Jane Fonda, Gloria Levene and Isabella Rosselini came together recently to praise ‘Fifty is the new Fifty’ by Suzanne Braun Levine. It’s another shot across the bows of the ageists.
“…In terms of life experience,’ declares Levine, ‘women are finding that their 50s and their 60s and even their 70s are a very exciting and authentic time. To listen to the society we live in, you would think that you have to stay young – and look young – to be happy. And we literally buy into that message, spending millions on age-defying cosmetics, surgery, drugs, and making a book that promises to teach us “How Not to Look Old” a bestseller. .. Now we are creating a whole new age for women that really defies the stereotype that as women get older they should be invisible.’
It’s hard not to cheer at this rallying call to the middleaged (and older) troops. But sometimes I think they miss the point. It is not a case of ageing women being able to do everything still. We can’t. And more relevantly, we don’t want to. Clubbing the night through? Getting legless? Notching up sexual conquests? Maybe fun once, but now? We’ve got more sense. Other things get to matter more.