It was recently brought to my attention that age 28 is often a big, crazy, life-changing year for people. Reasons range from Saturn return to cell turnover to psychological development to societal expectations, but I’m not as interested in the specific explanation as I am in people’s unique experiences at this age. The vast majority of my friends tell me 28 marked a huge shift in their lives, their relationships, their careers, living situations, etc. A very unscientific Twitter poll I conducted yielded similar responses. Anecdotally, at least, it seems that 28 is kind of a big deal.
I’m almost halfway through my 28th year and damn, has this been true for me. I moved across the country, dealt with/am dealing with some intense family transitions, lost and gained some very close friends, and feel like I’m on a path of self growth and acceptance that is simultaneously scary and rewarding.
I’d love to hear about what 28 was like for you. Was it challenging, empowering, horrible, wonderful, liberating, enraging, intense, or wholly forgettable? Please indulge my curiosity and share your experience in the comments!
[Photo of 28 via Shutterstock]
In the movie “Singles,” -—and this sticks with Ami because she first saw it at the age of 14, so it made a big impression — Janet Livermore (played by Bridget Fonda) gives a monologue about where she thought she’d be by the age of 23. She laments:
“I’m 23. Remember how old 23 seemed when you were little? I mean, I thought people would be traveling in airlocks and I would have 5 kids. Here I am – 23 – things are, um, basically the same. I think time is running out to do something bizarre. Somewhere around 25 bizarre becomes immature.”
And where was Janet at the tender age of 23? Working in a coffee shop, having an unrequited crush on her musician neighbor without any clue as to what she wanted to do with her life. Exactly what a 23-year-old should be doing, in our opinion. Pretty much exactly what both of us were doing! Ami made note of this monologue, telling herself, Learn from Janet Livermore and don’t expect to be married with kids by the age of 23, expect to start reproducing around the age of 28 because that’s when your mom had you. Also, you’ll be a famous actress by 25, so you’ll have plenty of money to raise your kids either alone or with your husband who can be a stay-at-home-dad. Keep reading »
“Just drawing on my own experience, I never — I never — personally reference myself as old. I don’t think of myself as old, but I certainly would not say that to a man. I might have a conversation with some girlfriends — what are we doing about the lines around our eyes — but to a man? There are certain things — it would just be demystifying and disempowering.”
–”Nashville” star Connie Britton reveals her hesitations to discuss the aging process in a fascinating New York Times magazine profile that includes a number of major bombshells (example: she was set to play Dorothy in “Jerry Maguire” until Renee Zellweger nabbed the role at the last minute), and some classic Connie-isms (“My life started being awesome five years ago”). Apparently Britton has been extremely cautious about the way her “Nashville” character deals with aging, and has purposefully skipped lines and altered scenes that focused too much on the “aging country star” angle. [NY Times]
White bread, rich cheeses, and red wine are beloved staples of the Gallic diet. They smoke, they drink, they consume loads of saturated fats… yet they don’t have an obesity problem, they don’t lose their looks with age, and they have the lowest rate of cardiovascular mortality worldwide. What gives, France? We’re not the only ones who are dying to know: researchers call it (and, furthermore, how they get their hair to look so perfectly disheveled without being greasy) “the French paradox” as they seek to explain the link connecting the way the French eat (and, yes, drink) to their long, healthy lifespans, second only to Japan. Keep reading »
I’ve been looking in the mirror for the past several weeks, noticing for the first time, that my forehead has perma-wrinkles. I keep slathering on moisturizer, as if dousing my face in enough cream will somehow make those fine lines disappear (news flash, it won’t).
Growing older is the pits — it sneaks up on you without warning and suddenly you look like a saggy faced, scowl-y version of your former self. So in the interest of commiseration, we’ve compiled a list of the 17 absolute most annoying things about aging. Check out our list after the jump, and then share yours in the comments.
Keep reading »
Fairest shmairest! Let’s get real about beauty and body image. Mirror, Mirror is a column running every other Thursday on The Frisky. It is written by Brooklyn-based columnist, freelance writer, and bagel enthusiast, Kate Fridkis who also writes the blog Eat the Damn Cake. You can follow her on Twitter at @eatthedamncake.
The other day, I was having lunch with a 65-year-old woman who was on a strict diet. She told me she needed to lose 10 pounds before she would feel like a real person again. She wasn’t letting herself buy any new clothes until she dropped a couple sizes. She loved fashion, but she wanted to punish herself, so that she would learn her lesson.
“No, no,” I protested. “You look great! You don’t need to change anything.”
She gave me an empty smile. “That’s sweet of you.”
She didn’t like her hair either. She didn’t like her arms. They were too flabby, she thought. Her legs were too short. And then, of course, there were her wrinkles. She was racing against time to combat all of the signs that she was no longer 30. And suddenly, I was scared. Keep reading »
We’re a culture obsessed with aging — keeping wrinkles and fine lines at bay, staying youthful and energized, looking younger than we maybe actually are. Which is why this video from Dutch filmmaker Jeroen Wolf is so fascinating. Wolf asked 100 people from ages 1 to 100 to share their age for a short video. The result is a fascinating look into how people really age. Plus, everybody’s got cute Dutch accents, so it’s especially fun to watch. [Daily Mail]
I thought the breakout all over my face would be enough to ruin my day as I glared at myself in the mirror this morning. I was highly mistaken: while brushing my teeth, I saw something white flickering within my hairline. That’s when my toothpaste started to dribble down my chin, my mouth wide open in disbelief. I counted seven gray monsters trying hard to mingle with the other reddish-brown strands.
My 20-year-old reflection was in disbelief. Keep reading »
You’d think the picture of this 69-year-old man had somehow been digitally altered, but no. This is an actual guy, who shows signs of extreme aging and sun damage on one side of his face. That’s because he spent 28 years as a truck driver, exposing the left side of his face to the sun while he drove. The right side received far less exposure, and accrued far less damage. It’s a wild, true life example of why you should put some goddamn sunblock on already. [NEJM]
You know how girls who are trying to lose weight tape pictures of sleek, gorgeous models to the fridge? I want a huge photo of Anjelica Huston, in “Smash,” on my wall, to remind me of what to aspire to.
Anjelica Huston is 60. And yeah, maybe she’s had some work done. And yeah, her hair is not its natural color. And yeah, she is wearing a lot of makeup. (Actually, that’s maybe my only complaint—all the makeup. I can tell that she’d be stunning without it.) But even with it, and the dyed hair, and the possible tweaking that seems inevitable for women over the age of 35 on television, she is still undeniably different. She is still strikingly unique. No one else looks even close to anything like her. And instead of letting this be a weakness, she makes it her signature. She makes it her strength. Instead of disappearing into the crowd, she stands at the middle of it and shouts until everyone turns to pay attention. And all eyes stay on her. Her look refuses to be typical. It refuses to be “appropriate.” And her character on “Smash” fits her look perfectly. She is Eileen Rand, a brash, determined producer who emerges from her wealthy, philandering ex-husband’s shadow to take the reins and put on a play that she thinks will sweep Broadway. Keep reading »