LADIES! Women! Girls! I am the bearer of amazing news: Ageing is “fab-u-lous”.
Better still, it’s one the sexiest and most underrated things since sliced bread.
Granted, sliced bread may not on the face of it seem particularly sexy but, as if we needed reminding, TV and Radio presenter Anita Rani says that at 46 she has never felt “better, sexier, more powerful and more excited about the future” than she does now.
She feels empowered by being older and able to do what the hell she wants.
In short, as the told The Sun on Sunday’s Fabulous magazine, she’s having an awakening.
Of course, it’s not the physical beauty radiating from her that is the most appealing, it’s the beauty and strength within her that makes her so darn sexy and that is at the heart of her newfound sassiness and self-belief.
And there can be nothing sexier, surely, than a woman who knows what she wants?
It is this — and mainly this — which is so enticing, so erotic and so arousing.
It radiates and exudes beauty and attraction.
I’ve lost count of the number of men who tell me they find an older woman more appealing.
It’s not about me, truly. It’s about the prospect, for them, of being around a woman who has found herself, who is capable of being fearless and independent.
It’s about having experience, the experience of life that ageing brings.
For generations, we’ve been led to believe that ageing is the final and literal nail in the coffin of what it is to be a woman.
Society has perpetuated the mantra that only young women can be sexy and beautiful.
I won’t go quietly
We’ve looked to youth for seductiveness and temptation and in so doing we’ve completely overlooked those of us who are on what has always been considered to be the wrong side of 40.
For too long we’ve been seen as less attractive, less desirable and definitely less inviting.
In fact, for generations, those of us over 50 haven’t even been seen at all because the uncomfortable truth is that women “of a certain age” have always been side-lined and ignored.
As soon as we’d served our purpose in life (which was always supposedly having children), we were thrown on the rubbish heap or forced to get our purple rinses, don our beige macs and merge into the background of life.
And if you hadn’t had kids, you were considered to have been left on the shelf.
You just couldn’t win.
But no more.
Collectively, we are now changing the narrative sur- rounding ageing and finally beginning to own the many benefits that come with it.
We are finding our voices, we’re strutting our stuff, we’re showing off our bodies.
And it’s all because we have come to realise that we are still very much alive and kicking.
As I have said countless times before, I, for one, am not prepared to go quietly into old age.
This may not sit well with some.
Many want women to age gracefully, toe the line and not upset the status quo.
But most of us are discovering there is life in the old birds yet and we are determined to squeeze every drop of naughtiness, provocation and titillation out of life that we can.
Mainly because we’ve flaming well earned it.
Like Anita, you don’t have to have had kids to feel liberated by the prospect of suddenly finding yourself in a more mature and independent landscape that comes with age.
It is clear she believes she is blossoming.
Her marriage of 14 years came to its natural conclusion and now she feels liberated by the thought that people know she is single.
For many women that shift happens because they realise they want something else from life or, better still, they want more.
You don’t have to have endured child bearing and child rearing to be experienced.
In fact, those women who choose not to have kids probably know their minds in a more wilful and developed way, because they’ve been prepared to challenge the world’s expectation and society’s norms.
I always knew I wanted to have children and I feel blessed that I was able to make that happen.
But I can’t deny there was a very strong feeling that ran through my thirties and forties that, once I got beyond child-bearing age, I might, somehow lose my purpose in life.
Yet turning 40 was something I temporarily relished. It was kinda cool to be 40, I thought.
Outwardly, I was not old enough to be considered past it and, inwardly, I had a few more years of knowledge and practice which would stand me in good stead.
Then came the onslaught of the menopause, which turned my mind and body upside down.
I almost felt that life as I knew it was over.
But the best thing about that sentence is that it really was.
It was like the shedding of a skin, a reawakening and most definitely an upgrade.
While I battled hard against the effects of the menopause, I’ve now decided, aged 56, that I feel sexier than ever.
Easy to say, perhaps, but it really is the truth.
The “sexiness” I’m talking about doesn’t come from an LBD, sexy underwear, heavy make-up or a new trendy hairdo.
It comes from deep within.
It stems from acknowledging that I now truly know what I want in life — it’s not something that is blurred by the lines of demanding offspring or an inept partner or even a desire to please other people.
No, it comes from understanding that I no longer have time for BS in my life.
If it comes near me, I dismiss it because, quite frankly, this time is about me.
It’s little wonder, then, that I had a sexual revolution in what might be deemed to be the “autumn” of my life — my fifties.
Not only did I feel sexier, more desirable and more desired but I was in a position to act on it because I’d freed myself from the shackles of marriage and nippers.
I’m not suggesting y’all go and break up your marriages or ignore your children, but there is something very freeing about forging a life that is about you, where you play the central role.
And while I wouldn’t dream of comparing myself to any other woman on the planet, I know I’m not alone in discovering sexiness in my fifties.
They’ve all got it in barrelfulls.
I know they’re blessed with loadsamoney, a bevy of assistants, dieticians and PTs, but that’s not where they get their bewitching hotness from.
It comes from embracing the ageing process, acknowledging their bodies for what they have become and understanding that their appeal is deeper, more real, more substantial and more exciting than it was when they were in their twenties.
Of course, we haven’t cared much about how men age.
We’ve accepted that they’re likely to develop their dad bods and their salt-and-pepper hair.
We’re even OK that they become grumpy and their need for a mid-life crisis, more often than not involving fast cars and younger women.
We’ve been far less accepting of women ageing.
The old adage that, just like fine wines, we women do get better with age, is actually true, because we find our true selves and start on a new journey.
That journey is one of confidence and assertiveness which, in turn, transforms into allure and magnetism.
Read more on the Irish Sun
And, let me tell you, it’s the biggest aphrodisiac out there.
If I could bottle it, it would put Viagra out of business quicker than you can say sex appeal.