I wouldn’t call what happened on my 28th birthday a meltdown, exactly. That afternoon, my boyfriend and I had been to the cinema. I don’t remember what film we saw, only that I walked out in a crappy mood, which only got worse when my phone started beeping with messages from friends pulling out of my pub drinks that evening. I stomped down the street, flinging my phone in my boyfriend’s direction, and maturely announced that I was canceling the whole thing. Just forget it.
At 28, I felt as though I should be more “sorted” than this, with fewer flaky friends and anxieties about edging closer to 30. I’d already spotted what I was sure was my first gray hair and pals were talking about anti-aging potions. It felt as though I was on a slippery slope downwards—now I was no longer in my mid-twenties, the inevitable decline had begun.
I thought back to that time this week, when I read Julia Fox’s comments on aging. The actress, 32, let rip in a rant on TikTok about the unrealistic standards women are held to as we grow older.
“If I see another product that says anti-aging on the label, I’m suing,” she said. “I’m going to sue because I’m gonna age regardless of if I put the fucking $500 serum on my face. And you all fucking know it, and we know it, so let’s stop lying to ourselves. Getting old is fucking hot. It is sexy.”
She also recalled having spent her 27th birthday in bed, crying, because she was no longer in her mid-twenties. “I was such a tyrant about it because I wanted the day to pass and just have it be… I don’t want to draw attention to the fact that I’m 27,” she recalled.
Fox’s comments have riled a lot of women, and it’s not hard to understand why. Hearing a 32-year-old say that “getting old is hot” and is “sexy” sticks in the craw for those staring down the barrel of midlife and beyond. I want to go back in time and shake my 28-year-old self for moping— and I expect many people felt the same way hearing what Fox had to say. Reality check, please.