When I progressed another year over 40 this past week I re-posted my favorite article about Helen Mirren being voted “Body of the Year,” beating out celebs like Jennifer Lopez and Pippa Middleton. I titled the post “40 and getting better all the time”. This title and the birthday wishes sent by all my 40 and fabulous twitter friends posed an interesting question. Is 40 the new 20?
Men and Women in this age group live full and active lives similar to those in their 20s. We are still doing things that once were reserved for younger people. My fabulous Twitter friend John Boyle (@BrandFlair) suggested that I create a list explaining why I believe 40 is the new 20 so here it is.
People in their 40s are now getting married for the first time…in their 40s. It is no longer a check box on society’s list of “To Do’s” for those in their 20s.
People are having children in their 40′s. Thanks to modern medicine, our biological alarm clocks don’t chime the alert at 29 anymore. It is not unusual to see a 40 something enjoying their first child and having it mistaken for a grandchild.
Thanks to our economy and recent recession, many of our 401ks look and feel like 200.5ks. As a result we are thinking about the longevity of our careers and sometimes starting a new one. We know retirement is many years away and plan for it like we are just starting out.
4. Dating Dot Com
Wohoo! We now date like 20-somethings. The over 40 crowd is joining dating sites like never before. I’m in the online dating industry and have seen a steady rise in that age group over the past 8 years.
5. Behavioral Consequences
As a result of our dating behavior we are the fastest rising group of people contracting STDs. Not proud of that one but sounds like a 20-something to me.
6. Dating “Freshmen”
Once a social shocker, we now date people in their 20s and raise few eyebrows. Somewhat more acceptable in the past for men in their 40s it is not unheard of for a woman the same age to date a 20-something. In fact, many men in their 20s are very interested in dating women over 40. The first time someone that age showed interest in me I was appalled. Now I politely decline, smile and think, “Hey, I still got it!”
7. Leading Ladies
Hollywood once only hired women over 40 to play matronly roles but that no longer holds true. The sexy leading lady is often over 40 and a strong draw at the box office. Jennifer Anniston and Haley Berry are anything but old-maids. Older men have always had a slight advantage in Hollywood but now women are enjoying longer careers in entertainment too.
8. Old School
The economy is forcing many people in their 40s into going back to college to start new careers or fluffing up that resume after being let go due to downsizing.
9. Home Sweet Home
Forty somethings are not only getting married and becoming parents for the first time but believe it or not many are also are buying a home for the first time.
10. Stage Diving
Yes we still rock it like 20 year olds. Sheryl Crow, 49, looks fantastic and rocks it for her fans. According to John Boyle, he and his dad band (The Daddyz) are back together and jamming hard. When he has a gig near me I’m going! Oh yes, we are still cool! My twenty-something daughter told me so last week and I believe her.
11. Return To The Nest
Another side effect to the down economy is that many 40 somethings are having to move back home with mom and dad or borrow money from them like a 20 something. Not me, but like many of us I was close a time or two.
12. Party On Wayne!
We still party like it’s 1999…um…well…1989. My friend and 42 year old blogger AmericanCurvyGirl and I still go out club hopping on occasion. We laugh, drink, and dance the night away just like we did in our 20s. Party on Garth!
With all the changes in modern living 40-somethings are a lot like 20-somethings from decades past. I declare it and @BrandFlair agrees. 40 is the new 20!
Featured image courtesy of Robert Churchill licensed via creative commons.