There are no sexier words.
“There goes that inspiring, middle-aged woman.” Is a sentence you never here.
“I just can’t wait to be middle-aged.” That’s another one.
And I can’t imagine why. I am there, and, at its worst, “Middle age” is a time of chin-hairs, menopause-panic, a thickening waist, social invisibility, low-level incontinence (peeing when you laugh, basically), the last throes of blood-bath periods, wrinkles, a lowered libido, ageing parents and demanding children.
Come on, what’s not to like?
Us Generation Xers are in denial about being middle-aged. Generation Y – who now fall into the broad definition, since it officially starts at 35 (and ends, apparently, at 58, after which, presumably, the universe just wants to label us ‘ancient’?) – are certainly not down with it.
And because us X and Ys are uppity rule-breakers who like to pretend we’re the first people to have ever lived through anything, we are redefining it.
Enter, the Midult.
What’s a midult? You can listen to Holly, Jessie Stephens and Mia Freedman discuss it, here:
They are funny, funny women, and their tag for the new middle age is perfect for our times. Because these days, “middle-aged” women are many, many things. And ‘sensible’ is rarely the defining one.
You can be a Midult and single and dating. You can be fully in the grip of Midulthood and have tiny children, or kids who are almost out of home. You can be a Midult who still rocks sequinned tracksuit pants and understands SnapChat (at least, for that brief period when we needed to understand SnapChat). You can be a Midult and smoke weed.
Although I am 10 years into the defining demo, it has only just dawned on me that I am, in fact, a middle-aged woman. I have been side-stepping my way around it with another euphemism a smart British journo brought to my attention – midlife. Mimi Spencer, who is certainly a Midult but looks like a Millennial, is one of the authors of a diet book called The MidLife kitchen, which is all about recipes that boost collagen and help you remember that you forgot to buy milk (I haven’t read it, can you tell?).