It was my birthday on June 27th. Yes, two days ago I turned 35. And I will admit it was a little weird. It felt like the first one where the words OLD ran through my head, or well, hobbled with a walker. But it got me thinking, in a world where everyone is perpetually 29 and embarrassed of aging, is that really my reality?
Living in Hollywood is especially tricky for those of us daring to age. It’s an unspoken law that you never tell anyone your age or else you will ruin your career faster than Roseanne on Twitter. It’s gotten so bad that ever thirty something I know swears til they are blue in the face that they play 25. And I think that’s terrible.
Because I’m proud of who I am at 35. You couldn’t pay me to go back to 25. I was dumb. I got a DUI. I couldn’t pay my rent. I thought it was cool to get super drunk and dance on top of bars. (And I did not look like the girl from Coyote Ugly when I fell off.) But most importantly, I cared SO MUCH about what people thought about me.
Being 35, I finally know who I am. I can go into a workout class at the gym and if they’re doing something crazy that isn’t for me I’ll skip it and do squats instead of pulling a muscle in my inner thigh and hobbling around like a dope for three weeks. I’ll stand up for my own opinions and beliefs instead of giggling like an idiot and changing the topic to the latest celebrity gossip. And instead of trying to starve myself into ridiculously skinny straight leg jeans, I buy high-waisted ones that fit girls with curves. Because having a plumber’s crack when I sit isn’t cool. Strutting like Beyonce is.
If I’m at a party and I’m tired, I go home and go to bed, because I’m an adult. (Actually, I can’t remember the last time I went to a party. But cooking at home with wine and jazz music? Yes, please.) I’m interested in learning new things, reading, playing the guitar. I’m a stronger, more interesting version of myself. I’m no longer desperate to fit in.
So why is this a BAD thing? Why aren’t we wearing our age as a badge of honor on our chests? Why are we letting it make us feel like failures instead of bad ass warriors?
I hate that in Hollywood staying young is such a huge factor. But for the first time ever there are leading ladies in their forties. I love this. I want to continue this change. I don’t want to perpetuate the stereotypes that I’m a failure if I haven’t starred on a TV show by now. Or that I won’t get cast because I’m in my thirties. Because let’s face it, all the interesting parts are for older women anyway!!! And I truly believe that it is never too late to accomplish your dreams.
Mahatma Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And I want to see women celebrated for their age instead of hindered.
So guess what? I’m a 35 year old woman and I’m damn proud. And whether you’re 21 or 85, you should be, too.