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The Braniston effect: 9 ways to nail a 'get me' attitude in your 50s


Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston set tongues wagging at the Screen Actors Guild Awards

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston set tongues wagging at the Screen Actors Guild Awards

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston set tongues wagging at the Screen Actors Guild Awards

You may have seen all the excitement this week about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston who were pictured embracing at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Unlike all the other air-kissers in the room, Brad and Jennifer were, as you will recall, married for a few years back in the Noughties and ever since, their meetings, or just their presence in the same room, has sent everyone into spirals of speculation as to whether or not they could get back together.

It's quite sweet really. Usually it's only the children of divorce who fantasise about their parents falling back in love. But apparently everyone who has ever watched a film has their hopes pinned on a Braniston reunion, and the scrunchy 'Ohmigod!' expression on Jen's face when she bumped into Brad, mirroring his 'boy, is it good to see you!' warm face, has really stirred the pot. I mean, did you see how happy they were for each other?

But look, at the risk of disappointing the THEY'RE DEFINITELY GETTING TOGETHER AGAIN crowd, there is an alternative explanation for these two's pleasure at coming face to face: they are in the 'Fifty Get Me' zone, experiencing the high of getting beyond your 50th birthday and realising not only is it not over, it's starting up again.

Brad is 56, Jennifer is 50, and they're both quite simply ecstatic with gratitude that they're not just still in the game, but at the top of their games, rather than, say, in rehab or living off their royalties in Baja. They're looking good, feeling good, doing their best work, emotionally they're on an even keel, and all at an age when nobody, least of all themselves, would have expected it - which makes it 50 times sweeter.

Take another look at Jen's expression and you will see that what it says is not so much 'I still love you Brad' as 'Can you friggin' believe this! Still here and nailing it'. And what she was probably actually saying was: 'These are the years, I'm telling you. God. I'm so sorry for all the neurosis back then. But how could we know, right?' And Brad was probably saying (not sure they had time for all this chat, but anyway), 'No kidding. I'm in such a great place. This fiftysomething deal is awesome. We are on a roll!'.

Being in your 50s and having a 'Get Me' attitude is really easy so long as you follow a few basic rules. For a start, you have to cast aside all that 'Argh, can't believe I'm 50' nonsense and decide to be, if not a Hollywood standard fiftysomething (that'll cost you, let's be honest), then an 'XL Effort' sort. After that, there are just a couple of things to remember:

1. Dressing as you would have when you were younger if it still works (note, not suddenly adopting the runway cleavage). See Brad in the tops-off scene in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Jen in that sleeveless, bias cut Dior dress.

2. Not wearing specs in public. If possible.

3. Smiling a lot and flirting a lot (yes, yes, though nothing too handsy… just eyesy).

4. Women only: Don't wear the Anchor Barbie false eyelashes. Or the Anchor Barbie armour body-con short dresses. Or Anchor Barbie amounts of make-up (see the film Bombshell for examples).

5. Be joyful and energetic (whatever that takes).

6. Bin the feuds and the stand-offs, including with the exes. Bad for marionette lines.

7. Resist the temptation - which will be strong - to micromanage and hyper organise, e.g. washing up while your guests are still eating and folding your clothes neatly before sex.

8. Never have a social gathering involving only your own age bracket.

9. Avoid talking about aches and pains, weight, hair thinning. Instead, say things like: "I've discovered this miracle thickening shampoo!" Exactly the same thing, only with a 'Fifty Get Me' spin. It's easy really.