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Age is just a number, so I'll show my mummy tummy this summer if I want to


Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham

GETTING older isn't always a barrel of laughs.

Coping with the relentless forces of gravity on your appearance is difficult enough, but sometimes it's not the greying hair, deepening wrinkles and ever-increasing waistband that are the hardest changes to come to terms with.

As you age, you can find that other people's very expectations of you change as well.

What was once considered a perfectly acceptable way to dress or behave can, seemingly overnight, become deeply inappropriate.

In fact, according to a new survey, your hair, clothes and even the very TV shows you watch are being constantly monitored by others and you should really be on your guard at all times in case you offend anyone with your cringe-worthy antics.

Conducted by UK diet company Forza Supplements, the survey questioned more than 1,000 people about age-appropriate fashion and behaviour.

Alarmingly, it discovered that once we clock a certain mileage, there's a very long list of things that we shouldn't wear or do.

Top of the list of fashion faux pas are scarily high heels, the likes of those beloved by Victoria Beckham.

Apparently, after the grand old age of 30, we should hang up our stilettos and wear only humble flats, or maybe some nice comfy slippers instead.

Really, 40-year-old Posh Spice should know better, being a style icon and everything.

Donning a bikini is another fashion no-no. Who's going to tell formidable actress Helen Mirren? The now famous photo of her looking incredible in a red two-piece at the age of 68 inspired legions of older women everywhere, but it probably mortified her young relatives.

Men needn't think they're getting off Scot free either.

The survey revealed that baseball caps shouldn't be worn by anyone over 32 and even contemplating wearing one back-to-front is a heinous crime if you're the wrong side of 25.

Growing a goatee, as Brad Pitt often does, is not advised after the age of 34 and ponytails are completely taboo as well.

Meanwhile, watching reality TV is not okay after the age of 26, so all of you (including me) who like your Keeping up with the Kardashians fix should be ashamed of yourselves.

Actually, I'm quite proud that I flaunt a number of these so-called rules.

While most days you'll find me in my trusty Converse trainers, I do like to wear my towering heels too if the mood takes me, shameless rebel that I am.

Last summer, for the first time in decades, I even wore a bikini on holiday.

After years of worrying what people would think of my mummy tummy, I suddenly decided one day that I just didn't care.

At first, I hid on my sun lounger, but then I got really brave and walked around the pool, baring my jelly belly.

To my amazement, the world continued to turn.

In fact, it seemed like no one batted and eyelid.

Even my children didn't seem to mind too much, but maybe that's because we were surrounded by total strangers at the time.

When we're closer to home, I know I definitely do embarrass them by dancing in public at parties, but I find that I can't help myself.

Dancing is so much fun - why stop just because you've reached a certain age or because some set of nonsensical rules says you shouldn't?

Who made up these ridiculous rules anyway? People who need to get a life, that's who.

Growing old is a privilege denied to many and, as far as I'm concerned, letting loose and doing all the things you were too shy to do in your youth is one of the few advantages.

Life's too short to worry about what other people think, so if you want to get a tattoo and then twerk in your thong and baseball cap while catching up with the Kardashian sisters, then go right ahead and do it.

I for one won't be judging you, that I promise.