What connects Julianne, Moore, Vera Wang, Jane Campion, Wendy Dagworthy and me? We’ve all failed the Saturday Times’ Age Limit Test: what not to do, say and wear over-40. Unless you’re Patti Smith, the age limit for long hair is 50, ‘You will tend to look a bit witchy if you have shoulder-length hair or longer in you’re sixth decade. Ain’t Patriarchy a bitch,’ mansplains journalist Sam Leith. Firstly, 40 is nothing. Secondly, bollocks to these ridiculous age-related rules. I’d like to be able to laugh at this tongue-in-cheek feature but unfortunately, it’s too close to what we normally see, to be funny. And although ‘What not to do, say and wear over-40’ gives age limit tips for both men and women, it’s illustrated on the front cover by a woman of indeterminate age in a swimsuit. Sexist, insidious nonsense:
Baby boomers do their own thing and I don’t usually give this kind of thing air space (or headspace). When you’ve rocked out to the Rolling Stones or pogo-ed to the Sex Pistols, prescriptive style rules are irrelevant. No long hair for women over-50, festival-going or getting drunk? Here’s one age limit the Times might want to apply – Old Etonian’s writing style rules for women over-40: NEVER.