It’s All About Perennials: Here’s Why 40 Is The New 20

Why 40 is the new 20

It’s true! 40 is the new 20, and 50 is the new 30.

Entrepreneur Gina Pell (49), was so inspired by the current ageless generation of women, she coined a new term: perennial. In this recent piece, Pell told the Telegraph, “Perennials are ever-blooming, relevant people of all ages who know what’s happening in the world, stay current with technology and have friends of all ages. We get involved, stay curious, mentor others, and are passionate, compassionate, creative, confident, collaborative, global-minded risk takers.” Sound familiar?

Just like Sutton Foster (pictured above) in TV Land’s Younger—Sutton plays a 26-year-old so she can re-enter the working world at 40—women are embracing a younger look and younger habits, though not for the same reasons as Sutton’s character.

In the same Telegraph article, Polly Kemp, a mother who teaches yoga and is obsessed with Instagram and traveling, talks about why she feels so young. “I know I live very differently from how my mother and grandmother did at my age,” she explains. “[My daughter] and I often borrow each other’s clothes, although we might not wear them in the same way… when I hear the term ‘middle-aged,’ I have to stop and think, “‘Is this meant to be me?'”

Yes, there’s a study to back some of this up. A UK marketing agency called SuperHuman ran a survey of 500 women over forty. Of those women, 80 percent felt society’s assumptions about middle-aged women don’t represent how they live their lives.

More than two thirds considered themselves in their prime of life; 59 percent felt as vibrant and young as they ever have—partly due to a focus on health and fitness—and 84 percent said they don’t define themselves by age.

These women were confident, too: 67 percent felt more confident than they had a decade a ago, and ambition ran high as well—personal fulfillment and “doing things that challenge me” were important to 60 percent of women surveyed.

But Rebecca Rhodes, 44, a co-author of the survey, found a “confidence paradox.” Despite all this ambition and confidence, 48 percent said they felt less confident about their looks then they had a decade ago, saying they felt a pressure to look young: 83 percent said this pressure affected their self-image.

In other words, you’re not alone.

Could it be that women over forty, powerhouses in the zeitgeist—women like Michelle Obama, Jenna Lyons, and Nicole Kidman—also feel this stunning lack of confidence?

Maybe; the survey didn’t ask them. But we’re pretty confident about one thing: if a little Botox, a microneedling session, or even a little meditation or acupuncture make you feel more confident, we’re all for it.

Photo credit: We found this gorgeous photo of Sutton Foster on the internet and traced it back to Nathan Johnson photography

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We wrote recently about how we love seeing models over 60, like Maye Musk.
Into traveling and yoga? Us too—even though we love to hate on the athleisure trend, and we’re pretty picky about our travel supplements.

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