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Hail, 50! (When it all starts to droop and sag)

Health

You get warned about these things. You watch your mother and aunties while you’re growing up and they sit around lamenting the passing of their good looks. The bloom is truly off their roses, they reckon. And yeah, you look at them from your sparkly eyes surrounded by wrinkle-free, dewy skin and you think: “I’m never going to look like that at their age.” Ohhh, sister, you will. (And now you do.) Gone are the fresh face, the elasticated skin and the glossy hair. Your boobs don’t sit right, your hips are bruised because they got wider without your permission and your cellulite has invaded all kinds of territory. Having parts of your body annexed by villainous biological dictators is par for the course, I’m afraid. You don’t have a say. Even the slimmest women have cellulite on their upper arms, lower legs and skinny butts. Whatchagonnado?

Beauty tips for over 50s

Oh god, how many of these have I read?! I’ve tried some and some have made me feel better but I’m not sure I could be bothered, frankly. Stop using shimmery eye shadows, don’t use face powder, drink copious buckets of water daily, exfo like a MOFO, always use sunscreen, take out a loan for anti-ageing serums infused with donkey milk or snake venom (not even kidding – Google Napoleon Perdis’s products), don’t use dark lipsticks, don’t use lip gloss, curl your lashes, stand up straight, meditate, be mindful, go to bed early, drink tiger blood. Oh crap, I’ve gone too far now. For god’s sake, all these rules and regulations coming at me make me feel like a child, not a grown woman with a mind of my own!

Here’s my biggest beauty tip, are you ready?

SMILE!!

Nothing ages a woman faster than a big ugly frown! When you scowl, you’re effectively putting up a big old brick wall saying: “I hate my life. I hate everything in it. I pretty much hate you too!” Surest way ever to keep people away from you. It’s also the surest way ever to perpetuate the mood that brought on the scowl in the first place.

Why you should smile more often

(And while you’re at it, laugh more often too.) Smiling is a physiologically beneficial thing to do. It makes you appear more open to the world, it helps reduce blood pressure, it improves your mood and it can even boost your immunity and ease pain! Plus, it’s less work. Did you know that it actually takes 43 muscles to frown but only 17 to smile? Look, I don’t know if those numbers are true and accurate, but the sentiment is nice, isn’t it? Scientists have proven that even forcing a smile releases endorphins, which tricks your brain into happiness.

Go to the mirror, pull a frown, hold it for ten seconds and see how you feel, I mean really feel. Then put on a big smile and see how that makes you feel. Now rinse and repeat (the smile part, not the frown part). Unless you’re made of stone, I guarantee it’ll make you feel better to smile than to frown.

Stressing about wiggly bits

Yeah, just don’t. Even supermodels get them eventually. Stop being mean to your body and scolding it every time you look in the mirror. Your body’s an amazing vessel. It runs on autopilot every millisecond of every day of your life. It’s doing a trillion things at once keeping you alive and you need to take a moment to praise it. If you have wrinkles, scars, moles, freckles, stretch marks, lumps and bumps, saggy boobs, uneven eyebrows, facial fuzz, a few whiskers, a droopy ass, pigmentation on your cheeks, thinning hair, decolletage creases, cankles or whatever other physical bullshit you think makes you ugly or unacceptable, join the club. Just because I write this stuff doesn’t mean I’m immune to it. Today I’m dealing with a pretty impressive breakout to the side of my nose. One foot in puberty, one in menopause, I say. I thought I’d be rid of the zits by this age but evidently, not. I’ll be the only old lady in the nursing home with a tube of Clearasil next to her Steradent!

Scaffolding to hold the 50+ body together

The scaffolding challenge is real! Somehow we feel like we’ve got to keep it all together in a tight little body that makes us seem 25. Spanx ain’t that comfortable! Stiletto heels on 50+ feet should be admitted as probable cause for homicide. Push-up bras that push 50+ tits up but don’t actually ‘contain’ them should be outlawed. You know what I mean. They used to be firm and perky but now they’re like skin-covered jelly pods that plop around inside the confines of well-meaning lingerie.

The post-50 body is a force to be reckoned with. Let’s discuss that later on but for now, thank yours for the fact that you’re still alive and kicking today and pick out one or two bits that you think are pretty spectacular. You can be as general or as specific as you like. Mine: I think my feet are nicely shaped and I quite like the skin on my torso. How about you?


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