Is 50 really the new 34, or is it a licence to wear elasticated waistbands?

From The Guardian:

Grayson-Perry-50-007 “We are welcoming an era in which 50 is the new 34,” argues Emma Soames, Saga magazine's editor-at-large. The increasingly glamorous image of 50-year-olds has even spawned a new term, the “Quintastics” – thanks, in part, to the visibility of a number of high-profile celebrities who met the event with undiminished glamour in the past year, including Bono, Nigella Lawson, Hugh Grant, Jonathan Ross, Colin Firth, Tilda Swinton and Kristin Scott Thomas. But it's not all good news. “By the time we are 50, we are definitely in the suburbs of mortality,” says Alain de Botton. “After 21, birthdays are really wakes and occasions for mourning – unfairly ascribed a degree of jollity which they absolutely don't require. Yes, older people now look a bit better for a while longer, but essentially, it's pretty much a vale of tears.”

Nevertheless there's something newly cool about turning 50. Just ask George Clooney – whose birthday falls in May and who has almost single-handedly ignited a revival of the Cary Grant/Spencer Tracy brand of suave older man – or Barack Obama (50 in August), still the closest thing we've got to a real-life superhero. As Michelle Pfeiffer said when she reached the landmark: “You just take stock and count your blessings.”

More here.