunting it too?

    my opinion – 40 or 20… no need to show everything you have just because its supposeldy good-looking.. a little is ok, but there is a thin line between sexy(classy) and trashy..