The seven myths about being 50

(which we wish were true but probably aren’t...)

Image: Liz Hurley

It is amazing being in your 50s. The best.

You feel fitter, look hotter, your confidence is at warp factor 10 and building.

Are you getting this at the back?

You can wear what you like (apart from frills) and you are definitely wearing a bikini.

It’s no biggie, is the point, because 50 isn’t just a number it’s the gateway to the best years of your lives.

There’s the Trying 20s, the Tense-making 30s, The Frying 40s and then you burst through the clouds into the sunny uplands of the Fabulous 50s, when you’ve never had it so good.

This is Fifty Shaming. It rumbles along all year and then, come spring, bursts on to the scene with photographs of Liz Hurley (52) with a hosepipe, or Davina McCAll (50) looking like an Olympian.

It comes dressed up as words of hope from the front line of feminism.

It looks like sisterly encouragement – sex is only getting better; speaking up at work is a doddle; who isn’t doing a marathon?

But you may find that your experience is not one of improvement in all areas, and that instead of feeling empowered by all this you feel inadequate.

You’re wearing Adidas trainers, you’re never going to have a Barbara Bush hairdo and you may even be going to a festival this summer but, come on, we’re in our sixth decade.

You’d have to be on drugs not to notice that some things are getting worse and to pretend otherwise is like Photoshopping your family holiday pictures. So, here are a few Fifty Shaming myths...

1 Looking 50 slim (in jeans and exercise leggings).

Maybe. But have you seen us with them off? These jeans are actually the 21st century equivalent of corsets.

2 Being 50 fanciable.

Some people may fancy us but not the ones we think (younger strangers). They don’t. If we are lucky they think we’re OK for our age.

But they’re almost certainly thinking nothing about us, and if they are it’s, “Ah what a nice mum”.

3 The children are on their way.

Well they’re not really, and they may well be worrying us more than ever.

And they never reply to family Whatsapps (even though they know you can see when they read them). Unbelievable.

4 Having better sex.

Not going into detail with this but definitely had more 10 years ago, and with less faff.

5 Knowing our own minds.

We no longer pretend we like jazz, or saunas, and it takes us a lot less time to pick a drink in a pub.

But, then again, we have no idea what to wear to the lunch party on Saturday. We might ring someone else to check.

6 Nothing to prove.

Sure. Except when you have people coming to supper (only six) so you think you’ll attempt the lamb-with-sumac thing and then you don’t sleep the night before.

We were far more relaxed in this department 15 years ago, when people weren’t as food savvy and before you were expected to make your own hummus. Pre Fifty Shaming, in fact.

7 Discovered our own style.

Well, in theory.

But no one tells you that every year your style stash is depleted by one item.

No one owns up that the white jeans that made you look like Françoise Hardy (ish) now make you look like Tonya Harding, and your black velvet jacket (Brian Jones) is now pure Camilla Parker Bowles.

In fact, there’s lots they’re not telling us actually. – The Daily Telegraph