This is 40: Why Age is Really Just a Number

This is 40: What It's Really like to Be in Your 40s
This is 40: What It's Really like to Be in Your 40s

I've been thinking about aging lately. When I saw the movie This is 40 I wondered if everyone is as freaked by turning 40 as Leslie Mann's character who was so horrified she couldn't even let anyone including her kids say she was 40; she just kept emphatically insisting she was 38. Is this relatable?

Well I'm 46 and I have no trouble announcing it to anyone who asks or even doesn't ask. I've never felt better. I've done a lot, I've seen a lot, I've felt a lot and I'm finally in acceptance of who I am.

I work out because I love to sweat, because I want to be healthy for my kids and because working out is God's mood stabilizer. I work out because I want to be stronger and live longer but not because I'm desperate to lose five pounds. In fact, forget about the five pounds.

I've finally accepted that I have a bigger butt but it doesn't define me like it did in high school and for too many years beyond -- years where if I was naked with a man I would do a ridiculous sideways saunter out of a room to avoid giving a straight on look at it. These days, it's no longer a liability, just part of who I am -- my distinctive mark. I can finally own my flaws.

Related: 20 things all women do but hate to admit

Does this mean that I embrace every wrinkle on my face, let my hair go gray and spend my time in comfortable Aerosoles shoes? Oh heck no (I'm open to change). I love Botox, and get it any chance I can afford it. I had laser lipo on the back of my thighs but only because it was offered to me for free. I try to take care of my skin and body because inside I still feel 25 and I'd prefer if my outside reflected a tiny bit of my inner feisty attitude.

I want to wear pink boots, go rollerskating, and listen to Carly Rae Jepson or Tupac or some sort of acoustic lady music really loud in the car. I got my belly button pierced at 30 and my first tattoo last year. Sometimes I still shop at Forever 21 despite the fact that I passed 21 over 25 years ago.

Okay, my back gets jacked up when I try to do a cartwheel on the front lawn, and all of a sudden I can't go on the teacup ride at Disneyland without getting nauseous and feeling a migraine coming on and to be totally honest I'd prefer being home on the couch with reality TV and a comfy throw than out at a party or (heaven forbid!) a nightclub any day of the week.

But the bottom line is I'm fine with 46. Actually I love 46. And I truly believe that age doesn't need to be a stigma. If we all just proudly said our age and showed our real face I think the world would be a more comfortable place. So as an experiment, I asked my over 40 friends far and wide if they would send me their picture and let me post it with their real age. I couldn't believe how many wanted in -- so many I had to split it into two posts and even have another one for over 50!

Let's rock our forties!

- By Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
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For 25 photos of what REAL women in their 40s look like, visit Babble!


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