Spare a thought for anyone not in their fifties

Everyone is turning 50 this year, you may have noticed. Well, not everyone, but Jennifer Aniston, for example. And Renée Zellweger and Jennifer Lopez and Catherine Zeta-Jones and Paul Rudd and Matthew Perry and Jay-Z: lots of successful, fit, good-looking people who are by no means past their prime and who are – so far as we can tell – unfazed by the approach of the Big Five-Oh.

Renée Zellweger: joining the half-century club.Credit:AP

It's not even called the Big Five-Oh any more, because it's not the All Downhill From Here milestone it once was. Jen and Co are still wearing the same jeans they were in their thirties. Still working. Still in demand. Still hot. They don't have any reason to be down about their time of life, as things are looking pretty good for the fiftysomethings who are just ahead of them. Nicole Kidman is 51! Lenny Kravitz is 52! Brad Pitt is 55!

Naturally, there is a new confidence among this age group. They may also (speaking as someone who hurdled the hurdle a few years back) be waking up to all the things they have avoided, that the generation coming up behind them regard as normal.

Spare a thought for anyone not in their fifties, as they'll have to do all of the below, from which we've been spared.

Brad Pitt is 55!Credit:AP

  • Have/go to a baby shower.
  • Have "curated" homes suitable for posting on Instagram, often featuring white peonies, free-standing baths and window seats.
  • Make their own oatmilk.
  • Have no body hair.
  • Have a boyfriend with no body hair.
  • Have hair extensions.
  • Go on Tinder dates (also known as job interviews for the position of latest sex partner).
  • Pretend they are bisexual for job interviews (to sound more in tune with the times).
  • Play games with strangers online.
  • Find it hard to write longhand (and have no reason to).
  • Consider meat surplus to requirements.
  • Think of alcohol as a special-occasion thing.
  • Never talk, even on the phone, to the people they work for.
  • Only ever have liquid soap, in a pump.
  • Travel to get their picture taken outside a doorway festooned with fake blossom (catnip for Instagrammers).
  • Only listen to individual songs, never albums.
  • Get into exercise leggings one-upmanship.
  • Wear "athleisure" gear a lot.
  • Never watch TV on a TV.

Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix has sparked renewed interest in her best-selling books.Credit:AP

  • Do mother-and-baby yoga.
  • Have advanced germ awareness.
  • And acute dietary awareness, eg, sugar content, carbs content, GI, etc, which is useful, but does make eating a slightly different experience.
  • Have acute environmental guilt. (NB, the fiftysomethings applaud this, while also being aware that it is the source of a new anxiety, which can be triggered several times a day. My jeans took 4,000 litres of water to produce! OMG, I left my sustainable straw at home and now they've given me a plastic straw! Where's my bag for life? I can't shop without my bag for life… It's pretty stressful.)
  • Have a newfound respect for order and tidiness, thanks to Marie Kondo.
  • Think everything that is over five years old is vintage.
  • Be very skin-conscious.
  • Think nothing of Photoshop. Think not Photoshopping in certain instances is sabotage.
  • Think beards are normal. Stubble normal. Half-shaved or just couldn't be bothered to shave today and yesterday, normal. (Not being able to suggest the non-shaver might want to scrub up a bit.)

Here's to not being (that) young any more.

Telegraph, London

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