Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Over 40 and fab, Michelle is role model for women

Anyone who thinks that women over 45 are past it should take a look at this week’s news.

Women of a certain age (mine, sadly) are all over the media, looking amazing and putting their younger peers firmly in their place.

Of course, the week has been dominated by the inauguration of the new American president. But would he have ever made it, I wonder, had it not been for the support his wife? I, for one, doubt it.

The sight of Michelle Obama (45) standing purposefully on the steps of the White House, looking as chic and fresh as any 30-year-old, yet still managing to pull it all off with the poise and assurance of any seasoned stateswoman is a testament to how well modern women improve and grow stronger with age.

Outside the political arena, but only just, Demi Moore was pictured among the celebrity supporters of the new president, and you would swear that the 46-year-old actress looks younger by the day.

In fact, you would never know from their appearances that the man by her side, husband Ashton Kutcher, is 16 years her junior as she still has the radiance of a woman in her 20s.

And all without cosmetic surgery, she claims.

The pair married five years ago and eyebrows were raised about the huge age gap, but the union has clearly worked.

The two mega-stars have collaborated successfully on a number of projects to date, the latest of which is a promotional film for team Obama, which features celebrities pledging their total commitment to the new administration.

It all sounds very luvvie-ish doesn’t it, but then they are a very lovey-dovey pair, even by Hollywood standards.

Another woman whose appearance defies the laws of ageing is Goldie Hawn, who was pictured this week looking almost — but not quite — as fabulous as Helen Mirren in a bikini.

I can remember watching her on a TV show called Rowen and Martin’s Laugh-In when I was a kid in the Sixties and wanting to be just like her when I grew up.

I’m now 45 and she is 63, and I’m still envious. How does she do it?

Meanwhile, another idol of mine from the old days re-appeared this week.

Olivia Newton-John, who was most famous for starring in the movie Grease, re-appeared, 30-odd years later, looking fabulous despite having undergone cancer treatment, including a mastectomy in recent years.

The star was back in her original home town of Cambridge to promote a cancer charity earlier this week but the media was more interested in how a woman of 60 could look like one in her 40s.

Of course there are exceptions to every rule. Madonna continued her self-promotional jamboree this week by releasing photographs of herself almost naked but for a few bizarre bits of fabric and some skimpy underwear.

It was all part of her Hard Candy album publicity but I think it should be called the ‘In Your Face’ campaign after seeing this last lot of pictures.

Why anyone would think that draping a few tatty bandages across a bony body and rolling down the waistband of your tights to reveal budget-style knickers looks appealing is quite beyond me.

Ok, she is toned to within an inch of her life, but instead of looking youthful she looks like death warmed up and with her shroud still attached.

Not a great look for a 50-year-old, Madonna. Or for anyone, for that matter.

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