At 50, is Madonna middle-aged? Are you?


This article was originally on a blog post platform and may be missing photos, graphics or links. See About archive blog posts.

Middle age. For me, the term does not evoke images of lithe women with blond highlights and perfect Pilates-sculpted asses that refuse to fall to half-mast. I typically associate middle age with naps and osteoporosis.

But Madonna turned the big 5-0 recently and Michelle Pfeiffer, right, Sharon Stone, left at right, and Holly Hunter, below, could all help her blow out a candle or two. (Their bones look mighty strong. ) Yes, we’ve all heard that 50 is the new 40 or even 30. In Pfeiffer’s case, I might say that 50 is the new 28, but who’s counting? But then, what the hell is middle-aged these days?


At what age, do you hit the middle? The Oxford English Dictionary defines ‘middle age’ as ‘the period between youth and old age, about 45 to 60.’ In his psychosocial stages, the famed developmental psychologist Erik Erikson nailed the middle as 35 to 55 or 65 and felt that middle-aged people had to focus on creative stimulation and productivity to thwart stagnation. He also deemed self-absorption during these years as a quick path to a crisis. Narcissism in Hollywood? Never! But Erikson probably never saw a woman look this damn hot at 50, so, of course, he figured that vanity had to go.

Personally, I can’t imagine living another 60 years -- that sounds exhausting. So I would like to think that at 40, I have passed middle age and I am now in the ‘nearing the end age.’ And if Hollywood actresses don’t start aging, perhaps they’re in the ‘just try and make me age age.’

How do you define middle-aged?