What Kylie isn't telling you about turning 50
As the pop princess celebrates a milestone birthday this week, Shane Watson reveals what really happens in your sixth decade
Doesn't Kylie look amazing at 50? She's not fighting it, she says, she is "feeling it" and taking the lead from her fiftysomething girlfriends who "seem to inhabit themselves more". Well, she would say that, wouldn't she? These are the kinds of things women turning 50 say, along with "I finally feel comfortable in my own skin" and "it's liberating to no longer care what other people think".
That's fine. But what they're really thinking is: "Do not lump me in with those old losers. I don't wish to be in the fiftysomething club, so now I'm hell-bent on being a Gofha (Good For Her Age or maybe even Great For Her Age) and I'm making it my mission to claw back the attention that I feel slipping away, by being the exception: the fabulous dynamic one who no one can believe is a day over 40."
That was certainly the message on Monday, when Kylie marked her birthday with an Instagram post showing her apparently naked, her glossy legs wrapped around a bejewelled guitar, with the caption: "And so a new decade begins. How thankful I am for the opportunities life has afforded me. 50... let's go!"
This after a star-studded celebration on Sunday night at London's A-list haunt Chiltern Firehouse, attended by the likes of Graham Norton, Jason Donovan, Chrissie Hynde and Guy Pearce. Kylie arrived looking like a ray of sunshine in a flowing white dress with sheer panels that just about screamed 'age-defying'.
Kylie is talking up 50, which is very much the modern way. But honestly, as someone who has been 50 and now knows exactly what it entails, I think we'd prefer to have the facts straight up, no sugaring the pill.
Less talk of feeling empowered and more sisterly advice such as: brace yourself for some hairdressing bills like you wouldn't believe. (Your hair really disappoints once you turn 50. Those women with hair as thick and glossy as the day they became famous? It's a wig.)
Here are 13 things that happen to everyone in their sixth decade, which celebrities will not tell you about:
- You can't find your friends in a crowd. Everyone looks roughly the same.
- Small earrings disappear on you. Everything you wear from now on needs to be beefed up 25pc. See Sharon Stone for guidance.
- You get oblong limbs. Everything gets trunky. Maybe not if you are doing two hours of Pilates a day (in which case, go ahead and post that racy snap with the diamond guitar) but in all other circumstances.
- Your neck. Very disappointing and nothing to be done.
- All the things you assumed made you look cute now make you look blokey. For example, Puffa jackets and boyfriend jeans.
- You can't do anything without warming up.
- Your digestion is all over the place. You have to eat dates every day, or else.
- You become less easy-going: you don't want to be fed at 10pm; you don't want to drink the €5.99 paint stripper; you don't want to sleep under the stars. You become acutely bathroom-aware and bed-quality conscious... green shoots of fussy.
- You become fresher at parties, and may or may not be convinced that everyone fancies you (because you are a Gofha).
- You must say goodbye to baby pink (hello if you are male) and almost all hats.
- You will take up painting, or dancing, or singing, or step up the gardening, or move house just so you can flex your new creative urges.
- You can't wear the high heels that were fine up until a month ago. You feel ungainly, and they hurt. You'll need to swap them for what Vogue et al love to call 'party flats', á la Susan Sarandon.
- You start to crack down really hard on your partner who has to get with the new programme, and ideally learn a language/retrain as an architect/change totally.
Best of luck, Kylie.