Having turned forty five this week I am now, with a few honourable exceptions, pretty much officially The Oldest Person We Know.
I really, truly do not give a rat’s ass. I’ve had more fun in the last twelve months than I had in the previous decade, and more fun in that decade than I had in my teens and twenties. Life does not begin at forty, it begins at whatever age you damn well please and keeps going until they carry you off stage left in a wooden box.
THE FUN GETS EXPONENTIALLY BIGGER WITH AGE, PEOPLE!
So having spent the last few days gritting my teeth at jokes about zimmer frames and pension plans, I thought I’d make a list of women, all of whom are – GASP – even older than me, whose very existences proves that Not Giving A Shit can be a valuable life lesson.
HELENA BONHAM CARTER, 48
Wouldja just LOOK at the bone structure on that woman?! Notorious for her brilliantly bizarre outfits and a fantastic foil to her husband Tim Burton (yes I know he only ever put Helena and Johnny Depp in his films and maybe he could use new actors or maybe everyone should leave him alone and stop trying to mess with the perfect formula), HBC is a prime example of a woman who Does Not Give A Shit.
VIVIENNE WESTWOOD, 73
Flame of hair and sharp of tongue, Viv pretty much invented punk fashion and has been reinventing both it and herself ever since. The one fashion designer that I would crawl over hot coals for, my adoration only intensified when she forgot to put her knickers on to visit the Queen.
DEBBIE HARRY, 69
Yup – that ^^ is what ‘nearly seventy’ looks like. THERE IS HOPE FOR US ALL.
TRACEY EMIN, 51
Only in the art world could someone be described as an ‘enfant terrible’ well into their fourth decade. Now crashing into her sixth, the divine Ms E is still astounding, confusing and terrifying people as she cackles her way through life. And she’s often to be seen doing it whilst wearing Vivienne Westwood’s designs, which is just awesomeness squared.
THE DUCHESS OF ALBA, 88 (R.I.P.)
This woman was BRILLIANT. María del Rosario Cayetana Paloma Alfonsa Victoria Eugenia Fernanda Teresa Francisca de Paula Lourdes Antonia Josefa Fausta Rita Castor Dorotea Santa Esperanza Fitz-James Stuart, Silva, Falcó y Gurtubay, 18th Duchess of Alba de Tormes *phew* died last month at the age of 88. She is survived by her six children and her third husband, who was twenty four years her junior. In order to quash her children’s fears as to motivation behind the marriage in 2011, she gave them their inheritance early and he renounced any claim to her estate. Oh, and she danced the flamenco on the palace steps as she waved to the crowds who had gathered for the wedding.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the Duchess held more hereditary titles than anyone else (over forty). Our own Queen was required to bow to her. SHE WAS THAT GODDAMN ROYAL.
You can keep your lithe young model/singer/whatevers – if I’m going to have me some female role models I’d rather they looked like they’ve been round the block a bit and survived. Bigger and badder than ever.