It’s time to level. Because unless you’ve been living on Mars over the past few days (and even then) it would be impossible not to have come across the videos doing the internet rounds which have heralded a collective jaw drop of us mere mortals across the globe. I am of course talking about Slay Queen herself J-Lo, sashaying down the Versace catwalk like a cat who hasn’t just got the cream but a damn diamond collar and smoked salmon on tap.
I MEAN. She is 50. FIFTY. As in half a century old. And she looks absolutely, marvellously outrageously divine. Never mind the mantra of either boobs OR legs, Jenny showed that if you’ve got the whole package you should most definitely flaunt every inch of it and if I looked like that I’d be right up there sashaying too (and invariably falling flat on my face because my clumsy is next level).
And the internet went into actual meltdown. I mean it does feel a little unfair and a bit greedy that she wore an equally amazing garment 20 years ago and single-handedly launched Google Images and then she did it again two decades later? Come on J, give the rest of us a chance to show what we’re made of. I’m kidding of course. The applause gif has been in full flow this week as women marvelled at how someone can look just as good at 50 as they did at 30, if not better.
I’m delighted to say it’s prompted me into action. Just 4 months short of turning 40 I’ve decided I want some of that J-Lo limelight too. Because if that’s what middle-age looks like then sign me up. Don’t worry, I’m not deluded enough for one second to think I could look anywhere near as good as the queen, BUT. We are all, every last one of us, capable of being a better or best version of ourselves and to want to admit that, and want to achieve that, there is no shame.
Years ago when I was an outwardly happy but inwardly dejectedly miserable version of myself, I would be heavily scornful of most people. They wore too much make up, had too many fillers, their teeth were too white and on and on went my thinly veiled criticisms. The truth is though I was envious, envious that they cared enough about themselves to want to look amazing. For a long while I missed that desire in myself, or at least it was so heavily buried I didn’t know how to bring it to the surface.
I’ve written before about my journey to inner happiness through a long lifestyle transition and I won’t go into it here. Other than to say it’s not about money, or fame. I too look better 20 years older – my 39 year old self is almost unrecognisable from my 19 year old self so it’s not just the preserve of the rich and famous. Of course being paid a lot to look amazing and having no doubt personal chefs and trainers all helps. But that’s not really an excuse. For those of that can, it’s just patience and a desire to change, that’s all. The rest will come if you really want it to and are physically able to make it happen.
My confidence has definitely yin-and-yanged a bit over the last couple of years especially after my 2018. Developing a chronic illness this year has definitely knocked me for six and although things are a little different now that’s not to say I can’t find my way back to the person I used to be. In 2017 I felt amazing, running a half marathon at the end of 2016, then a 10k in March that year, a work trip to Florida in May which led me to the realisation that if my workmates were going to see my in a swimsuit I’d better look as good as I could. I was exercising regularly and taking weekly Pilates classes.
If I’m honest I am really happy with how I feel these days. The uncertainties of Maud have settled, I feel a bit more confident in my own skin than I have done and feel like it’s time to strive for my physical purpose. It wouldn’t take too much to get me to a better version of myself and imagine waking up on my 40th birthday feeling on top of the world. After all you only hit that milestone once and 50 is a very long way away. So thank you J-Lo. I can’t promise owing a catwalk is part of future but if I do wake up somewhere lovely around my 40th birthday I’ll be shouting from the rooftops. Here’s to growing old fabulously!