Early Mid 40s is Tricky. I am 43 and I think so far it is the toughest age I have been. I am getting divorced so that doesn’t help. But with this experience I have reflected a lot on what it means to be in my early mid 40s. I have come to the realisation that it is and probably and will be the toughest age I have been .My 20s were full of hope, 30 full of marriage, love and new motherhood. 40s not so smooth.
For starters, any product advertised to us involves a miracle promise of youth, a miracle promise of looking beautiful and a miracle promise of feeling younger. It is basically saying we as 40 something women cannot possibly be happy the way we look given our age and must strive to look younger. We cannot simply moisturise or have saggy tummies. We have to have tighter younger skin, a youthful shade of hair and flatter tummies denying that we have created life in them.Our vitamins tell us we need to feel younger too. I have more energy in my 40s than my 30s mostly down to the fact that I am not pregnant or raising babies and /or toddlers.
As an actor, 40 feels like a void job wise. I am too old to play the ‘real looking mum’ despite the fact that I have real kids who are real ages. Yet, I am too young to play the grandma. I could play the mum to teenagers but aside for that, it is limited. My son gets roles-he is 6. I never get to play his mum for adverts or stills. She is always younger thinner and has strait hair.
Next is the dating scene. I haven’t even ventured this far as I am petrified. I am not ready. I feel I am the wrong demographic. From what I have read, heard form other women in my situation, it is tough. For a women in her 40s to date, the possibilities are not endless. They’re fickle and limited. Men in there early to mid 40s do not want to date a women in her early to mid 40s. They need a 20 something to validate their masculinity. They need to ensure they still have it. Women are happy with a man of a similar age-there is nothing per se unattractive about a man who is in his 40s just because he is in his 40s. The rules are the same. If you get along and he isn’t a jerk, then you are relatively compatible. We women ( well this one doesn’t) do not need validating. The thought of a younger man activates far too many maternal instincts than tiger instinct. I know I’m a minx, I don’t need a younger man to prove it. Maybe too, the men prefer younger women because at my age we see through all of the crap-we’ve lived. We want to cut to the chase and just get to know each other and enjoy spending time together. I understand that in some cases true love can be found with a 20 something-I can’t deny that. But from where i am standing our waters are being over fished.
Maybe advertisers need to focus on the youthful man products for the 40 + man instead of selling them to us women. Make men feel younger with their razors. Make them feel more youthful with aftershave. Make them feel like it is ok to be 40. We are cool with ageing. I’m pretty sure we are happy to have our real ages represented in advertising too which would inevitably make it easier for a woman in her early to mid 40s reassure a man that dating someone his age isn’t so bad.
I’ve had my kids I’m back working almost full time . I’m strong. I am sure of who I am but I am surrounded by media, products and men who aren’t t sure of who they are. It’s a tricky demographic. I hope I can survive it.