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Me, French, 40-something 

Last week was all about growing older gracefully – or not so gracefully, in some cases. You can’t have missed the articles on Renee Zellweger: she was trashed in the press for not looking her age (45). What a load of rubbish! I personally thought that she looked lovely, and I didn’t notice any drastic changes to her face. Speculation is rife as to the type of cosmetic procedures that she might have had.

Seriously, can we give her a break? Not to mention that I loved her dress, and she had a great body. What is wrong with people? Why can’t they just, well, be nice?

At the same time, older French women seem to have it all: there was another article on Sunday on The Times, and it made it look like we older French women don’t age, we just get better. Apparently, being older is sexy in France. And nobody bats an eyelid when you go out with a much younger guy. Really?

Again, give me a break! Here is a newsflash for you: all women age, French or not.
Maybe Renee should consider a short stay in France to be duly praised for the way she looks, and get a much-deserved (I believe) confidence boost. Just a thought. She would have all men at her feet there.

 So why do French women age better? The only reason I can think of right now is that most of us try to upgrade our ”maintenance regime’ after 40. I try to exercise every day (even if it is a bit of yoga or a nice walk). And I don’t buy cheap foundation any more. Now more than ever, it is about quality, not quantity. In short, we haven’t given up on the way we look. Is it vain?
I sometimes wonder why I even bother, because it is a fight that I am sure to lose. Of course I will get older! So why do I still make an effort?
Well, I suppose that I like to keep fit. It makes me feel good. And when I am happy, life is easier for the whole family (who said happy wife, happy life again?).
I also believe that this is yet another cliche, and that nothing I will say or do will change it. Obviously, it is a nice cliche: it would be a lot less nice to have the reputation to look like the back of a bus.
The other thing I like about getting older, is that I am becoming the person I want to be. I have always wanted to write, but somehow started my professional life in a completely different field. Now that I am doing what I love, well, surely it shows.
And maybe, just maybe, older women are becoming less invisible…if only!

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London